Chiang Mai is actually a city of artists: no traveler can doubt this after having stepped 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 real surprise, therefore, that in January 2011 the governing body of Chiang Mai Homestay initiated a procedure to apply for a Creative City Status with UNESCO for the province as a joint effort between the municipal authorities, the communities of Chiang Mai, and the Chiang Mai University. Toward this, efforts have already been designed 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.
While many travelers will be more readily familiar with the Night Market as well as the Walking Streets, each of which are within the city center and for that reason more conveniently accessible, you may want to consider going a bit off of the beaten track and trying the Baan Tawai, an OTOP (One Tambon One Product, a software program to encourage and sponsor Thai artisans) village. Located on Route 108 in Amphur Hang Dong, about fifteen kilometers south in 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 probably the most creative furniture and home décor items found all over the world: there you will find chairs and couches in flowing abstract wood, delicate forest nymphs, and delightful bamboo lanterns. Charges are also ridiculously cheap for such workmanship, material and artistry; the only possible concern you might have could be shipping logistics, but there is no doubt that when you’re buying furniture or decorating a new house then you could certainly do worse-and do more expensively-than browsing through several Baan Tawai shops.
Your next stop should 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 that may be had for less than $20. Zone 4 also features a corner with upscale shops selling fantastic glassware, celadon ceramics, as well as a little café that offers free WiFi, decent bakery, and killer frappe coffee designed to order and also a small menu of traditional Northern Thai fare. The design and style of goods generally speaking are incredibly particular to Chiang Mai, quite distinct from that present in other parts of Thailand (or any other areas of Asia) and the quality is consistently high: are you aware that some ceramics from Whittard of Chelsea are, actually, made in Thailand and even in Baan Tawai itself?
As the area is somewhat remote from city conveniences, there exists a smattering of eateries through the village which will more than serve the requirement for light lunches and breakfasts. Pharmacies and convenience stores, like 7-11 and others, are also scattered concerning the zones should you want for any quick drink or need 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 a lot more can likewise be based in the village. It’s the ideal alternative to shopping therapy in air-conditioned malls, and certain to offer everyone something to enjoy.