A Thousands Things Made with Bamboo.
There are around one thousand two hundred types of bamboo in the world, about forty of which can be found in Thailand. Bamboo is classified as a grass, due to its monofilament stems and leaf shape. Bamboo is extremely strong and has the same tensile strength as steel. This is why it can be seen wrapped around construction work in Thailand. Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on Earth, with one species growing at a rate of one meter a day! It is a very important part of forest habitats, acting as a pioneer species, rapidly creating and retaining rich soils.
Bamboo stems or culms are used for beams and pillars, wall floors and roofs of traditional hilltribe huts, furniture, utensils, containers of various sizes, household and garden tools, scaffolding, construction of bamboo rafts, craftwork, basketry, musical instruments, chopsticks, toothpicks and paper making.They are also used for plywood and biomass production.
The bamboo plant by itself is planted to build fences and windbreakers, as well as for decoration and landscaping.
Bamboo is also edible and a popular part of many dishes in Thailand for which the young shoots (nor mai) are picked whilst still green and soft. It can be cooked, pickled or eaten raw. Bamboo shoots are a great source of vitamin A, B1, B2 and C. If you go trekking in the jungles of Northern Thailand your guide will surely teach you how to cook in bamboo stems over open fires and how to use bamboo shoots in traditional Thai dishes.
The many uses of bamboo, and the speed at which it grows, combined with its strength and aesthetically pleasing look in decoration means that bamboo is not only one of Thailand’s natural wonders but it is also a valuable sustainable resource for use in natural building and sustainable design.
Zero-Waste Packaging Made of Bamboo:
Universal Biopack is a Thai company which makes packaging for restaurants and manufacturers. But rather than plastic, it uses a mixture of bamboo and cassava, crops that are widely found across the country.
The company uses a technology devised at a Bangkok University to produce eco and quality packaging. It hopes it will eventually replace many of the Stryrofoam boxes and plastic bags largely use in Thailand.
Universal Biopack’s eco-friendly formula took five years to develop. The bamboo it uses comes from leftover scraps from chopstick manufacturing process. Its product is so adaptable that it could also being used to package things like furniture and even phones. You can find this eco-packaging product for take-away food at many department stores including Tops, Rimping Supermarket and Tesco Lotus.
Bamboo tattooing is famous in Thailand. It is believed to have originated around 3000 years ago during the Khmer period. Mummified remains of ancient tribe leaders in the Philippines have tattoos which seem to have been done using a bamboo tattooing technique. In Thailand, bamboo tattooing began in the Buddhist temples. Monks and Thai soldiers would receive religious text tattoos from grand master monks for protection, strength, and invisibility.
The process of bamboo tattooing includes a fine needle (the width of the needle depends on the tattoo) which is firmly attached to the end of a thin piece of bamboo using cotton. This needle is dipped into the ink and gently tapped into the skin. Bamboo tattoos are supposed to be more painful than a tattoo done with a gun, since it pierces deeper into the skin. The skin is punctured but not torn, so there is little or no bleeding and the healing process is quicker than with normal tattoo.
Beautiful Bamboo-Must See:
Trekking in the jungle of Northern Chiang Mai you will definitely discover many different species of bamboo.
Another place, is the Tamarind Village Boutique Hotel, nestled in center town. This beautiful hotel has decorated the walkway to its entrance with bamboo on both sides creating a stunning alley for everyone to see and picture ( www.tamarindvillage.com ).
Situated on Cholpratharn road, only 15 minutes from center Chiang Mai, Panyaden is a green school built from earth and bamboo, peacefully located among rice fields. It is the perfect sample of eco-quality building. www.panyaden.ac.th