Thailand Wood, Bamboo, Furniture.

For centuries, houses, temples and even drainage pipes were built from wood. Nowadays, Thailand's innovative artisans use renewable natural resources to make furniture and decorative items. From fast growing hardwood trees such as mango and coconut come cabinets (modeled on ancient manuscript chests) and tables, lathe-turned vases, serving trays, kitchen utensils and chopsticks (to name few of the myriad items). Back home, the small traditional hand-carved items (elephants, mounted temple finials, wall plaques, betelnut boxes) you purchase here will create fond memories and stylish Thai accents.

Once reserved for constructing homes (as well as floor mats, fish traps and farm baskets), the ubiquitous bamboo plant and rattan palm have moved indoors. Luxurious living and bedroom furniture, floor and wall coverings, wooden blinds and meticulously woven chair seats / backs all derive from these sturdy materials. Not to mention modish candle holders, lamp bases / shades and high-fashion women's handbag's. Water hyacinth and other reeds / grasses are woven into modern wicker furniture, baskets and cushion covers.

Made from coiled or woven bamboo and covered with layers of glossy resin, Thai lacquerware products look as beautiful in today's home as they once did in ancient temples. Single or multicolored platters and receptacles of all sizes and shapes are but few of the lacquerware items on offer.