When speaking of shopping in Chiang Mai, one must consider, along with the everyday necessities, the many handicrafts that are part of the city's history. Made with workmanship skills that have been passed down from generation to generation, these beautiful crafts are a good representation of Chiang Mai's proud Lanna heritage.

Bor Sang and Sankampaeng Area (Highway 1006) .


 
This road serves as the location to the largest amount and the most popular of handicraft factories and shops in Chiang Mai. It begins at the Chiang Mai - Sankampaeng intersection and continues to the Sankampaeng district at k.m. 13. It is lined on both sides by showrooms and factories where you have the opportunity to observe the production of crafts as well as purchase them. Thai silk, cotton, lacquerware, ceramics, leather products, silverware, umbrellas, woodwork, jewelry, and antiques can all be found along this road. Due to the increased shortage of antiques, artists have turned to creating replicas of old antiques which portray the same beauty and characteristics as the genuine ones. There is no attempt to pass off these neo-antiques as genuine. The famous Bor Sang Village, which sells umbrellas and woodcarvings, is also located on this road.
Umbrellas made of sa paper, hilltribe crafts with bold colors, fabrics of countless types, delicate ceramics, replicated and genuine antiques, dazzling jewelry and gems, silverware of all sorts, lacquerware with intricate designs, rattan and wickerwork, and woodcarvings ranging from pictures to furniture are only a part of the long list of crafts and arts that help to make Chiang Mai special. Each individual piece of workmanship requires paintstaking attention to detail and design in the process of its creation. Owning one of Chiang Mai's tradition crafts is a sure way to take back tangible memories of your visit to Chiang Mai. Whatever it is you are looking for -- be it a keychain or Thai silk--Chiang Mai offers the shopping facillities for you to find a buy that you will be pleased with. Cottons & silks first-class Chiang Mai's cottons and silks are of incomparable quality.

Cottons and silks have innumerable fashion and furnishing applications. The largest possible selection is available in Sankampaeng.

Chiang Mai is a major centre of furniture making. Major woods and materials include teak, rosewood and rattan. Items may be unadorned or, especially with teak and rosewood, artfully carved in traditional or modern designs. Woodcarving is a traditional northern Thai art featured in numerous temples. In recent years, wood carving has increasingly embellished furniture, gracing screens, chairs, tables, beds, indeed anything bearing a wooden surface large enough to be carved. Carved elephants, figurines and tableware number among other popular purchases. Lacquerware striking black and gold designs give lacquerware its visual appeal and sheen. This decorative art enhances items made of wood, bamboo, metal, paper and baked clay, in the form of receptacles, ornaments and various souvenirs.


Night Bazaar

The Night Bazaar on Chang Klan Road is the largest center for the selling of all sorts of crafts in Chiang Mai. A good place to shop if you are pressed for time -- the selection is astounding! The Night Bazaar was originated as a three-story-building and later expanded to be busy mosaic of department stores, shops, and vendors as can be seen today.


Hang Dong Area

This area begins at the Chiang Mai - Hang Dong intersection, and continues until the k.m. 15 post marker. This area is best known for its many antique shops. There are also wood carving, lacquerware, ceramic, silver, and bamboo craft stores along this route. In addition, on k.m. 15 of this road, lies Tawai Village, which is famous for its woodwork. It is a good place to observe carvings and neo-antiques being made, as well as being sold at cheap, wholesale prices.


Wualai Road

This road is famous for being home to generations of silversmiths. It is here that much silverware is produced and sent to shops all over the city to be sold. If you are in search of high quality, Chiang Mai style silverware with expert workmanship, then this is the place to visit. In addition to silver, there is also lacquerware, antiques, ceramics, and silk available on this road.


Villages

As for those who desire to observe crafts being made in their traditional surroundings, the different craft villages are a good place to visit. Apart from the umbrella village of BorSang, and the Tawai woodcarving village, there is also the rattan and wickerwork of Hang Dong, the ceramic village of Muangkung, and the cotton village of Nong Aab Chang and Baan Rai Pai Ngam which specializes in natural dyes. These villages also give a opportunity for good bargain. These include silver ornaments, such as bracelets, necklaces, pendants, hairpins and pipes of intricate design, and embroidered items including tunics, jackets, bags, purses, caps and dress lengths. Orchids and butterflies are preserved and plated with 24-carat gold to create unusual gift items such as necklace pendants, hairpins and earrings. Chiang Mai is the major centre of Thailand's pottery industry. Prized items include high-fired celadon which is produced in many forms, including dinner sets, lamp bases and decorative items.


Markets

Visiting one of Chiang Mai's markets is a good way to observe the local Thai people as well as get to know them. It is also an excellent place to improve your bargaining skills. Chiang Mai markets are one of a kind and quite unlike anything you would expect to find in your home country. You can find almost anything at these markets which sell everything from spices to fresh meat. There are several of these markets in Chiang Mai, including the Ton Lamyai; the Warorot, which is famous for its variety of preserved fruits; the Sanpakoi, and the Chiang Mai Gate markets.



Everyday Necessities

Department stores, supermarkets, convenience stores and most of the streets of Chiang Mai sell everyday necessities that you need. Most stores have anything from shampoo to bread for sale. The prices at these stores are fixed.