speaking of shopping in Chiang Mai, one must consider, along with
the everyday necessities, the many handicrafts that are part of the
city's history. Made with workmanship skills that have been passed
down from generation to generation, these beautiful crafts are a good
representation of Chiang Mai's proud Lanna heritage.
Bor Sang and Sankampaeng Area (Highway
This road serves as the location to the largest amount and the most
popular of handicraft factories and shops in Chiang Mai. It begins
at the Chiang Mai-Sankampaeng intersection and continues to the Sankampaeng
district at k.m. 13. It is lined on both sides by showrooms and factories
where you have the opportunity to observe the production of crafts
as well as purchase them. Thai silk, cotton, lacquerware, ceramics,
leather products, silverware, umbrellas, woodwork, jewelry, and antiques
can all be found along this road. Due to the increased shortage of
antiques, artists have turned to creating replicas of old antiques
which portray the same beauty and characteristics as the genuine ones.
There is no attempt to pass off these neo-antiques as genuine. The
famous Bor Sang Village, which sells umbrellas and woodcarvings, is
also located on this road.
Umbrellas made of sa paper, hilltribe crafts with bold colors, fabrics
of countless types, delicate ceramics, replicated and genuine antiques,
dazzling jewelry and gems, silverware of all sorts, lacquerware with
intricate designs, rattan and wickerwork, and woodcarvings ranging
from pictures to furniture are only a part of the long list of crafts
and arts that help to make Chiang Mai special. Each individual piece
of workmanship requires paintstaking attention to detail and design
in the process of its creation. Owning one of Chiang Mai's tradition
crafts is a sure way to take back tangible memories of your visit
to Chiang Mai. Whatever it is you are looking for -- be it a keychain
or Thai silk--Chiang Mai offers the shopping facillities for you to
find a buy that you will be pleased with. Cottons & silks First-class
Chiang Mai's cottons and silks are of incomparable quality.
Cottons and silks have innumerable fashion and furnishing applications.
The largest possible selection is available in San Kamphaing.
Chiang Mai is a major centre of furniture making. Major woods and
materials include teak, rosewood and rattan. Items may be unadorned
or, especially with teak and rosewood, 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.
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.
The Night Bazaar on Chang Klan Rd. is the largest center for the selling
of all sorts of crafts in Chiang Mai. A good place to shop if you
are pressed for time -- the selection is astounding! The Night Bazaar
was originated as a three story building and later expanded to be
busy mosaic of department stores, shops, and vendors as can be seen
Visiting one of Chiang Mai's markets is a good way to observe the
local Thai people as well as get to know them. It is also an excellent
place to improve your bargaining skills. Chiang Mai markets are one
of a kind and quite unlike anything you would expect to find in your
home country. You can find almost anything at these. ld style markets
which sell everything from spices to fresh meat. There are several
of these markets in Chiang Mai, including the Ton Lamyai; the Warorot,
which is famous for its variety of preserved fruits; the Sanpakoi,
and the Chiang Mai Gate markets.
Hang Dong Area
This area begins at the Chiang Mai-Hang Dong intersection, and continues
until the k.m. 15 post marker. This area is best known for its many
antique shops. There are also wood carving, lacquerware, ceramic,
silver, and bamboo craft stores along this route. In addition, on
k.m. 15 of this road, lies Tawai Village, which is famous for its
woodwork. It is a good place to observe carvings and neo-antiques
being made, as well as being sold at cheap, wholesale prices.
This road is famous for being home to generations of silversmiths.
It is here that much silverware is produced and sent to shops all
over the city to be sold. If you are in search of high quality, Chiang
Mai style silverware with expert workmanship, then this is the place
to visit. In addition to silver, there is also lacquerware, antiques,
ceramics, and silk available on this road.
As for those who desire to observe crafts being made in their traditional
surroundings, the different craft villages are a good place to visit.
Apart from the umbrella village of BorSang, and the Tawai woodcarving
village, there is also the rattan and wickerwork of HongDong, the
ceramic village of Muangkung, and the cotton village of Nong Aab Chang
and Baan Rai Pai Ngam which specializes in natural dyes. These villages
also give a opportunity for good bargain. 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. Orchids and butterflies are preserved and
plated with 24-carat gold to create unusual gift items such as necklace
pendants, hairpins and earrings. Chiang Mai is the major centre 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.
Department stores, supermarkets, convenience stores and most of the
streets of Chiang Mai sell everyday necessities that you need. Most
stores have anything from shampoo to bread for sale. The prices at
these stores are fixed.