The town we were staying in along the border was an odd little place. It was a ghost town during the week, but then bustling over the weekend. It is primarily a tourist spot for Thais from Bangkok, so there was very, very little English and not one Western restaurant.
And there was one tourist attraction, which we of course stopped in to enjoy! Yim had been telling us about the candle factory for weeks. I think candle shop might be a better description, because they don’t make candles per say. They do allow you to, but it isn’t a factory like I’ve toured in the States or a factory like I’ve seen all over Mae Sot. It was a little old-style town focused on candles in a town where they are famous for their locally-raised bees.
To make it better, Yim kept accidentally calling it the candy factory, then correcting herself to candle factory. After a few conversations about it, Stephen finally asked, “So, is there candy here? I keep thinking you are saying candy, and then candles–I just want to know how excited I should be about this.”
Either way, it was a quaint little village of shops built on a mountainside–almost like a Thai version of The Village in Gatlinburg. Even though they didn’t specialize in candy, it turned out to be quite a fun visit, and we managed to enjoy some coffee & homemade ice cream at a lovely little shop at the top!
The best part–and probably the “factory” part–was that you could create your own candle. I was a little shy to try it since no one else in the group wanted to, but Stephen thought I’d really like it. He was totally right. You could choose what you wanted to create: they had the local favorites of Angry Birds, Furby, and sheep, or you could create your own design. I opted for making my own and picked a tree.
Every few minutes, when you like the work you’ve done, you put it into ice cold water to make it more solid. You can continue to add more, and then the final product is held in ice cold water, then packaged up for you!
I had a little trouble getting it to stand on the little trunk since it was pretty top heavy, and I got a significant amount of laughs and stares. But, how often do you get to create your own tree candle while a large crowd of staff watch you and comment in a language you don’t understand? Not everyday!