Chiang Mai is a city 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 not surprising, therefore, that in January 2011 the governing body of ป่าสนวัดจันทร์ ที่พัก initiated an operation 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, as well as 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 build up human resources, increase jobs, and encourage the growth of the arts.
While many travelers could be more readily familiar with the night time Market as well as the Walking Streets, each of which are within the city center and therefore more conveniently accessible, you might like to consider going a little off the beaten track and attempting the Baan Tawai, an OTOP (One Tambon One Product, a treatment program to encourage and sponsor Thai artisans) village. Found 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 hosts furniture shops that sell many of 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 exquisite bamboo lanterns. Prices are also ridiculously cheap for such workmanship, material and artistry; the sole possible concern you might have could be shipping logistics, but you can be assured that when you’re buying furniture or decorating a brand new house then you can certainly do worse-and do more expensively-than going through several Baan Tawai shops.
Your next stop should be a number of the inner zones. Zones 2 and 4 are particularly popular, flourishing with little art galleries filled with oils and acrylics in styles both modernistic and traditional Thai, unique pieces that can be had for as little as $20. Zone 4 also includes a corner with upscale shops selling fantastic glassware, celadon ceramics, along with a little café that offers 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 generally are very particular to Chiang Mai, quite distinct from that present in other areas 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, manufactured in Thailand and indeed right in Baan Tawai itself?
While the area is somewhat remote from city conveniences, there is a smattering of eateries through the village which will a lot more than serve the necessity for light lunches and breakfasts. Pharmacies and convenience stores, like 7-11 yet others, can also be scattered about the zones in case you feel the need for any quick drink or have to top up ป่าสนวัดจันทร์. The shopkeepers price their goods fairly, and frequently the salesperson coriyo the artist (or sculptor, or weaver) are one as well as the same. Incenses, novelty candles, papier-mache dolls, Thai silks and much more can likewise be based in the village. It’s the ideal option to shopping therapy in air-conditioned malls, and sure to offer everyone something to like.