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 handicrafts. A major advantage of shopping in Chiang
Mai is that the visitor may watch artisans working within the city and
in several outlying villages, particularly along the Bo Sang-San
Kamphaeng road where, in genuine cottage industries, parasols, silk and
cotton weaving, jewellery, woodcarving, silverware, celadon, and
lacquerware are manufactured, and number among popular purchases.
Major Chiang Mai products include:
Cottons & Silks
- First-class Chiang Mai cottons and
silks are of incomparable quality. Cottons and silkshave
innumerable fashion and furnishing applications. The largest
possible selection is available in San Kamphang.
- These are inextricably associated
with Bo Sang where villagers have been engaged in their manufacture for
at least 200 years. All materials, silk, cottons, sa paper
(manufactured from the bark of the mulberry tree) and bamboo are
produced or found locally. Visitors to Bo Sang will see literally
hundreds of design and sizes ranging from the miniature to the gigantic.
- 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 Wua lai Road, where silverware artisans and
their families live.
- Striking black and gold designs give
lacquerware its visual appeal and sheen. This decorative are
enhances items made of wood, bamboo, metal, paper and baked clay, in the
form of receptacles, ornaments and various souvenirs.
- Chiang Mai is a major center of
furniture making. Major woods and materials include teak, rosewood
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
- These include silver ornaments,
such as bracelets, necklace, pendants and pipes of intricate
design, and embroidered items including tunics, jackets, bags,
purses, caps and dress lengths.
Gold Plated Orchids & Butterflies
- 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 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.