Photo: Wall decor anyone?

Ban Tawai handicraft market

Our rating:

Ban Tawai boasts of being the largest handicraft market in Thailand. Whether or not it's true we can't say, but it's huge. Even if you have no intention of purchasing anything we reckon it makes for a fascinating place to wander around.

Travel better, travel smarter

Save money, receive our latest updates and get the most out of your travels.


The “Handicraft Village”, as it’s often known, is in Chiang Mai’s Hang Dong district some 15 kilometres to the south of the city. As woodworking families, many of Burmese origin, established themselves here to benefit from the region’s vast teak forests, the village began life as a production centre for finished teak items, such as furniture and carvings.

Popular with swingers. Photo taken in or around Ban Tawai handicraft market, Chiang Mai, Thailand by Mark Ord.

Popular with swingers. Photo: Mark Ord

Northern Thailand’s huge logging industry expanded with European involvement during the 19th century, before being banned by the Thai government in the late 1980s after catastrophic flooding was perceived to be the result of widespread deforestation. In theory, at least, any teak products you see these days must be made with either recycled wood or sourced from officially licensed commercial plantations.

Ban Tawai these days is much more than teak carpentry though, with a wide range of handicrafts and artisanal creations now on offer, ranging from rough country-style furnishings to meticulously crafted objets d’art, and from dusty antiques to modern designer products. All kinds of wood are now employed including bamboo and rattan for furniture as well as ceramics, silk, hemp, silver, cotton, plastic and glass.

Grandma will be thrilled. Photo taken in or around Ban Tawai handicraft market, Chiang Mai, Thailand by Mark Ord.

Grandma will be thrilled. Photo: Mark Ord

If many things look familiar it’s because Ban Tawai creations are now exported worldwide as well as throughout the kingdom, so objects you come across—not only in Chiang Mai’s night bazaar and walking streets—but Bangkok’s Chatuchak, for instance, may well come from here. There is a chance that you’ll find these items more cheaply at Ban Tawai, though being a popular spot with locals, expats and tourists, you still have to ... Travelfish members only (Around 400 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

Don’t miss the boat!

Please subscribe to to read the rest of this article, or log in here.

Subscribing to Travelfish costs A$35 per year and it gets you access to more than 200 downloadable guides to specific destinations, fabulous discount coupons and 50% off our personalised travel planning service. Sign up here.


How to get there
Ban Tawai is a 15 km ride down Route 108 if you have your own transport or also conveniently placed on the Samoeng Loop. Otherwise Hang Dong is easily reached by the hop on, hop off yellow songthaews that depart from Chiang Mai Gate and frequent Route 108, but then you’re a bit stuck for the additional three kilometres of side road to the market itself. Hiring a tuk tuk or songthaew is an easy option. The price will vary considerably depending upon how long you wish to stay there and of course the mood of the driver. Around 400 to 500 baht ought to be fine for a return tuk tuk; songthaews which should be 500 to 600 baht and are a good option if you find some co-travellers. Most guesthouses in Chiang Mai will also arrange transport and many offer Tawai as part of a day trip.

Ban Tawai handicraft market
Hang Dong district, 15km south of Chiang Mai
Admission: Free

Location map for Ban Tawai handicraft market

Book a flight, train, bus, taxi or ferry in Thailand with 12Go Asia

Popular attractions in Chiang Mai

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Chiang Mai.

Best places to stay in Chiang Mai

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Chiang Mai.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Chiang Mai.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Chiang Mai.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Chiang Mai.
 Read up on how to get to Chiang Mai, or book your transport online with 12Go Asia.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Chiang Mai? Please read this.
 Buy a SIM card for Thailand—pick it up at the airport when you arrive.
 Browse the web securely while travelling with TunnelBear. Try with a 7–day free trial.

Heading to Thailand?
Heading to Thailand?
Ad Search for cheap flights to Thailand
on Skyscanner.

Read more

See below for more sights and activities in Chiang Mai that are listed on

Top of page

Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Chiang Mai? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

Top of page