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arts and crafts in Chaing Mai

Coffs Harbour...
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arts and crafts in Chaing Mai

Travelling to Chaing Mai in April and looking at buying a few arts and crafts pieces, how do I know what wooden items are safe to bring home to Australia?

Brisbane, Australia
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for Chiang Mai
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1. Re: arts and crafts in Chaing Mai

Hi Ann,

I have bought lots and lots of wooden items back into Australia over the years and never had any taken. I always declare them to be checked.

The things NOT to buy are - anything made with elephant dung (elephant dung is used to make heavy duty card that is made into photo frames, cards and other souvieners), anything with plant matter (some things are made with seeds,petals etc as decoration), any wooden items that look like they have been eaten into.

Generally most wooden items you buy will be fine. They will check them for pests at quarantine. I have bought back many Thai paper umbrellas, sheets of hand made paper, wooden spoons, games etc... and even last time I bought back a hollowed out coconut shell that was made into a lamp. All of these have been allowed through.

You are spoilt for choice for hand made items in the North. Chiang Mai is surrounded by small villages all specialising in a handcraft. Baan Tawai is a larger village well worth visiting - lots of wooden items, ceramics and other hand made things.

If you are into scrap booking - the Ban Ton Po paper village is worth a visit. Lots of bits and pieces that can be used for this.

All the best,

Caroline.

Coffs Harbour...
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2. Re: arts and crafts in Chaing Mai

Thanks Caroline, you have given me some great tips. We, as im sure lots of people have heard of horror stories of having their treasures confiscated at the airport. Last year we were in Malaysia and we were told by a stall holder that if we puchased items made of wood we would not be able to take them into Australia. Looking forward to the shopping in Chaing Mai.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: arts and crafts in Chaing Mai

We've brought back items made from woven cane from Thailand, as well as wooden African statues from the flea market in Paris - we always declare them and we never have had a problem. They do look for insect holes, as Caroline pointed out, but are generally pretty lenient about wood.

Coffs Harbour...
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4. Re: arts and crafts in Chaing Mai

Thank you so much for your advice, I will have a really good look at what I want to buy first. Going over with an almost empty suitcase, to make room for all those gorgeous treasures.

Brisbane, Australia
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for Chiang Mai
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5. Re: arts and crafts in Chaing Mai

Ann - ceramics are a really good buy in and around Chiang Mai as well. I know they are heavy - but I always manage a few beautiful pieces in my carry on.

Caroline.

Coffs Harbour...
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39 posts
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6. Re: arts and crafts in Chaing Mai

I can't wait. Have to go to Phuket for a wedding, then heading up north. Really looking forward to visiting Chaing Mai and Chaing Rai, haven't been up there before. I just want to thank you for your replies, it's forums like these that really brings a wealth of knowledge and encourages people to try things that they may not have dared.

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Chiang Mai
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10,049 posts
46 reviews
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7. Re: arts and crafts in Chaing Mai

Please let us know how you go.

All the best,

Caroline.

8. Re: arts and crafts in Chaing Mai

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