Secondhand HeavenA temptation for lovers of character items
One of the disappointments of Thailand is that there is very little history left, both in architecture and in the everyday items such as art, sculpture and other decorative items. There are a few second hand shops around but the ones I have seen tend to only have ‘junk’ modern era things. I have no wish to add an old typewriter or CRT TV to my garden or house artwork! It then came as a total surprise, and a pleasant one at that, to come across a place that stocked much more interesting collectables on two trip we did recently to Chiang Mai.
Now that I have mentioned Chiang Mai you are probably thinking, quite rightly, that this is where the shop is located, because Chiang Mai has far more home and garden accessory outlets than most places in Thailand. Bangkok being the exception.
You’d be wrong in that guess because this place is situated on the edge of highway 12 in the middle of absolutely nowhere. We passed it on our first trip to and from Chiang Mai ten days ago, a trip we did to register my stepdaughter Peng at Rajabhat universty. It was only when returning from the second trip to drop her off at university, that I had the urge to have a break from driving and explore. We did the standard U turn after a while (Thai expats know what I am talking about) and dropped in for a look-see.
This is mostly a pictorial post but I think you’ll enjoy the trip around this treasurehouse of the wierd, interesting and a few items that are definitely collectable.
The canons got our attention the first time we passed but it was only on the second return trip that I had to find out what was lay behind them. My forst thought was that this was a museum but although everything is laid out to make it easy to browse, you can buy it all.
This is a sight you will not come across often in the Thailand I have been to anyway. A large range of items all displayed in their categories. Some are newer but mixed in is a range of older (by Thai standards) goodies.
I could have filled the pickup with a selction of items from here. This statue was one that would have been added for sure.
And this guy too. Beautiful. Hand carved from hardwood. This is an older piece, not just made for the tourist trade.
I would skip the angels but the two large heads would be on my must have list.
Any guesses on what these upright posts with a hole cut into them might be? If you were thinking fence posts you’d be way off. These are timber burial columns that were made to place a few bones of deceased people after cremation back in the day before concrete was used. I think I will give these a miss. Gaun would have a fit if I got them. Thais are very superstitious.
Yup. Load him up too! This is Ganesh an elephant Indian deity that has made its way into Thai Buddhism. You will often come across versions of Ganesh in Thai temples.
Some of this stuff may not be that old but it looks the part doesn’t it? It probably comes from a Chinese factory that bashes them around to make them seem ancient. Timber does not survive well in Thailand because of the climate and termites so it is unusual to come across as much wood items for sale as are displayed in these photos.
Thinking of the budget – do I need to eat? OK, add this one too.
For those many perfume bottle collectors out there.
A strange mix of cultures.
After the expenses of two three day trips to Chiang Mai and Peng’s university costs, I wasn’t looking to spend big (originally not spend at all) but I did pick up a couple of mementos of the visit. See the wall plaques lying down at the front? Teak and just what I wanted to fill a blank spot that has been annoying me for ages. 1,000 baht for both (A$44.00)
A coat of anti-termite and then stained and they have come up well haven’t they.
I suspect that we will be making more regular trips to Chiang Mai with Peng studying there. We are also hoping to meet up with Australian friends maybe later this year. This shop will always be a temptation to drop in on the way back and spend money that I shouldn’t!