October 28, 2007

Chiang Mai - Part 3

Sunday, October 21

Our flight was in late afternoon so we had time to visit the crafts village of Baan Tawai in the district of Hang Dong, 20km south of Chiang Mai. Baan Tawai has traditionally been the centre of the handicraft trade in North Thailand and remains one of the busiest of such clusters in the whole of Thailand. It is the cheapest place in Thailand to find silk, antique reproductions, incense, candles, oil and soap gift packs, ornaments, lamps, bamboo products, wall hangings, frames, vases and much more.

The village has covered arcades packed full of shops selling every imaginable handicraft in all shapes and sizes. The atmosphere is very laid-back and relaxed, certainly not reminiscent of a tacky collection of souvenir stands. There are also plenty of traditional old wooden Thai houses to admire, some lovely show-gardens full of sandstone sculptures and lots of cute crafts at astonishing prices.

Thai woodcarvers are among the best in the world and woodcarving is the specialty of the artisans of Baan Tawai, a skill passed down for generations. The artisans are incredibly versatile, producing exquisite works in an incredibly diverse array of styles, including carved figurines, Buddhist art pieces, décor items and wall hangings. This is definitely the place to visit, if you want to find that one unique piece of art to complement your home décor.

Holiday Inn Chiang Mai, where we stayed for two nights

3 comments:

beckysmum said...

How I wish I can be at Chiang Mai.. Still waiting for my husband to bring me there :-P

Liew said...

Yep that is the place to go for cheap household furnitures, decor, etc. So did you buy anything?

A Mom's Diary said...

beckysmum, maybe you can make a side trip there when you come back end of the year.

wk, didn't buy anything la. saw a teak coffee table which i liked but a little too expensive for me.