Chiang Mai is a city of artists: no traveler can doubt this after having stepped into one of the many handicraft centers located throughout the provinces, in which there are flowing abundances of paintings, exquisite fabrics, umbrellas, furniture and silverware. It is no real surprise, therefore, that in January 2011 the governing body of Chiang Mai Homestay initiated a process to try to get a Creative City Status with UNESCO for the province being a joint effort between the municipal authorities, the communities of Chiang Mai, and also the Chiang Mai University. Toward this, efforts happen to be created to coordinate different sectors of the city’s economy, from cottage industrialists to hospitality to independent artists to develop human resources, increase jobs, and encourage the development of the arts.
Some travelers could be more readily knowledgeable about the Night Market and the Walking Streets, both of which are in the city center and therefore more conveniently accessible, you might want to consider going a bit from the beaten track and attempting 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 of the city center, it offers lately streamlined into convenient “zones” of shops, eateries and cafes as the main street itself is home to furniture shops that sell many 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. Prices are also ridiculously cheap for such workmanship, material and artistry; the only possible concern you may have could be shipping logistics, but you can be assured that when you’re buying furniture or decorating a whole new house then you can certainly do worse-and do more expensively-than looking at several Baan Tawai shops.
The next stop needs 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 may be had for as little as $20. Zone 4 also comes with a corner with upscale shops selling fantastic glassware, celadon ceramics, as well as a little café that provides free WiFi, decent bakery, and killer frappe coffee created to order as well as a small menu of traditional Northern Thai fare. The design and style of goods in general are extremely particular to Chiang Mai, quite distinct from that present in other parts of Thailand (or other elements of Asia) as well as the quality is consistently high: are you aware that some ceramics from Whittard of Chelsea are, actually, manufactured in Thailand as well as in Baan Tawai itself?
As the area is sort of remote from city conveniences, there is a smattering of eateries through the village which will a lot more than serve the need for light lunches and breakfasts. Pharmacies and convenience stores, including 7-11 and others, can also be scattered regarding the zones in case you want for any quick drink or must top up ป่าสนวัดจันทร์. The shopkeepers price their goods fairly, and frequently the salesperson coriyo the artist (or sculptor, or weaver) are certainly one and the same. Incenses, novelty candles, papier-mache dolls, Thai silks and much more can likewise be located in the village. It’s the ideal alternative to shopping therapy in air-conditioned malls, and sure to offer everyone something to enjoy.