Fun Shoping on Highway 11Too much of everything on highway 11 and 1 south of Chiang Mai
A brief post for once. If you are heading out of Chiang Mai to a destination in the south, or the southeast in our case, you will start off on highway 11 (which in Chiang Mai city is called the super highway and forms the inner ringroad starting at the well known Nimmanheimin road) before either continuing on the 11 or turning onto highway 1. Here are a few places closer to Chiang Mai on highways 11 & 1 that I think are worth stopping for a look-see.
We recently did two return trips to Chiang Mai in the one week, a 700 km ten hour day each way, and I got to know highway 1 far better than I ever thought I would.
Dual carriageway concrete road at this stage. The structure across the road on the left is a crockery shop, one of many as you drive through this section of the 11.
Highway 11 takes you to Lampang, roughly an hour and a half drive, before giving you the choice of either continuing on the 11 or turning right onto highway 1.
Within the first hour as you leave Chiang Mai on highway 11 you will see a number of concentrated street stall areas on both sides of the road. If you have driven Thailand you will often come across these massed stalls all usually selling basically the same thing. If you have one place offering pineapples, the next twenty stalls will be too. If you wanted mangos tough luck! In this case crockery is the go and lots of it. Mixed in is a terrific pot shop. Heading Two and a half hours out you’ll come across the secondahnd place I posted about yesterday HERE.
Opening a chain of restaurants, got a Greek plate smashing wedding to attend? This is the area you need to visit to stock up.
I could have filled the pickup with a selction of items from here. This statue was one that would have been added for sure.
Need some colour in your life?
20 baht (A$0.90)
I thought this place offered a decent variety of stock plus next door was an interesting gift shop, a lot of it the usual China made junk, but some better quality offerings too. Reasonably priced. A clothes shop and modern cafe completed this small complex. GPS coords below.
On the righthand side of highway 11, within this area of crockery sales outlets are also two quality pot shops that I spotted and they are worth a visit.
This is the Google Earth street view of the one we visited.
There are no bargains for large glazed pots of this type. The teardrop shaped one at the centre front of the lefthand photo was 8,500 baht (A$400.00). It was great to see the choice on offer even if I couldn’t afford to buy one! In our part of Isan there is only one place I know of in Udon Thani that stocks anything like this.
These photos were taken with Gaun’s phone, which is why the quality has changed. You still get the idea though.
At 65 baht each these are much more in my price range and I got five of them.
And here they are adding a splash of colour and style to this granite table in our outside seating area. At $15.00 for the five pots it shows that you can achieve quality outcomes for not too much money, if you pick and choose.
These three destinations make for relatively easy day trip from Chiang Mai if you have transport or can arrange some. The drive out of Chiang Mai through the hills is reasonably scenic and there’s always plenty of things to look at in-between stops. From memory there is also a massed stall area selling woven baskets and bamboo products, so look out for that too.