Handicrafts of Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai is the handicraft capital of Thailand . Each locality has its own particular craft product, such a wood carvings, silverware engraving, silk weaving, celadon, umbrella making, lacquerware and the tribal crafts from the hilltribes.

Wood Carving: Hand Dong district, south of the township of Chiang Mai, is the center of old style wood carving for decorative pieces. There is also the Banyen Woodcarving Museum on Wua Lai Road with an excellent collection of Woodcarvings.

Silverware: Wua Lai road is the traditional center of a Chiang Mai silver smith. The articles of household and ornamental articles include bracelets, webbed belts, neck chains, food trays, boxes, dippers, bowls etc.

Lacquerware: The lacquerware center is along the road out of Chiang Mai to Chomthong. Lacquerware is an old craft of Chiang mai. The process of making lacquerware is from the woven bamboo strip skeleton, then many layers of lacquer are applied. After drying they are polished and painted with astisric designs.

Umbrella Making: Bor Sang about 9 kilometers from Chiang Mai city, is the famous umbrella village. The Bor Sang umbrellas are made of Sa paper. It seems like everyone in this village is busy making the umbrellas, some have their bamboo frames constructed, some have the newly-dyed paper umbrellas hung out in the sun to dry while others are painting the umbrellas with floral designs and dragons.

Cotton And Silk Village: Silk and cotton are woven by folk people on a traditional loom. Pasang district, about 13 kilometers from Chiang Mai city, is famous for the bright colored cotton material. San Kampaeng is famous for silk weaving. (see picture)

Celadon: Many factories are situated in different part of town. This ornamental stoneware uses the traditional raw materials in the area but with modern firing techniques. It comes mainly in green and brown.

Night Bazaar: The Night Bazaar on Chang Klan Road came into existence because of the craft products of the local people and the hilltribes. The Night Bazaar offers a unique opportunity to the tourists at night. Besides the normal shopping for craft products, one may see the pavement artists who come out with their paintings offering bargain prices for their original work. The roadside Night Bazaar has merchandise of all types.

Chiang Mai-San Kamphaeng Handicraft Route: This road is lined up with crafts centers and factories with showrooms and sales areas. Demonstration of folk crafts in the making is a feature. Modern villages are built to create the atmosphere and to attract the tourists. Products have been developed and diversified to meet market demands. Chiang Mai’s handicraft Route is flourishing, and has become the most prosperous handicraft center of the country.