The street-facing Chabaa is a closet-size space overflowing with a kaleidoscope of cotton sundresses, Nepalese bejeweled belts and piles of shimmering Indian bangles.
Close to Healing Family Foundation, in the Watgate Road area, this shops sells kaleidoscopic elephant sculptures designed by bold face names like Mark Jacobs and Isaac Mizrahi with 20% of profits donated to support Asian elephants.
Doi Tung Lifestyle
The DoiTung Lifestyle branch on Nimanhimen Road, Chiang Mai sells several product lines: hand woven textiles and carpets, soft furnishings, ceramics, handmade mulberry paper, ready to wear, and fashion accessories. The "design signature" is inspired both by nature and natural surroundings and by the ways of life and traditions of people in the project area. This business is the fruit of a remarkable sustainable alternative development project that focuses on reviving the forests and environment while fostering transformational changes in people’s lives.
Perhaps the most cosmopolitan stop on the stretch of Nimmanhaemin Road lines the walls with beach chic woven bamboo and leather bags finished with buffalo horn, sterling silver or both.
Healing Family Foundation
The local charity teaches learning and physically disabled children to express themselves artistically, on seriously cute hand embroidered tees with elephant heads on the front, tails at the back as well as stylish Thai textile table mats.
At this small shop, load up on Missoni-inspired kaleidoscopic cotton scarves, indigo dyed fisherman pants and thick day glow wool variations on traditional Thai monk bags.
At Palmy, Pitiporn Batpim combines her training at the London College of Fashion with indigenous influences for a consistently stylish footwear selection in butter soft leathers.
Saturday & Sunday Market
By evening, the dry heat of Northern Thailand lightens up enough to attract handholding couples, families, and tourists to this government-designated street fair. Traditional Thai string music is harmoniously played by street musicians, while craftsmen and students sell bamboo, teak, and mango wood wares. When you tire of wandering, ease into a padded armchair for an authentic Thai foot massage—this market is known for these indigenous relaxing treats.
Sop Moei Arts
Do good with your credit card at this shop, where profits from these magnificently woven baskets and stunning silk textiles support Pwo Karen villagers outside Chiang Mai.
This roadside attraction, owned by a Thai ex-model, is worth the detour for the savvy collection of weightless and elegant silk Kaleidoscarves, hand-made farm animal toys and hill tribe–inspired (yet entirely wearable) jewelry. Revive in the adjacent Wawee Coffee shop, then meander through the well-lit contemporary Thai art gallery.
Located along the Ping River, Chiang Mai’s largest daily market was built in 1910 by a member of the Lanna royal family. Inside, the market is divided into three levels with each floor for different goods: first for food and highland preserved fruits, second for clothing and textiles and at the top, wooden carvings and other artifacts. The most famous souvenirs here are northern foods, like kaeb mu (crispy pig skin), mu yo (traditional Thai pork sausage), and nam phrik num (traditional northern style green chilly paste). Outside on Praisani Road, hill tribe people sell authentic tribal handicrafts plus tropical fresh fruits and flowers from the highlands.