Things to do in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is a popular tourist destination in Northern Thailand. There are many things to do in Chiang Mai’s city centre, explore the streets of the moated Old Town, discover the beauty of the Buddhist temples or shop until you drop at Chiang Mai Night Markets or Sunday Night Walking Street Market.

Things to do in Chinag Mai

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Attractions and things to do in Chiang Mai for shoppers

For those who love to shop, there are many day trips that can be taken from Chiang Mai. If you are interested in teak carving and modern furniture, Thai umbrellas, Thai silk, gemstone and silver jewellery or oriental artefacts, these attractions in Chiang Mai are for you.

Baan Tawai Handicraft Village

Baan Tawai Handicraft Village is HUGE! If you are looking for traditional Thai carvings, you will be in heaven. Intricately carved statues are gilded and decorated with fine coloured mirror inlays that sparkle as you walk by. Ceramic puppets hang from the walls, carved and painted cabinets fill every corner and gilded temple doors wait for you to take them home.

Baan Tawai Handicraft Village
Beautifully decorated carvings at Baan Tawai Handicraft Village

If you are looking for something more modern, Baan Tawai Handicraft Village is a homemaker’s dream with everything from good quality modern furniture, interesting lighting options, homewares, cushions, curtains and linens.

Oriental Crafts
Oriental boxes at Baan Tawai handicraft village

If you get time, visit the furniture showrooms that line the street before you enter the village, they showcase a wide range of modern furniture. As I said, Baan Tawai Handicraft Village is huge, it is easy to get lost so pay attention to your surroundings.

You will find the prices of Thai handicrafts much cheaper than at home, the Village has taken that into account and you will find that many shops will ship items home for you. For larger items, shipping containers are available and there are on-site companies that take care of all your packing and handling needs.

Modern Homewares Baan Tawai
Modern Homewares Baan Tawai

Getting to Baan Tawai Handicraft Village

Baan Tawai Handicraft Village is in the Hang Dong area of Chiang Mai. The journey time from Chiang Mai’s Old Town can take around half an hour or longer depending on traffic.

To get there hire either a Tuk Tuk, Songthauw (red bus) or taxi and negotiate a price to hire the transport for the day. Return transport is sparse so make sure your driver waits for you at Baan Tawai Village and pay only on the return journey.

Chiang Mai – Sankampeang Road Attractions

You will find the following things to do in Chiang Mai are within easy reach of each other on the Chiang Mai – Samkampeang Road.

Umbrella Making Centre

The Borsang Umbrella Making Centre is in Bo Sang Village approximately six kilometres from central Chiang Mai. At the Borsang Umbrella Making Centre the humble umbrella is turned into a work of art.

Borsang Umbrella Making Centre
Making umbrella at Borsang Umbrella Making Centre

You can watch the process used in making these beautiful hand-made umbrellas. From the construction of the bamboo frame to the paper making process of the hood and the complex threading of the struts, you will be fascinated by the work that goes into making these masterpieces.

Hand painted Fan
Hand painted Fan

The showroom not only sells umbrellas but a vast array of products including fans and lanterns. The hand painted umbrellas add a burst of colour to the room and remind us that umbrellas are not just for keeping dry, but also for home décor and can be seen in many traditional Thai ritual ceremonies.

Paper fans
Paper Fans in showroom.

For more shopping options, explore the small shops and market on the road leading into the Umbrella Making Centre. If you are looking for something different, shops selling clothing crafted in tradition Northern Thai fabric, give that well-travelled bohemian look.

Shinawatra Thai Silk

Thai silk is world famous and at Shinawatra Thai Silk you are in for a treat. Their huge showroom is filled with a selection of scarves, clothing, tailored suits, homewares and jewellery, a treasure trove just waiting for you to buy.

Jewellery at Shinawatra Thai Silk showroom.

Here you have a chance to learn about traditional silk making. From silk worm, to fabric, you will be mystified that they came up with the idea, but so glad they did.

Spinning Silk
Spinning fine silk thread from a cocoon at Shinawatra Thai Silk

Gems Gallery

With a shop front claiming to be “The World’s Biggest Jewellery Store”, it didn’t take much to encourage me to take a look and I wasn’t disappointed.

We walked through the factory and watched as artisans worked on jade carvings and intricate jewellery.

The showroom is huge, and filled with necklaces and rings encrusted with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphire’s and pearls that glitter and tempt you to indulge your inner Princess.

For those of us with a more modest budget, there is range of good quality jewellery with gems set in gold and silver.

The Gem Gallery offer a free shuttle bus, you can book the shuttle by calling +66 (0) 82-4547171.

Oriental Artefacts

Walking into this shop was like walking into a wonderland, filled with beauty. The range of oriental artefacts include colourful brass and bronze, wood carving, Asian inspired jewellery, Paper Mache, wall hangings and tapestry as well as silks and ladies clothing.

You will learn about the intricacies of carpet weaving in a carpet weaving demonstration and marvel at the beauty of the knotted silk carpets.

For free transportation call 086-4313982

Carpet Making
Carpet making.

P. Collection Silver Store

If you love silver P.Collection is the place for you. The store offers a range of traditional and modern jewellery and sells a large selection of Sim Stars bracelets and charms.

P. Collection sell exquisite silver cutlery, tea sets, handbags and traditionally worked ceremonial vases, bowls.

For free transportation call 089 430 3456

Baan Celadon

Celadon is Thailand’s famous jade green coloured stoneware pottery and although it comes in other colours such as blue, the jade green is its distinctive trademark. Beautifully crafted homewares are on display and you can choose from stunning engraved or hand painted pieces.

Walking through the factory you will discover the craftsmanship needed to produce this intricately decorated stoneware pottery.

Coffee & Cake

After a hard day shopping make sure you stop off at the Dhara Dhevi Cake Shop for coffee and cake. The Dhara Dhevi Cake Shop has a selection of luscious cakes and hosts elegant high teas. For those wanting to cool down in the heat there are a delicious range of ice cream flavours to choose from.

Coffee and Cake
Enjoying coffee and cake at the luxurious Dhara Dhevi Resort

Dhara Dhevi Resort

The cake shop is part of the luxurious Dhara Dhevi Resort. A rich setting of ancient palace, colonial mansion house and traditional Lanna style villas surrounded by lush tropical gardens and rice fields.

The Gem Gallery, Oriental Artifacts and P. Collection silver store have free transport and can be contacted on the numbers above.

Hiring either a Tuk Tuk, Songthauw (red bus) or taxi is another option, just negotiate a price to with the driver and hire the transport for the day. Payment should be made on the return journey.

Or you can relax and take a Viator tour to these attractions, the choice is yours.

Last words on things to do in Chiang Mai

As you can see, if you are a shopaholic Chiang Mai is the place to be. With an impressive selection of traditional and modern handicrafts you will keep you coming back for more.

The number of things to do in Chiang Mai always astounds me.

Chiang Mai Night Markets and Sunday Night Walking Street Market for shopping options. To learn more about Chiang Mai’s markets and attractions, read how to spend 5 days in Chiang Mai .

Chiang Mai Zoo, Chiang Mai Night Safari, Tiger Kingdom and Maesa Elephant Park to discover the wonders of the animal world.

Doi Suthep and Mon Jam for the cultural and scenic beauty of the Chiang Mai region. Read more about our other day trips from Chiang Mai – Mon Jam.

Pong Yang Zip-line and Jungle Coaster and White-water Rafting for adventure.

There is so much to see and do in Chiang Mai. Come and check it out, discover why Chiang Mai is one of my favourite places in Thailand.

4 thoughts on “Things to do in Chiang Mai”

  1. This Chiang Mai guide is right up my alley! What a better way to end a day of temple hopping than shopping, I really want one of those traditional umbrellas!

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