Chiang Mai Shopping | Local Souvenirs and things to buy in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is, quite simply, Thailand's major center for quality handicrafts. The visitor need merely visit the nearest city emporium or night market to purchase an extraordinary variety of antiques, silver jewelry, hilltribe opium pipes and embroidery, Thai silks and cottons, basketry, celadon, silverware, furniture, lacquerware, woodcarvings and parasols.
Major Chiang Mai products include:
- Woven Fabrics: First-class Chiang Mai cottons and silks are of incomparable quality. Cottons and silks have innumerable fashion and furnishing applications. The largest possible selection is available in San Kamphaneg.
- Umbrellas/Parasols: These are inextricably associated with Bor Sang where villagers have been engaged in their manufacture for at least 200 years. All materials, silks, cottons, sa paper (manufactured from the bark of the mulberry tree), and bamboo are produced or found locally.
Visitors to Bor Sang will see literally hundreds of designs and sizes ranging from the miniature to the gigantic.
- Silverware: The finest Thai silverware is exquisite, and is made in Chiang Mai, where certain families have practiced their art for several generations. Traditional skills and a guaranteed content of at least 92.5% pure silver invest bowls, receptacles and decorative items with authentic value. Silver shops are concentrated on Wualu Road, where silverware artisans and their families live.
- Lacquerware: Striking black and gold designs give lacquerware its visual appeal and sheen. This decorative art enhances items made of wood, bamboo, metal, paper and baked clay, in the form of receptacles, ornaments and various souvenirs.
- Furniture/Woodcarving: Chiang Mai is a major center of furniture making. Major woods and materials include teak, rose wood and rattan. Items may be unadorned or, especially with teak and rose wood, artfully carved in traditional or modern designs. Woodcarving is a traditional northern Thai art featured in numerous temples. In recent years, wood carving has increasingly embellished furniture, gracing screens, chairs, tables, beds, indeed anything bearing a wooden surface large enough to be carved. Carved elephants, figurines and tableware number among other popular purchases.
- Hill tribe Products These include silver ornaments, such as bracelets, necklaces, pendants, hairpins and pipes of intricate design, and embroidered items including tunics, jackets, bags, purses, caps and dress lengths.
- Pottery: Chiang Mai is the major center of Thailand's pottery industry. Prized items include high-fired celadon which is produced in many forms, including dinner sets, lamp bases and decorative items.
Last Updated: 12 Mar 2008