Thai crafts have for a long time served as a symbol of the nation’s inventiveness and originality, as well as of the skills that have been passed down through the ages. The minute attention to detail and exacting techniques utilized exemplify creativity, and the complex designs are evidence of tenacity. In addition, the availability of natural resources, such as wicker, coconuts, palm leaves, and rattan, enables Thai artisans to create exquisite goods at reasonable prices.
People instinctively conjure up ancient handicrafts and traditional artwork when they think about Thai art. Many new Thai artists are emerging, fusing their cultural history with contemporary art styles. These works of art continue to be wonderful creations that need to be admired.
Top 21 Places to Buy Thai Crafts
Thai arts and crafts, like those from other nations, are a reflection of Thai life, culture, history, and economics. Thailand is justifiably well-known for its arts and crafts across the world. The best places to purchase Thai handicrafts are listed below.
- Baan Baht (Monk’s Alm Bowl Village), Bangkok
- Bangkok Doll Factory and Museum
- Chatuchak Market, Bangkok
- Koh Kret Pottery, Bangkok
- MBK, Bangkok
- Silom Village, Bangkok
- Doi Tung Shop, Bangkok
- Suan Lum Night Bazaar, Bangkok
- ChangChui, Bangkok
- Noise Market, Bangkok
- Train Night Market Ratchada, Bangkok
- ASIATIQUE the Riverfront, Bangkok
- Bangkok Design Week
- Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
- Central Festival Mall, Chiang Mai
- Bor Sang Village, Chiang Mai
- Old City’s Weekend Night Markets, Chiang Mai
- Ban Tawai Village, Chiang Mai
- MAYA Lifestyle Shopping Center, Chiang Mai
- Warorot Market, Chiang Mai
- JingJai Market, Chiang Mai
Baan Baht (Monk’s Alm Bowl Village), Bangkok
The only remaining artisan neighborhood in Bangkok, Baan Baht, is still where the metal bowl that Buddhist monks typically carry on the morning alms trip is hand-hammered. Since the latter half of the 18th century, this Baan Bat village has been making bowls. Fewer families now rely on selling their crafts to make a living.
Doll Factory and Museum of Bangkok
Both kids and lovers of Thai culture will enjoy the Bangkok Doll Factory and Museum, which houses an unusual collection of Thai and foreign dolls made in the adjacent factory. You may observe for yourself the historic doll-making technique that has been handed down through the ages by viewing both contemporary and vintage pieces on exhibit. Additionally, there is a store where you may buy your preferred doll.
Chatuchak Market, Bangkok
Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market, also known as JJ Market locally, was formerly solely well-liked by wholesalers and traders, but it is today regarded as a landmark for tourists visiting the Thai city. Any experienced buyer will fall to their knees from the market’s sheer vastness and different selections of goods; you can truly “shop ’til you drop” there.
In Chatuchak, there are around 8,000 bazaar booths spread across more than Fourteen hectares. On a typical weekend, around 200,000 individuals come here to look at the goods. Most items are on sale here, albeit not all at the finest deals, as seasoned shoppers would concur. You won’t be let down if you manage to fit a day excursion to Chatuchak Weekend Market into your one weekend in Bangkok, though.
Koh Kret Pottery, Bangkok
The ethnic Mon people, known for their remarkable pottery talents, live on Koh Kret, a man-made island just north of Bangkok. However, unlike the celadon or stoneware of northern Thailand, Koh Kret’s earthenware pottery has straightforward shapes and a more rustic look that makes it ideal for use as garden décor.
On Koh Kret, there are several workshops where you may try your hand at making pottery or see the artisans at work. But taking a bicycle trip is the greatest way to see Koh Kret. It will be tough for you to believe Bangkok is only a 20-minute boat ride away if you find yourself in a another universe.
The most renowned shopping center in Bangkok is undoubtedly MBK Center. It is well-liked by both visitors and residents, and it is frequently crowded with consumers. 2,000 stores spread across 8 floors provide everything from furniture, cell phones, electrical appliances, cameras, stationery, and DVDs to apparel, purses, and luggage.
The MBK Center, which opened in 1986, is a busy place, especially during weekends when 50% of Bangkok congregates there to shop sales. Although it is not as upscale or fashionable as the nearby Siam Discovery, Siam Center, or the opulent Siam Paragon, it does provide an incredible variety of items over 89,000 square meters and is far less expensive.
Silom Village, Bangkok
Silom Village, a collection of 17 beautifully maintained historic residences from the illustrious reign of King Rama V, perfectly depicts the essence of old Bangkok. The site contains a resort (Silom Village Inn) and a retail area with high-end furniture, Thai silk, jewelry, handicrafts, antiques, and lacquer-finished items. At the Silom Village Restaurant, which also has a Thai traditional dance performance, you may eat real Thai food as well as food from other countries in addition to the shopping arcade.
Doi Tung Shop, Bangkok
Doi Tung is a well-known local brand. Despite the fact that its intriguing collection of handcrafted products is the firm’s main selling point, is more recognized for its coffee than anything else. Standout products could include hand-woven carpets, pottery, stationery made of mulberry paper, or clothing. Doi Tung products may be found at the majority of large retail malls, including Siam Paragon, Emporium Bangkok, and Siam Discovery Center. A few independent boutiques are also scattered across the city.
Suan Lum Night Bazaar, Bangkok
A nice additional location for buying Thai handicrafts is the Suan Lum Night Market. Every evening from around 4 p.m. until 11 p.m., Suan Lum is open and offers a wide variety of Thai handicrafts. Handicrafts including: hand-carved wood, replicas of tuk-tuks made from beer and coke cans, Thai silk pillowcases, tablecloths, curtains, lamps, slippers, bathmats, clothing, silver jewelry, baskets, and handmade paper items. In short, it sells just much every type of Thai handcraft possible.
Suan Lum also features a huge food court, a beer garden with live music, a Doi Tung coffee shop, and the Joe Louis Puppet Theatre. The Lumphini subway station provides quick access to Suan Lum.
This is the market to go to if you want a genuine artistic one. ChangChui, which is close to Bang Phlat, became well-known for managing its own identity. This location’s major goal is to develop into a marketplace where artists may display their creations in whichever format they want. So don’t be shocked if a huge airplane and a lot of specialized decorations appear in the center of the market. Many high-quality craft stores may be found here. You should visit this location, particularly on weekends.
Noise Market, Bangkok
The younger generation finds this market to be one of the most popular, despite the fact that it only occurs once a year. Noise Market was established by Panda Records and serves as a marketplace for DIY goods as well as a gathering place for fans of experimental and harsh noise music. Be ready to go shopping when the occasion arises and take in some distinctive music while doing so.
Every time they conducted this market, the venue changed. So like their Facebook page to be the first to learn the details of their upcoming event and its location.
Train Night Market Ratchada, Bangkok
Another mass-market opportunity. Typically, people visit Ratchada’s night market to eat and drink. The market proper, however, is dotted with excellent art and artisan shops. Whether it be handcrafted items or stylish clothing created at home. You could discover certain goods here that are unique to this market due to its antique and lively qualities.
ASIATIQUE the Riverfront, Bangkok
Since its debut in 2012, ASIATIQUE has consistently been a popular destination for visitors because of its massive ship an enormous Ferris wheel. There are a lot of fantastic restaurants and unique amenities, but their market section also has fantastic Thai art and craft stores. Although the shops are stationary, there are occasionally art-related events with unique businesses that take place there. So, check their calendar for forthcoming events and then head to the store to choose the most original present ever.
Bangkok Design Week
The most reputable and intriguing artisan market is Bangkok Design Week. TCDC created it in 2021. Only the top DIY stores in the market zone, chosen by the TCDC, are present there. Additionally, there will be an art exhibition of reputable young artists as well as live music performances by the top emerging unique bands.
Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
A stroll around Chiang Mai’s renowned night market is always enjoyable, whether or not you’re looking for souvenirs, the vibrant ambiance, the cuisine, and of course, the possibility to score a deal. With good cause, the night bazaar in Chiang Mai is one of the most well-known and historic night markets in Thailand.
Shopping or just perusing the wide variety of handicrafts, jewelry, clothes, art, and other items on offer makes for a fascinating evening among the huge spread of merchants that spans several blocks. Along the approximately one-mile stretch, there are side lanes lined with shops where you can shop and try some of Chiang Mai’s delectable street cuisine.
Every evening, the Night Bazaar is open from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., although the best time to visit is after 7 p.m. when all the stores are open. Come during the weekends when most visitors are visiting the Old City’s pedestrian markets to escape the crowds.
Central Festival Mall in Chiang Mai
If you want to enjoy Chiang Mai’s modern mall experience, stop by this building off the highway, which is located approximately two miles northeast of the Old City. “Fest” features more than 300 boutiques from the top brands in the world, an IMAX theater, and even an ice skating rink covering the equal of 60 acres of floor space over five levels! This is perhaps the best place in Chiang Mai to purchase contemporary technology, with many of the major Japanese, Korean, and increasingly Chinese technology businesses featured in the shops.
Bor Sang Village, Chiang Mai
Bor Sang hamlet, located approximately 5 miles east of the Old City, represents the old practice of manufacturing paper from mulberry bark.
The Umbrella Making Center is a great place to start your tour to Bor Sang since there, you can see local artisans demonstrate how to make an umbrella step by step. While mulberry-paper umbrellas are the most well-known product of Bor Sang, if you’re concerned about luggage restrictions, you may also purchase mulberry-paper notebooks, stationery, and paper cards with pressed flowers.
Old City’s Weekend Night Markets, Chiang Mai
There are two night markets to enjoy throughout the weekend: the Saturday night market on Wua Lai Road south of Old City and the Sunday night market near Tha Pae Gate. Both begin operations in the late afternoon and end operations at 11 p.m.
Traditional handicrafts are more prevalent in the Wua Lai market on Saturdays and are sold by dressed tribespeople. On Saturdays, there is a bigger variety of cuisine available, so you can load up on som tam, pad Thai, and sweets made with coconut.
Due to its location directly on the “front door” of the Old City, the Sunday market is the busiest. Wat Phan On and Wat Sum Pow are two temples along the road that function as food markets in addition to the regular street shops selling trinkets, traditional crafts, and soaps. There are also tents along the path that provide inexpensive foot massages (great after hours of browsing through the market).
Ban Tawai Village, Chiang Mai
The “One Tambon, One Product” (OTOP) initiative, which rewards villages for promoting regional handicrafts, is most proud of the village of Ban Tawai. Here, teakwood is used to create exquisite works of art that are influenced by both traditional and modern forms. Hand-carved wooden crafts are the main focus.
The majority of the goods created in Ban Tawai are sold in Thai artisan shops all around Thailand and the rest of the globe. But when you purchase from us, you avoid the intermediary and obtain the product directly from the manufacturer! A word of caution: Please refrain from taking pictures of the displayed merchandise.
MAYA Lifestyle Shopping Center, Chiang Mai
The Maya Lifestyle Shopping Center on Nimman Road offers an intriguing fusion of international and Thai businesses. As you ascend all six stories, look through Maya’s selection of jewelry, apparel, gadgets, and health and beauty products. A movie theater, many eateries, and rooftop bars complete the mall.
There are a couple of night market alternatives around Maya. A tiny, somewhat upscale/boutique flea market is held at NightOut Market every Wednesday night. Alternatively, browse the more budget-friendly Kad Rin Come Market’s selection of apparel, tech gadgets, and street fare, which is geared toward college students.
Warorot Market, Chiang Mai
For a more genuine shopping experience, go to this market in Chiang Mai’s Chinatown, which is situated east of Old City. Warorot Market serves the city’s citizens from 4 a.m. to 6 p.m. by offering three floors of inexpensive vegetables, household goods, and cuisine. The selection of commodities, which includes spices and prepared meals on the ground floor and clothing, personal belongings, and hill-tribe handicrafts on the upper floors, will impress even visitors.
Fresh meats and vegetables are purchased by locals in the adjacent wet market in Ton Lam Yai; in contrast, the flower market on Praisanai Road is open every day of the week. The remainder of the neighborhood is home to Confucian temples, fresh fruit stands, and conventional Chinese pharmacy stores.
JingJai Market, Chiang Mai
The 15-acre accessible market JingJai Bazaar, which has more than 500 shops, booths, and shops, is a far cry from the crowded markets that are characteristic of Chiang Mai. Despite the fact that it’s open every day. You may locate a farmers market on Saturdays and Sundays where you can get organic, fresh foods. A Rustic Market where you can discover the greatest selection of locally manufactured goods (think art, clothing, and accessories).
The JIngJai Market is located on Atsadathon Road, close to the Old City’s moat. However, the Saturday markets begin at 6 a.m., the more tourist-oriented stores don’t open until around 10 a.m. The market forbids the use of plastic bags, so bring a canvas tote bag.