Hunt for a Souvenir at Khamthiang Market in Chiang Mai

Typically, photos are my only traveling souvenir, but there was one thing in Thailand that I was not going home without. A smiling ceramic garden sculpture. Not a gnome. But, similar. There were two hanging from a tree at my Chiang Mai hotel, The 3 Sis. I was immediately obsessed.

It turned out these little buggers weren’t easy to find.

They were not at the Saturday night market, nor the famous Sunday one. The Night Bazaar didn’t even have one, either did the flower market. I was about to give up when the hotel reception shed a little light on the mystery. My coveted souvenir could be found at Khamthiang Market in Northwest Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai Garden Souvenir

Khamthiang is the colorful garden market that caters to the locals. It was like a dozen Home Depot garden departments. Only better.

Dreams of these cuties in my garden woke me up early for the hunt. It was still early enough not to be blazing hot, so I decided to forego the Tuk Tuk, my feet were the mode of transport today. But, I should have looked at that little scale on the map. You know, the one that actually tells you the distance. And I should have taken a Tuk Tuk.

Luckily, foot massages are only $4 in Chiang Mai.

The few streets in this section were lined with impressive landscape architecture storefronts, colorful plant shops and a handful of places selling ceramic figurines.

Chaing Mai Garden Market Chiang Mai Garden Market    Chiang Mai Garden Market

After the very long walk, the garden beverage shop was a savior with its foliage filled patio, set with several cozy seating areas.

I stopped in for a refreshing Thai iced tea, resting my tootsies, before continuing on the hunt. Chiang Mai Thailand Tea House Chiang Mai Thailand Tea House

The figurine stores were separate shops from the plant stores and I poked into every one of the them.

Though they had every other type of ceramic statue, I couldn’t find the style I was looking for. Mine had to be one that was able to hang from the branch of a tree and sans all the colorful paint. Chiang Mai Souvenir Thailand Garden Souvenir

I had all about given up the hunt when, on a whim, decided to revisit one of the shops. And hidden deep in the corner, not on display, was a pile of what I was looking for.

The most adorable hanging ceramic sculptures I had ever seen.

I looked through them all and just couldn’t decide on one, so I bought four, at 100 baht ($3.36 usd) each.

I didn’t even try to bargain. I already felt like I had scored. Chiang Mai Souvenir Chiang Mai Souvenir  Chiang Mai Souvenir

I have never worked so hard for a souvenir and never been so satisfied. One funny little smiling ceramic girl sits on my vanity and never fails to bring a smile to my face.

What has been your favorite souvenir?

You Might Also Enjoy

Bucket List of 18 Things to Do in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Get a Thai Massage in Thailand
Eat Insects at Chiang Mai’s Sunday Night Market
Bathe Elephants at a Rescue in Thailand
Wat Chedi Luang: Explore a Temple Inside the City Walls of Chiang Mai
Learn to Make Handicraft Umbrellas in Chiang Mai
Get a Foot Massage by a Prison Inmate in Chiang Mai
Traveling by Tuk Tuk in Chiang Mai & Other Transporation
Make Wishes at the White Temple in Chiang Rai
Tour an Insect Museum in Chiang Mai
Thailand Elephant Sanctuary: 5 of the Best Rescues in or Near Chiang Mai

Helpful Resources

Map of Chiang Mai

2018-12-27T13:26:11+00:00May 10th, 2013|Categories: Asia, Thailand, TRAVEL|Tags: , |


  1. AnitaMac May 11, 2013 at 6:40 am - Reply

    Very cute…I used to bring garden gifts for my dad from my travels. My favourite – a series of colourful birds from Guatemala! Even with careful packing, a few of the birds lost their tails, but it hangs from the screened porch and every time I visit I think of Guatemala!

    • Annette White May 11, 2013 at 6:44 am - Reply

      I’m surprised (& happy) that all four of mine made it home all in one piece!

  2. Irene May 11, 2013 at 7:14 am - Reply

    I loved this article. Love reading all of your stuff 🙂

    • Annette White May 11, 2013 at 8:46 am - Reply

      Thanks 🙂

  3. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures May 12, 2013 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    I love that you didn’t give up!!! It’s soooo cute!

    • Annette White May 13, 2013 at 7:50 am - Reply

      I’m happy I didn’t give up either, but it was close 🙂

  4. I love the feeling you get when you find exactly what you set out for 🙂

    • Annette White May 13, 2013 at 12:51 pm - Reply

      Me too!

  5. Getting a Foot Massage by a Prison Inmate in Chiang Mai, Thailand August 8, 2013 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    […] right after spending the hot morning walking miles all over Chiang Mai searching for the perfect souvenir at Khamthiang Market. After this tiresome trek, I could have easily just popped into one of the several shops near my […]

  6. Leng January 23, 2015 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    Hello Annette,

    I spent all day reading up your trip to Chiangmai and the must see! Thank you for sharing it.

    My husband and I are visiting the City in March and I have already added a few “must do” into our 6-days trip.

    This article of finding the “most adorable hanging ceramic sculptures” as your souvenir just caught my heart and eyes. Love them! This note is to ask if you mind telling me which shop you found them. I know exactly what I am looking for but I afraid we won’t have the luxury of time to search the entire Khamthiang market.

    Again, thank you for everything! I love your “journey” and enjoy reading them very much.

    Truly, Leng

    • Annette White January 24, 2015 at 12:01 pm - Reply

      These are still my favorite souvenir I ever bought! Unfortunately, I don’t recall the exact shop though what really took the longest was walking from the city center to the market. If you take a tuk tuk or taxi you can make it there quicker and have much more time for exploring. I hope you have a wonderful trip, it is a great city. Get a foot massage for me!

Leave A Comment