Shopping In Thailand: 5 Unique Things To Buy

From traditional handwoven textiles to the famous Benjarong pottery and rattan crafts, there's a treasure trove of handcrafted items to pick up on your visit to Thailand
Thailand is famous for blue and white pottery
Thailand is famous for blue and white pottery

Shopping in Thailand is a delightful experience that offers a rich tapestry of unique items to choose from. From bustling street markets to high-end malls, this Southeast Asian gem has something for every shopper. Whether you're a seasoned traveller or a first-time visitor, Thailand's shopping scene is sure to leave you mesmerised. Here are 5 unique things to buy while shopping in Thailand.

Weaving silk on a handloom
Weaving silk on a handloomJJ Harrison/WikiCommons

Traditional Handwoven Textiles

Thailand's traditional textiles have been around for generations. Travelling across the country will expose you to a wide range of weaving styles and techniques, patterns, and motifs. These handwoven and hand-dyed fabrics are works of art in and of themselves. Visit the many weaving communities and groups in Thailand next time you're there and help preserve these art forms alive.

Visit Tambon Kaewasi Narin's Baan Chan Rom Weaving Village, which is well-known as the centre of local cloth weaving. They grow their own mulberry and silkworm for weaving. The patterns are usually regional in nature.

Thai Silver

Thailand is well-known for its exquisite silverwork. Chinese and other Asian techniques influence Thai silversmithing. During the reigns of Ayutthaya (1531-1767) and Rattanakosin (1782-1932), silver talents and goods advanced significantly. Thai artisans have developed their own techniques over the years. Pay a visit to the Doi Silver Factory, a well-known silver handicraft centre located in Nan's Pua district that has over 70 years of experience and is regarded as one of Thailand's greatest sources of silver and jewellery.

The Thai silver crafts line includes nielloware, a popular craft in southern Thailand. The pieces are typically made of pure silver and are sometimes coated with gold. Thai artisans bend thin metal sheets into unusual shapes and etch traditional designs on them, such as delicate floral motifs and other local themes. An oxidising solution is put over it to create a permanent blue-black design.

Thai Pottery

When you are in Thailand, don't miss picking up unique ceramic products, made with local designs and techniques. Thai pottery and lacquerware feature different patterns. The techniques used to make Chinese and Burmese skills have influenced them. Mon or Burmese red clay pots were the first to impact earthenware. The surface is unglazed and features a basic design. While Chinese ceramics were heavily impacted, Thai painters developed their own distinct patterns. Thailand is well-known for its celadon, high-fired stonewares with notably fractured feldspathic and wood-ash glazes, in addition to the well-known blue and white ceramics you will find in popular markets like Chatuchak in Bangkok. Celadon's striking colours are due to the presence of iron in the clay or glaze composition.

Another iconic Thai porcelain is Benjarong, which is made using the Ming dynasty technique of painting enamels on a white porcelain substrate.

Baan Baht (Bangkok) is an ancient artisans' village in Bangkok where you may buy home items like as bowls, ceramics, and earthenware.

Handmade Paper

If you enjoy stationery, pick up some handmade paper when in Thailand. Making paper from mulberry plants is a well-established industry in northern Thailand, where the trees grow wild and in plenty. People in ancient Thailand employed mulberry bark to manufacture paper, which can be used and preserved for a longer period than other types of paper. You can also witness first-hand the process of making paper at places like SP-Studio in Lampang.

A craftsperson works on weaving baskets from rattan and bamboo
A craftsperson works on weaving baskets from rattan and bambooWallpaper Flare

Bamboo And Rattan Crafts

Thailand is known for exquisitely handcrafted bamboo and rattan items. In many households in Thailand, bamboo and rattan are significant materials used in the decor. From baskets and trays to bigger items like chairs, and beds, and cosy lamps, much of traditional furniture in Thailand is made from bamboo and rattan. It is best to visit villages and towns, where you will find local artisans using studios, and shops, and family-run businesses to create handmade furniture.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Outlook Traveller