Chiang Mai is a town of artists: no traveler can doubt this after having stepped into one of the many handicraft centers located through the provinces, in which there are flowing abundances of paintings, exquisite fabrics, umbrellas, furniture and silverware. It is no surprise, therefore, that in January 2011 the governing body of Chiang Mai Homestay initiated a procedure to get a Creative City Status with UNESCO for the province as a joint effort between the municipal authorities, the communities of Chiang Mai, as well as the Chiang Mai University. Toward this, efforts have already been created to coordinate different sectors of the city’s economy, from cottage industrialists to hospitality to independent artists to build up human resources, increase jobs, and encourage the development of the arts.
While most travelers will be more readily familiar with the night time Market and the Walking Streets, each of which are inside the city center and for that reason more conveniently accessible, you may want to consider going a bit off the beaten track and seeking the Baan Tawai, an OTOP (One Tambon One Product, a program to encourage and sponsor Thai artisans) village. Located on Route 108 in Amphur Hang Dong, about fifteen kilometers south from the city center, it provides lately streamlined into convenient “zones” of shops, eateries and cafes while the main street itself is home to furniture shops that sell many of the most creative furniture and home décor items found anywhere in the world: there you can find chairs and couches in flowing abstract wood, delicate forest nymphs, and beautiful bamboo lanterns. Costs are also ridiculously cheap for such workmanship, material and artistry; the only real possible concern you may have would be shipping logistics, but you can be assured that when you’re buying furniture or decorating a brand new house then you can certainly do worse-and do more expensively-than looking at several Baan Tawai shops.
The next stop ought to be some of the inner zones. Zones 2 and 4 are particularly popular, flourishing with little art galleries packed with oils and acrylics in styles both modernistic and traditional Thai, unique pieces which can be had for as low as $20. Zone 4 also features a corner with upscale shops selling fantastic glassware, celadon ceramics, along with a little café that offers free WiFi, decent bakery, and killer frappe coffee made to order as well as a small menu of traditional Northern Thai fare. The design of goods generally speaking are extremely particular to Chiang Mai, quite distinct from that found in other areas of Thailand (or other parts of Asia) as well as the quality is consistently high: did you know that some ceramics from Whittard of Chelsea are, in reality, manufactured in Thailand and even directly in Baan Tawai itself?
While the area is almost remote from city conveniences, you will find a smattering of eateries through the entire village that will more than serve the requirement for light lunches and breakfasts. Pharmacies and convenience stores, including 7-11 yet others, are also scattered regarding the zones should you want to get a quick drink or have to top up ป่าสนวัดจันทร์ ที่พัก. The shopkeepers price their goods fairly, and often the salesperson coriyo the artist (or sculptor, or weaver) are one and also the same. Incenses, novelty candles, papier-mache dolls, Thai silks and much more can likewise be based in the village. It’s an ideal option to shopping therapy in air-conditioned malls, and certain to offer everyone something to love.