What to Buy in Chiang Mai
The art of wood carving is part of a rich heritage of craftsmanship in northern Thailand. The best materials are teak and rosewood, which are used to make a wide variety of furniture, figurines and decorations. The centre of woodcarving in Thailand is Baan Tawai village, just south of Chiang Mai. Here you will find the most skilled craftsmen practicing their art using techniques handed down for generations.
These are interestingly made by decorating wooden, bamboo, metal, paper and baked clay items with layers of black lacquer and then finishing with gold designs. They make gifts, souvenirs or ornaments for visitors. Factories and shops can be found along San Kamphaeng and Chang Khlan Roads.
Celadon, the unique Thai ceramic in soft green and blue tones, is produced locally in many shapes and forms. They include dinner sets, vases, tea sets, burners, lamp bases and other decorative home items. Recommended places to visit are Hang Dong sub-district where a many factories are located. For art lovers, a visit to Nimmanhemin Road is well worth it, as there are many interesting galleries offering intriguing celadon products.
Visitors can walk along Wua Lai Road also known as the Silver Street to discover exquisite silverware made with traditional skills, which have been passed on from generation to generation. A guaranteed content of at least 92.5 % pure silver is a mark of their quality. Recommended items include investiture bowls, receptacles and decorative items.
Exotic, traditional and unique, many of these products are sold by hill tribe people dressed in traditional costumes that wander through the Night Bazaar. It is not possible to resist buying one of the hand-made silver ornaments, bracelets, necklaces, pendants, hairpins, pipes, and embroidered items. In addition, there are tunics, jackets, bags, purses, caps and dress lengths, colorful embroidery, hand-woven textiles and other handicrafts made of bamboo and other natural materials.
Paper Products (Sa)
Chiang Mai is also famous for its Sa paper products a handmade, multi-purpose natural fiber from the Mulberry tree. Sa products come in different, distinctive designs including cards, notebooks, stationery, boxes, bags, photo frames, lanterns, gift wrapping paper, etc.
Umbrellas and Parasols
Located on San Kamphaeng Road, Bor Sang is known as the umbrella village. It is the place where villagers have been engaged in umbrella making based on their local wisdom for over 200 years. All materials, including silk, bamboo, sa paper (mulberry paper), are found locally.
Be amazed at hundreds of hand-painted umbrellas in different designs and sizes, from miniature ones to the large ones. Apart from the umbrella, fans and other handmade products of Sa paper are also available in both classic and modern designs.