Chiang Mai is actually a city of artists: no traveler can doubt this after having entered into one of the numerous handicraft centers located throughout 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 ป่าสนวัดจันทร์ initiated a procedure to try to get a Creative City Status with UNESCO for the province as being a joint effort between the municipal authorities, the communities of Chiang Mai, and also 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 growth of the arts.
Some travelers could be more readily familiar with the Night Market and the Walking Streets, each of which are inside the city center and therefore more conveniently accessible, you may want to consider going a little off the beaten track and trying the Baan Tawai, an OTOP (One Tambon One Product, a program to encourage and sponsor Thai artisans) village. Found on Route 108 in Amphur Hang Dong, about fifteen kilometers south of the city center, it offers recently streamlined into convenient “zones” of shops, eateries and cafes while the main street itself is home to furniture shops that sell some of the most creative furniture and home décor items found all over the world: there you can find chairs and couches in flowing abstract wood, delicate forest nymphs, and beautiful bamboo lanterns. Charges are also ridiculously cheap for such workmanship, material and artistry; the only real possible concern you could have will be shipping logistics, but there is no doubt that when you’re buying furniture or decorating a new house then you can certainly certainly do worse-and do more expensively-than looking at several Baan Tawai shops.
Your upcoming stop ought to be a few 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 that can be had for as little as $20. Zone 4 also features a corner with upscale shops selling fantastic glassware, celadon ceramics, and a little café that provides free WiFi, decent bakery, and killer frappe coffee designed to order as well as a small menu of traditional Northern Thai fare. The design of goods generally are very particular to Chiang Mai, quite distinct from that seen in other parts of Thailand (or some other parts of Asia) and also the quality is consistently high: did you know that some ceramics from Whittard of Chelsea are, in fact, made in Thailand as well as directly in Baan Tawai itself?
Whilst the area is sort of remote from city conveniences, there exists a smattering of eateries through the entire village which will greater than serve the need for light lunches and breakfasts. Pharmacies and convenience stores, like 7-11 and others, can also be scattered about the zones in the event you want for any quick drink or have to top up Chiang Mai Homestay. The shopkeepers price their goods fairly, and often the salesperson coriyo the artist (or sculptor, or weaver) are one as well as the same. Incenses, novelty candles, papier-mache dolls, Thai silks and much more can likewise be located in the village. It’s the ideal substitute for shopping therapy in air-conditioned malls, and certain to offer everyone something to love.