Chiang Mai is a town of artists: no traveler can doubt this after having stepped into among 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 ป่าสนวัดจันทร์ ที่พัก 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, and also the Chiang Mai University. Toward this, efforts have been made 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 growth of the arts.
Some travelers may well be more readily knowledgeable about the Night Market as well as the Walking Streets, each of which are inside the city center and thus more conveniently accessible, you may want to consider going a bit from the beaten track and seeking the Baan Tawai, an OTOP (One Tambon One Product, a treatment 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 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 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 sole possible concern you might have will be shipping logistics, but there is no doubt that if you’re buying furniture or decorating a brand new house then you can certainly certainly do worse-and do more expensively-than browsing through 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 full of oils and acrylics in styles both modernistic and traditional Thai, unique pieces which can be had for as low as $20. Zone 4 also comes with a corner with upscale shops selling fantastic glassware, celadon ceramics, along with 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 of goods in general are extremely particular to Chiang Mai, quite distinct from that found in other parts of Thailand (or some other parts of Asia) and the quality is consistently high: were you aware that some ceramics from Whittard of Chelsea are, in fact, made in Thailand and even in Baan Tawai itself?
While the area is almost remote from city conveniences, you will find a smattering of eateries through the entire village which will more than serve the requirement for light lunches and breakfasts. Pharmacies and convenience stores, such as 7-11 yet others, are also scattered about the zones should you feel the need for a quick drink or must top up Chiang Mai Homestay. The shopkeepers price their goods fairly, and quite often the salesperson coriyo the artist (or sculptor, or weaver) is 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 substitute for shopping therapy in air-conditioned malls, and certain to offer everyone something to like.