I`ve recently been on holiday, which combined nicely with a buying trip to Thailand.

One shopping expedition for Fair Trade jewellery led me to Chiang Mai – the largest, most culturally significant city in northern Thailand, which was founded in 1296.

THE FACTS
With a population of 160,000 it is the capital of Chiang Mai Province and located 435 miles north of Bangkok, among the highest mountains in the country.

The city is built along the Ping River, a major tributary of the great Chao Phraya River.

Sometimes written as “Chiengmai” or “Chiangmai” – and often mis-spelt as Chaing Mai or even Chang Mai, its name means “new city” and was so-called because it was the new capital of the Kingdom of Lanna, succeeding Chiang Rai.

In recent years, Chiang Mai has become an increasingly modern city and has been attracting over 5 million visitors each year, of which between 1.4 million and 2 million are foreign tourists.

BUDDHA
Chiang Mai has over 300 Buddist temples (called “wat” in Thai). These include Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, the city’s most famous temple which stands on Doi Suthep, a hill to the northwest of the city. This temple dates from 1383.

You can see fascinating images on our Pinterest Board entitled Buddha.

THE SHOPPING
Shopping in Chiang Mai is colourful and vibrant.
It has a large and famous night bazaar for local arts and handicrafts, which sprawls across several city blocks, along footpaths, inside buildings and temple grounds, and in open squares.
A handicraft and food market opens every Sunday afternoon till late on Rachadamnoen Road, the main street in the historical centre.
And every Saturday evening a handicraft market is held along Wua Lai road, Chiang Mai’s silver street on the south-side of the city.

So plenty of opportunity for the visitor to buy local handmade crafts, especially Fair Trade jewellery such as these silver metal cuffs from Chiang Mai`s night bazaar.
I hope you like them!

What`s your favourite shopping destination around the world?
Why not share your personal favourites in the comments section below?

Thanks for reading my Fair Trade Blog post – Paul.