Thailand Arts, Crafts and Hill-Tribe Artifacts
Most Thai handicrafts are produced in the Nort Thailand with Chiang Mai offering the visitors the biggest choice of goods. The Chiang Mai Night Bazaar sells everything from lacquerware to teak furniture and you will need several hours to see the shops on San Kamphaeng Road (Highway 1006).
Shops in Khon Kaen stock a fine selection of Northeastern items such as the colorful triangular pillows.
Ayutthaya is a good source of crafts and antiques. The best shops are near Wat Phra Si Sanphet and on So Sanphet Road. You can find there stone carvings. The nearby Bang Sai Folk Arts and Crafts Center supported by Queen Sirikit's Foundation, which allows villagers to make a living and preserve their traditions.
Good quality Thai crafts are available in boutigues in the top hotels, Silom Village, River City, and the less expensive Narayanaphand department store in Bangkok.
In Phuket, Thai Village offers a good selection of crafts.
The costumes and artifacts of the hill tribes make very good souvenirs like Akha coin headdresses, Lahu geometric blankets and cushion covers, Hmong red-ruffled black jackets, brightly colored Lisu tunics and wooden boxes with carvings.
Some of the best outlets in Chiang Mai are the Hill Tribe Products Foundation, Thai Tribal Crafts, and the Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center. In Chiang Rai it is worth visiting Chiang Rai Handicraft Center.