Shinawatra Silk Factory

Shinawatra Silk Factory

Making the silk

Making the silk

Gems Gallery

Gems Gallery

Chiang Mai Gems Gallery

Chiang Mai Gems Gallery

Silversmith at work

Silversmith at work

Chiang Mai Louis Silverware

Chiang Mai Louis Silverware

San Kamphaeng Road or "the handicraft highway" is a good stretch of road heading South-East from Chiang Mai for about 10km to the village of San Kamphaeng. All along San Kamphaeng Road you will find pottery, stoneware, silverware, lacquerware, paperware, sculptures, jewellery, wood carvings and silk products. The following list is a quick glimpse of just some of the many outlets you will find in the area.

The finest Pottery of the region is known as Celadon, it is a stoneware which has a distinctive green glaze making it look like jade. The technique was developed in China over 2000 years ago. Several places along San Kamphaeng Road produce and sell celadon.

- Baan Celadon - you can see the making and painting of celadon pottery here.
- Prempacha - huge collections of various styles of pottery on display

The area is home to some of the finest Silversmiths in Thailand. The works produced range from small jewellery items to larger house ware items.

- Louis Silverware - one of the best silver workshops in the area. Has a resident master artist known for creating incredibly detailed wall panels that take up to four years to complete. Now that's dedication. See him working in the workshop area.
- Chiang Mai Silverware - both modern and antique silverware in two level establishment.
- Lanna Thai - traditional Chiang Mai silverware products.

Lacquerware is an application used to provide a weather-proof finish that preserved the life of an artefact.

- Ban-Khern Lacquerware - impressive gold-black lacquerware, ornate large cabinets, and small boxes.
- Lai Thong - impressive emporium

The area is famous for its Sa Paper products which come in many forms from bags to notebooks to photo albums to parasols and umbrellas. Sa Paper is hand made from tree bark.

- Bo Sang Sa Paper & Umbrella Handicraft Centre - watch them make exceptional umbrellas, fans and parasols.
- Preservation House - see the factories where Sa paper is made and then turned into wrapping paper, bags, boxes and photo albums.

There are many Asian "Antiques" shops in the area but very few genuine antiques survive as most have been sold long ago and you are usually unable to take real artefacts out of the country. That said, there are high quality reproduction as well as modern pieces available.

- Pon Art Gallery - terrific collection of old sculptures, wood carvings and jewellery
- Borisuthi Asian Art & Antiques - good collection of Buddha and other sculptures and lacquerware.
- Arts and Crafts - exquisite Burmese pieces, Buddhas and vintage lacquerware.

Whilst Ban Tawai village to the south of Chiang Mai has undisputedely the best wood carving artisans in Thailand there are still some quite reasonable outlets on San Kamphaeng Road.

- Chiang Mai Tusnaporn - furniture and inlay wood carvings.
- Pech Viriya - group of local carvers that specialize in wooden elephants.

The majority of silk products in Thailand are produced in Chiang Mai. The silk itself is cultivated from huge silkworm farms in the country's northeast. Thai silk is considered among the best in the world, due to the higher fibre ply, quality of weave and rich hues. San Kamphaeng has become Thailand's main Thai silk centre.

- Shinawatra Thai Silk - Lady Diana used to come from England to shop here. Both women and menswear,  accessories, bolts of silk fabric, scarves, neckties, decorative items and house wares.
- Jolie Femme International - awarded the International 2007 Seal of excellence - clothing, curtains and bed sets.
- Thai Silk Village - See the whole silk production process. Both women and menswear, bedding, cushions, bolts of silk fabric, tableware, gifts and accessories.

No trip to San Kamphaeng Road is complete without visiting some of the local Jewellery shops.

- Gems Gallery - largest showroom you have ever seen with thousands of items on display.

San Kamphaeng Road - Chiang Mai

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