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Last updated : Nov 2009
 
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Samui Shopping Guide - TravelPuppy.com
Thai Souvenirs

Silk

Thai silk reflects a variety of Thai culture. The northeastern region of Thailand is home to a diversity of ethnic origins and each has their own weaving and dyeing styles and techniques. Thai people of Lao origin (Tai Lao) dwelling in the southern region are famous for their Mut Mee and Khit silk, commonly made into tubular skirts, or Phasin.

In the south, Thai Muslim villagers produce Pum Riang silk and they have applied traditional weaving patterns to Japanese silk. The Yok Nakhon cotton of Nakhon Si Thammarat is evenly beautiful and distinguishing. Batiks and Patae skirts glow with the many colours of Malay-influenced designs.

Gems and Jewelry

Certain areas of Thailand have good quality natural resources of rubies, sapphires, onyx, zircon, jade and opal. Local cutting, design and manufacturing skills insure a large number of quality items with a variety of prices.

There is a first-rate lapidary on Samui Island, while other stones or set pieces of precious and semi-precious quality are brought in from Bangkok. The specialty of the South, Pearls are in various sizes, makes and colors. From the pearl farms come the rare south sea pearls, cultured pearls, and Mobe pearls in every shade of cream, to pink and black. Imitation pearls are made from ground pearl dust and cemented by a secret formula.

Tailor made

You will find some custom clothes in Chaweng and Nathon area where tailors and dressmakers make clothes to order. You can also bring your own sketches, or have a photograph of the style you want and you will get them within a few days. Print cottons, blended wools and imported linens are popular fabrics, while the lustrous Thai silk is hard to find.

Pearl

Cultured pearl farming mimics the natural process to produce pearls of guaranteed quality. Cultured pearl farms are mainly found in southern Thailand, mostly in Koh Samui, Phang Nga, Phuket, Ranong and Surathani provinces.

Gold

Gold is mostly used in temples and palaces, as golden Buddha images, jewelry, royal insignias and decorations. Buddha images are embellished with gold leaf.

Lacquerware, Silverware, Nilonware, Pewterware

An ancient oriental craft, lacquerware consists of a repeated process of coating structural bamboo or wood with lacquer before hand-painting it with intricate designs. Items are made in either gold and black, or yellow and green on a red-brown background.

Another traditional northern craft is silver beating. Boxes, bowls, cigarette cases, vases and cutlery are proficiently produced with relief patterns.

Nilonware is a craft that has been practised in southern Thailand for decades. Nilonware, or khrueang thom, is the craft of decorating objects with intricate etched designs which are filled with a metal alloy to make a smooth surface in black and gold. The art is mostly practised in Nakhon Si Thammarat.

Pewterware is an alloy of lead and tin, which produces a metal with a smooth feel, comes mostly in the form of beakers, goblets, tankards and decorative figurines.
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