Friday, 28 January 2011

Slighty potty ...

Remember the movie Ghost? Control yourself.
Doi Din Daeng. I love the onamatopeic alliteration of the name and love saying it. Doi Din Daeng, Doi Din Daeng, Doi Din Daeng.

It actually means Red Clay Hill, and is a rather suitable name for this very artful pottery, located in the bucolic rice fields north of Chiang Rai city.(Except, there's no hill and, I'm led to believe, that they 'import' their clay from Chiang Mai.)

It's owned by a charming Thai-Japanese couple, with the super-artistic Somluk Pantiboon -- who was behind the first Bamboo Pagoda I blogged recently -- being the head ceramist.

They sell their product right there on the premises -- we picked up some great coffee mugs -- or you can order wholesale; many major hotels and restaurants number among their clientele for vases, dinner sets, bowls, wash basins, etc. (The Legend in Chiang Rai, for instance, got all its ceramics fittings from here, and I noticed an order for a well-known spa in Hua Hin being made, too.)

Somluk vents his frustration by chucking stuff at the walls.
They should put a bigger sign on the highway for people to find this place. A tiny little pottery piece is basically it, and  -- as suitably arty-farty as it is -- as you whiz by Highway 1 at 150km/h, dodging chickens and water buffalo, you're hardly going to notice it.

Even if pottery's not your thing, they also boast one of the coolest cafes in all of northern Thailand. A lovely setting among the old teakwood buildings, with scrumptious cakes and coffees. Worth coming here just for that.

But sadly, and surprisingly, no, um, glazed donuts. (Sorry, that was the only pottery pun I could think of ...)

Where is it? 49 Moo 6, Tambon Nanglae, Chiang Rai, 053-705-291. Going north on Highway 1 from Chiang Rai, it's about 15km south of Mae Chan on your right (there's a U-turn bay there after the big coffee shop on your right).

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