What to buy
Silk and Cotton
Thai silk is probably the most famous of all the Kingdom’s handicrafts. Available in a range of colors and designs and is sold by the yard. Thai silk can be used for tailor-made clothing, ready wear clothes, and also for a large variety of accessories and souvenir items. It is also ideal for curtains, pillow cases, wall coverings and other interior design uses. Silk weaving is performed all over the kingdom-especially in the North and Northeast, where there are many well-known villages that produce good quality silk.
Thai cotton is also increasing in popularity. It is produced in a range of colors, prints, and embroidered designs, and is used to make a large variety of things such as clothing, curtains, bed spreads, table cloths, cushion covers, kitchen accessories, place mats, to name a few.
Gems and Jewelry
Thailand has been a major source of quality rubies and sapphires and is the world’s leading cutter of colored stones. It is also the major exporter of gems and gemstones. The industry of cutting and setting stones is what has made Thailand become known as the colored gemstone capital of the world. Jewelry shops can be found in all tourist areas. Shoppers should exercise caution and buy from a reputable dealer only. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has issued warnings about shopkeepers who sell fake items and inflate prices.
Thailand is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of ready-to-wear clothing. Fashion cloths are found in every shopping mall and many roadside stalls in Bangkok. Tailor shops also abound in every tourist area, and can cater to almost any customer demand in as little as 24 hours.
Silver shops are mostly located in tourist areas where hotels, shopping plazas, and department stores are located. Most silver producing factories are based in Northern Thailand. The most popular silver products include earrings, necklaces, bracelets, trays, picture frames, belts, household accessories, jewelry boxes, kitchenware, and other small paraphernalia.
The most popular area to buy gold is Yaowaraj Road. Hundreds of gold shops are located here selling gold jewelry as rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Many gold shops offer a variety of patterns and weights. If you don’t see what you want, gold merchants here can order any pattern or design a customer desires.
Saa paper has been produced in Northern Thailand and increasingly popular for both Thais and foreigners. As it is beautiful and naturally produced, this paper has been used throughout history, and today is largely used in making the famous Saa umbrellas, artificial flowers, decorative items, gift boxes and gift-wrapping. It is produced in many colors and designs and can be used for interior design projects.
If you want to find unique and beautiful handicrafts, Thailand is the place to come. Thai craftsmen are skilled and have perfected this ancient art for generations. It takes time and patience to produce a quality handicraft item, and Thai craftsmen are experts at doing just that.
Most Thai handicrafts are produced in the North and Northeast. Chiang Mai is the major market place for handicrafts from the North. Tourists can enjoy shopping for handicrafts at the Night Bazaar and night market in Chiang Mai town. Here you can find everything that you want-ceramics, pottery, lacquerware, metalware, wickerware, wooden works, art, antiques, hill tribe products, and more. The main places where Thai handicrafts can be found are Chitlada shops, which sell products of craftsmen under the support of Her Majesty, Queen Sirikit of Thailand. Shops in Bangkok are located at The Grand Palace, Wimanmek Mansion, and the International Airport. They can also be found at the Bangsai Arts and Crafts Center in Ayutthaya province, where the craftsmen get training under the promotion of supplementary occupations and related techniques which was established under Royal Patronage. ther places where the handicrafts can be found include the Narayaphand Pavilion, the craft center in Bangkok, craft centers in each province and the Chatuchak Weekend Market.
Thailand is an extensive production of quality leather goods, well known for their quality and design. The selection is extensive such as handbags, belts, shoes, wallets, purses, briefcases, and other accessories of every size and style can be purchased. Leather items can also be found in abundance in any tourist area. The major places to find leather products are Maboonkrong Center, Chatuchak weekend market and Banglumphu area, but can be found in abundance in any tourist area where prices are competitive and quality is good.
Home decor items in Thailand vary in material and design. They are found in all shopping areas and home exhibitions. Many Thai products are exported and accepted by foreign markets. From modern designs to old style designs, the prices are reasonable and quality is good.