Baan Tawai, Chiang Mai
Ban Tawai in the Hang Dong area of Chiang Mai is one of my favourites and should be on most people’s must do list when visiting. The centrepiece is the handicraft village, but for me the highlights are all the surrounding shops and factories manufacturing or selling just the best Chiang Mai has to offer in timber products, furniture, pottery and more. You will need your Gold Card or higher however, but there are some outstanding items for sale.
There’a a place just up the road from here that manufactures these amazing sculptures made from old motorbike parts.
Spark plugs for teeth and chain for lips!
What creativity to see the end result from these raw materials.
My favourite pot outlet. The first place I will return to when I win the lottery.
The two blue pots are to be shipped to New Zealand. I spotted one other that had been chosen by these buyers. I wish! How about those red ones?
Peng is in semi-uniform because we had a session at her university that morning. For some reason she can only be photographed in uniform for social media if she displays this large name tag.
Another place with statues and more.
Inside. Angels in Thai bikinis making an appearance again, which is odd in a Buddhist country. Maybe for the American market 72% of whom believe in them.
I would prefer this Ganesh, which originated in India, so strictly speaking out of place too!
That Buddha head would fit in the garden. Leave the lion.
This would make a stunning centrepiece.
That’s a nice head too. Ok, discount for two?
My ladies and Buddha.
An old timber house hidden away. Very nice. The termites probably think so too 🙂
Timber elephants. Warning – we went on a Sunday because I had my Australian hat on and most crafty places are open then to catch the weekend trade. Not in Thailand. 80% of the shops were closed like this one. I could have fitted a small elephant in our pick-up too. I am sure they wouldn’t have missed it! Funny our pick-up is called Chang, which means elephant in Thai. It’s not named after the beer!
Ban Tawai handicraft village. A lot more touristy in its products but you will find plenty of things to add to the suitcase. The place is a mix of old houses and small shops like this scene.
A stairway to heaven or maybe nowhere at all!
A modern use of timber.
There are things that are made in and around the village but some like the ones on the right look like they were mass produced elsewhere.
Not exactly Thai but I am sure they sell.
For donation to a temple.
Drinks time. A nice air conditioned cafe.
For new readers Peng, my stepdaughter, has recently moved to Chiang Mai to attend university. We were visiting her on this trip. Peng’s name tag is almost in sight so I think I can get away with this because I like the photo so much. These two were pleased to be together again for a couple of days.
She’s a sweetheart. My photos give no justice to this area because most were closed. You could easily spend a full day just going from shop to shop. Forget visiting Central Plaza with its branded Chinese made rubbish. Get to see real Thai craftsmanship and come here. It will be a highlight of your trip.
The GPS coords above are where you need to the turn to the left off highway 108 and onto the main road that takes you through the furniture, craft, pottery and other shops. Baan Tawai, the handicraft village itself is a little way down – turn right. It is signposted.
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