If you have ever been to Thailand and especially Chiang Mai, you should know about the vibrant arts and crafts scene here. Chiang Mai is one of the larger cities in Thailand and frequently visited by tourists every year for its laid back culture and temples. It is a mountain city with a mountain hippie vibe.
One of Chiang Mai’s largest exports to other regions of Thailand to the international markets is its handicrafts. If you end up frequenting the markets here, you will see everything from harem pants to bohemian bags and custom shoes.
There is also a lot of handicrafts made from straw, bamboo wood, or other organic materials. In Thailand, organic is not a trend but a way to save costs. Thailand does not have large factories with assembly lines pumping out plastic products. That’s found in China.
A short trip to the most popular markets will expose you to the variety of vendors and artisans. However, just be warned that more than half of these vendors are resellers, buying the products from the local manufacturers and selling them at a more expensive price.
If you want to locate the source, you have to speak a bit of Thai. We visited a few of these so called “factories” and they are nothing but people homes, where most of these handicrafts are assembled and made.
Although these artisans make different products, there is definitely a common theme. They all look like they are happy with what they do and are proud of their products. This is also reflected in the quality of their handicrafts. Each one is unique and tells a story that is more than the mere product itself.
So next time when you buy handicrafts from Thailand, whether it is online through our site or at a local vendor, just remember that each one is made with care. These artisans are not just trying to hustle and churn a profit so they can save up for a Ferrari. They actually use the products they make and take great pride in their work.