วันเสาร์ที่ 21 กุมภาพันธ์ พ.ศ. 2552

Thai Traditional Clothes

Lots of people have been asking me about what kind of clothes Thai people wear. We have our traditional clothes but we do not really wear them often. We only wear them for special days like Songkran, Father's day, Mother's day, Loy Krathong etc. For normal days, Thai men wear suits to work. Thai children wear uniform to school. At the weekend we wear normal clothes like other countries. For example jeans and T-shirt. I think most Thai traditional clothes are made from silk. The pictures below are of teachers and students at my old school.

Thai Silk Weaving

Thailand's shimmering hand - woven silk is among its most famous products.

Silk manufacture is an ancient craft but until recently it was never a major item of trade for production was too limited in older times. This was always the labour of village women who spun, dyed and wove the fabrics only when their work in field and home allowed time. Nor was silk for everyday wear being reserved for such festive occasions as marriages and other important ceremonies.

Nowadays there are factories making Thai silk on a larger scale, but the finest qualities are still produced on hand looms in villages where old skill are lovingly passed from one generation to the next. Most regions of Thailand have their own typical silks which are especially prized. Of all these the "Mud - Mee" tie - dyed design and "Phumriang" brocades are considered outstanding.

Phumriang is a village in Surat Thani province where an old lady named Mrs. Riam Wanmukda was renowned for exquisite weaving. Originally only plant dyes were used, distilled from roots, bark and leaves, but today chemical dyes are preferred for their brighter colours. Modern designs have also joined the traditional pattern. Particular to Phumriang is the use of gold threads in the complex designs. The result is a rich brocade that is more than a handicraft, it is truly a treasure.

Besides plain and printed silks, a number of special weaves have become celebrated. One of these is called "mudmee", a specialty of the northeast. Mudmee is produced by a tie - dye process: the silk thread is wound around two poles whose length equals the width of the cloth, after which it is tied (mud) at various places according to the design. The thread is then dyed and spun on a shuttle. Other kind of Northeastern textiles include tin chok and Phrae Wa cloth.

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วันพุธที่ 18 กุมภาพันธ์ พ.ศ. 2552

Did you know?

Full Country Name: Thailand (Prathet Thai, meaning "land of the free")
Capital: Bangkok (Krung Thep, meaning "city of angels")
The kingdom of Thailand lies in the heart of Southeast Asia, making it a natural gateway to Indochina, Myanmar and Southern China. Its shape and geography divide into four natural regions : the mountains and forests of the North; the vast rice fields of the Central Plains; the semi-arid farm lands of the Northeast plateau; and the tropical islands and long coastline of the peninsula South.

The country comprises 76 provinces that are further divided into districts, sub-districts and villages. Bangkok is the capital city and centre of political, commercial, industrial and cultural activities. It is also the seat of Thailand's revered Royal Family, with His Majesty the King recognised as Head of State, Head of the Armed Forces, Upholder of the Buddhist religion and Upholder of all religions.

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy with His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, or King Rama IX, the ninth king of the Chakri Dynasty, the present king. The King has reigned for more than half a century, making him the longest reigning Thai monarch. Thailand embraces a rich diversity of cultures and traditions. With its proud history, tropical climate and renowned hospitality, the Kingdom is a never-ending source of fascination and pleasure for international visitors.

The official name of Bangkok in Thai is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit.

This ceremonial name is composed in combination of two ancient Indian languages, Pāli and Sanskrit. Translated it means "The city of angels, the great city, the eternal jewel city, the impregnable city of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukam". The full name of the city is listed by Guinness Book of Records as the world's longest place name.


513,115 sq. km.


  1. Myanmar - west and north,
  2. Lao P.D.R. - north and northeast,
  3. Cambodia - southeast and
  4. Malaysia - south.

Thailand enjoys a tropical climate with three distinct seasons:

  • Hot Season: March - May
  • Rainy Season: June - October
  • Cool Season: November - February

The average annual temperature is about 28° C. The northern region can be a bit cold during the cool season. Be sure to bring along a sweater or a light jacket if you intend to visit this region around that time of the year. During the rainy season, downpours hardly last more than a couple of hours.

วันพฤหัสบดีที่ 12 กุมภาพันธ์ พ.ศ. 2552

Gems and Jewelry


Gemstones are Thailand’s second biggest export line, after garments and before rice. In 1990, the country exported gemstones for approximately 1.5 billion US Dollars. More than half of the worlds quality rubies come from Thailand, mainly from the region bordering Cambodia (rubies from Cambodia also find in substantial numbers their way to Thailand). In the Thai provinces of Chanthaburi, Kanchanaburi and Phrae, blue sapphires are mined. Zircon and garnet are other gemstones found in Thailand.

Thailand is a good place to buy gemstones - principally for those who are big timers in the gemstone trade. Whether it’s a good place to buy gemstones retail is debatable. As a matter of fact, a large number of unsuspecting tourists get burned when buying gemstones in Thailand.

First, there are the clear frauds in which the 'stupid' tourist is just sold some glass beads.

Second, there are the incidents when the tourist just gets low quality stones while having paid for top quality stones.

Third, when tourists actually get good quality stones, they often do so at best for prices which are not lower than those paid anywhere else in the world, or worse, for prices considerably higher.

Gemstone sales of the first and second case are usually conducted by con artists. They make friends with foreign visitors and after a while come up with a story that they have some relative in the gems trade, and accidentally, an "extremely good chance" is just existing to make a small fortune. As the con artists word it, it always seems to be a chance tailored for foreign visitors - but of course the only one who will finally make a small fortune is the con artist and his cohorts.

A story presented by a con artist could sound like this: "Because the Thai government has put under state control the export of gems, ordinary Thais cannot export stones by themselves. However, foreign visitors can buy gems and take them home. Because the gem trade is under state control and the government fixes the price for exports through the normal commercial channels, prices for gemstones are much higher abroad than in Thailand. A tourist who buys a few gemstones directly from a good source (the con artist may even indicate that his relative’s gems are black market stones) can easily finance his Thailand trip just by taking a few stones out of the country, walking into any jewelry store back at home and sell the stones for triple the price." There are endless varieties of con artists’ stories. For example, a con artist may claim that his brother has to sell some stones which are old family inheritance because his baby will need a heart operation, and the brother therefore is allegedly willing to sell the stones for far beneath their value. It is reported that some extra stupid tourists have then offered to pay the "real", of course higher price for the stones - and others have, because of the alleged serenity of the circumstances, at least refrained from haggling over the price.

One just has to read the letters to the editors of the English newspapers in Bangkok to find regularly some more varieties of the same old theme.

Of course, all curious claims of con artists are just nonsense. The Thai government doesn’t control the gems trade and imposes inflated prices for stones to be exported. And gemstones are not some exotic novelty or fashion item for which a price is set quite arbitrarily but rather an international commodity for which prices at any time do not differ much from one country to another (though retail shoppers probably pay at home a few percent duty and most probably the full Value Added Tax of maybe 10 to 20 percent - plus the mark up of the retailer).

This is no longer the age of spice traders who made a few thousand percent profit on a sack of pepper brought from the Far East to Europe. Price fluctuations of just some 10 percent between Asia and Europe are a difference on which commodity traders can easily live - in the case of rubbers just as in the case of rubies.

Therefore, all talk of Thailand in general or Bangkok in particular being a great place to shop for gemstones is a myth as far as the ordinary visitor or tourist is concerned. Gemstones are not a bargain here - not for those who buy them retail. Gemstone retailers in Bangkok often operate on mark-ups which are not necessarily smaller than the mark-ups of jewelers in the West.

In contrary, even basically honest gemstone retailers may be tempted to make an unethical profit by setting a mark-up even beyond what the mark-up would be at a tourist’s home country. Definitely the foreign visitor who is on an unknown turf in Bangkok is at a considerable disadvantage when buying in Thailand compared to buying at home. In Thailand, he doesn’t have much time to shop around. He has communication problems. And because of too many new impressions taking his attention he is probably not as alert as he would be in comparative situations at home. This is known also among the jewelry and gemstone retailers in Bangkok, and accordingly when confronted with foreigners who have obviously decided already to buy gemstones in Thailand because they believe that they must be cheaper than at home, they might feel tempted to go for the quick kill, taking the chance to request inflated prices even at the risk that a potential client might not buy from them because there is still another trader who offered a better deal (maybe it may just be a lower quality of stones.)

Foreign retail buyers often don’t fare well when purchasing gemstones in Thailand - not only in cases where they are outright cheated but even when indeed getting what they paid for, though far too much.

Additional reasons contributing to this situation is the wide employment of a commission system. Any foreign visitor who enters any jewelry selling establishment accompanied by a local acquaintance, or who enters a jewelry selling establishment during on a organized tour must be prepared to pay substantial hidden commissions.

Nevertheless, there may be occasional cases when a foreigner buys gemstones at a retail outlet in Bangkok at lower prices than he would at a jewelry shop back home. But even then, the price difference will certainly not make it worthwhile to buy a few gems in Bangkok and to try to sell them back home. The price difference, if any, certainly is not due to a very substantial difference in wholesale prices but to different retailer mark-ups. In the case of a knowledgeable retail shopper, a gems retailer in Bangkok may actually settle for a mark-up smaller than his counterpart in a Western country. But bluffs will not work. The retail shopper has indeed to be knowledgeable.

The Asian Institute of Gemological Science (Tel 513-2112, 513-7044 to 5) offers a one week course on gemstone identification at a price of 4,850 Baht (no gems included, but a text book). The course does not turn a amateur into a specialist and gems trader.

Those contemplating converting money into gemstones should be aware that gemstones are particularly unsuited as commodity investment. Unlike in the case of gold and silver, the value of a gemstone cannot simply be determined by weighting it. To many other factors play a role, size, shape and even how healthy Western economies are at a given time. For gemstones except diamonds are marketed almost exclusively as jewelry.

Even the Asian Institute for Gemological Science from which certificates attesting to the genuineness and quality of any particular gemstone are available at 599 Baht if one can wait a week for the report or at 999 Baht if one wants it faster, refrains from putting a value tag on stones. They are worth just the amount one gets for them when reselling - making the sales skill of the vendor an intricate part of the value of any gemstone.

The ordinary visitor should buy gemstones only if he or she fancies them for his or her own adornment or as a gift. He or she should certainly not buy them with the intention to resell them at a profit because that profit will not materialize. And he or she shouldn’t even buy them as an investment.

Contrary to what is the case in gems, there is much less danger of getting burned with gold. Actually, the buyer of gold has a far better control over the pricing of gold jewelry in Thailand than in the West. This is because the price of a piece of gold jewelry in Thailand clearly is made up of two components: the price of the metal and the charge for the workmanship that went into a piece.
Gold jewelry, therefore, in general is a sound investment, and actually, many Thais and Chinese invest their savings in gold. Thailand has it’s own unit of measurement for gold, called Baht like the currency.
One Baht of gold is 15.16 grams. A troy ounce, internationally used to weigh gold, has 31.103 grams. A Baht weight therefore is equivalent to .487 troy ounces.
Many of the gold ornaments sold in Thailand contain exactly one, or exactly one half Baht of gold. As prices at jewelers are often per weight unit of one Baht, it is easy to assess on a daily basis the value of any gold ornament one possesses.
Gold dealers in Bangkok buy back at any time gold ornaments bought from them or other stores at rates just minimally lower than their retail prices.
On December 2, 1991, gold shops in Bangkok sold one Baht weight of gold for around 4650 Baht (currency), while their repurchase prices were around 4550 Baht. A typical price for the craftsmanship for a gold chain was just around 150 Baht.
The international gold price (mid-rate) for December 2, 1991 was given by the Bangkok Post of December 3, 1991 as 368.25 US dollars. The average Baht / Dollar rate was 25.43. This translates into 9346.59 Baht per troy ounce of gold, or 4551.78 Baht (currency ) per Baht (weight) of gold. The example shows on what minimal profit margin gold shops operate in Thailand. While the international mid-rate for gold was just 4551.78 Baht (currency) per Baht (weight), Bangkok gold shops at that day bought gold ornaments at 4550 Baht (currency) per Baht (weight) and sold gold ornaments at just 4650 Baht (currency) per Baht (weight), at a profit gain of just 100 Baht, or just around 2 percent (plus a fixed charge of just 150 Baht for the workmanship in a gold chain).
But in most Western countries, there is not only a much higher profit margin of the retailer and a much higher charge for the workmanship (not separately indicated) but on top of that often a heavy value added tax of up to 30 percent of the price of an ornament.
Thailand introduced a value added tax effective January 1, 1992. At the time this text was written, it hasn’t been clear in how far the value added tax would influence the gold trade.

Of silver jewelry there are two kinds in Thailand - those done by regular jewelry workshops which also make gold jewelry, and minority or hill tribe items. A common silver content of items bought in jewelry shops is 92%, indicated by a stamp saying 92. The silver content of silver hill tribe jewelry is often not specified and not known as any melted silver is used in making the items.
Silver jewelry can be bought in Bangkok in jewelry stores and at Chatuchak Weekend Market. A better selection, however, is available in Chiang Mai at and around the Night Bazaar. A favorite item are silver belts.

visit thailand guide

Shopping advice

Shopping Tips

Fixed prices are the norm in department stores and a number of shops in Bangkok, but at most other places bargaining is acceptable and expected. Generally, shopping in Thailand is easy, fun and very rewarding, but the following advice is useful especially when making gem and jewellery purchases :

- Shop around to compare prices - this is especially important with gems and jewellery.
- Obtain a receipt for goods bought and check if is correct before leaving the shop
- Never let a tout or new found friend take you shopping. Stores give commission to these people, and the cost is reflected in the price you pay.

- In general, jewellery items cannot be returned. If refunds are allowed, then often 25-30% of the selling price will be deducted as “costs of damages”. More reputable companies may offer a full refund although usually only within a certain time limit, such as 30 days. Do not believe any claims by shop owners that purchases can be refunded at Thai embassies, consulates or other government offices overseas.

- Reputable shops will give a written agreement to a full refund on any goods returned within 90 days. If a shop refuses to do this, go eslewhere.

- Shops in hotel arcades pay high rents and accordingly prices tend to be higher than at street shops. On the other hand, hotel arcades are very convenient if you have little time for shopping.

Packing and Shipping Services

Thanks to the ever-increasing number of tourists coming to Thailand, most shops are experienced at shipping abroad and will attend to all the documents such as insurance, customs and necessary permits. The Central Post Office also offers a parcel-wrapping service for those who want to make small shipments themselves. For larger items or bulk shipments, there are several Bangkok companies who specialise in such matters.

VAT Refund

Visitors entering the Kingdom on tourist visas are entitled to refunds of the 7% value added tax (VAT) paid on goods purchased at shops, department stores and other retail outlets displaying " VAT Refund for Tourists " signs, where tax refund application forms are available. Prior to airport departure, visitors must present a completed VAT refund form, plus passport information and purchase receipts, to a customs officer. Certain luxury goods must be shown to an excise official. Refunds may be in bank draft form or credited to a credit card. For more information, please contact the VAT Refunds for Tourists Office, Tel: 0 2272 9388 or VAT Refund Office at Bangkok International Airport Tel : 02535 6577-8

Where to shop in Bangkok

Shopping in Bangkok is not limited to one or two major streets, but offers many areas throughout the city affording ample choice and easy access. The following is just a selection of some of the principal shopping districts.

Top department stores and luxury shopping malls are concentrated in the area, namely Central, Sogo, Gaysom Plaza, Isetan, Zen, Amarin Plaza, Peninsula Plaza, all of which together make the largest shopping promenade in Bangkok. Furthermore, the World Trade Center and Narayana Phand Pavilion, host the official handicraft centre selling items from all parts of the country. Ratchaprasong intersection is the gateway to several shopping areas such as Ploenchit-Sukhumvit, Siam SquareMah Boon Krong, Silom and PratunamPhetchaburi.

Silom Road is the main artery of Bangkok's commercial heart and is paralleled by Surawong Road, while Patpong runs crosswise between the two. In addition to housing dozens of specialist shops and boutiques representing all the major buys, this area also boasts many branches of wellknown retailers and several shopping plazas. Street stalls also abound, most notably at Patpong's famous night market.


Silom leads into New Road which parallels the Chao Phraya River, and notable shopping opportunities include gems and jewellery stores (Mahesak Road is a gem trading centre), Oriental Plaza and River City shopping complex.


Like Silom, Sukhumvit is one of Bangkok's main thoroughfares, and the long road is lined with shops, boutiques and modern shopping plazas ranging from Soi 3 (Nana Nua) up to Soi 63 (Ekamai). Most shops and restaurants are concentrated between Soi 3 and Soi 21 (Asoke) and along shortcuts between Asoke and Ekamai.


A highlight in the district is Pratunam market, one of Bangkok's biggest centres for ready-to-wear clothing.

Situated close to the Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Bang Lamphu has a lively market where clothing is a popular buy.

Centre on Yaowarat Road and Sampheng Lane, Bangkok's Chinatown offers a profusion of gold shops as well as two nearby traditional shopping places, "Ban Mo Jewellery Street" and "Phahurat Cloth Marker'.


Located adjacent to Chatuchak Park, the weekend market, open on Saturday and Sunday, is a Bangkok landmark where you can buy just about everything from clothing to potted plants and everything in between - a paradise for browsers and bargainhunters alike. Chatuchak Weekend Market also offers items of furniture and home decor. It is also where professional and amateur art-lovers and artists meet.

Located next to Bangkok's tallest hotel building, Baiyoke Tower is one of the city's renowned garment centres.

Situated close to Pratunam Market, Nai Lert Market is one of many shopping areas in Bangkokwhere you can buy just about everything from clothing to handicrafts.

Situated close to Bangkok Railway Station, Bo-be is one of the city's renowned ready-to-wear clothing centres, both wholesale and retail.

Centre for an extensive range of shops offering a full selection of Thailand's top buys.

Beyond Bangkok
The main city for shopping outside the capital is Chiang Mai, which ranks as one of the world's largest centres for handicrafts and cottage industries. The extensive range of local products includes cotton and silk, hilltribe clothing, Burmese tapestries, handpainted umbrellas and lacquerware, and many such items can be found at its fascinating Night Bazaar. Pattaya also offers plentiful shopping for Thai goods while virtually all other cities and resorts provide ample opportunity for buying gifts and souvenirs, as well as local special ties.




A wealth of shopping opportunities await visitors, and bargains abound throughout the country in traditional handicrafts, textiles, gems, jewellery and antiques, as well as more contemporary items. But it isn't only the variety of creatively designed and meticulously crafted products that so captivates the traveller.
The shopping experience itself is a pleasure in its own right as one explores from upscale shopping malls and department stores to high streets and back streets and bustling markets. What's more, frequent promotions involving definitively Thai variations on myriad product themes hold out the prospect of acquiring a better selection for a lower outlay. And to top it all, foreign visitors to Thailand can often look forward to receiving a further price reduction in the form of a healthy tax refund on departure; the perfect way to round off a memorable stay.

Shopping street

As part of the year-end shopping celebrations, TAT, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, and members of the private sector representing hotels, department stores, shopping malls and other business interests around Bangkok’s famous Ratchaprasong Intersection have joined hands to make the area a colourful shopping street with bright, fresh and fun look decorations.
The harsh lines of the buildings are softened with trees, plants, landscaping, and a touch of Thai to make the area aesthetically appealing. All electrical wiring is buried underground. Street furniture and new lighting are installed and sidewalks smoothly paved with all the shopping malls in and around the intersection linked by covered elevated walkways.There are shopping discounts, special offers and festive celebrations as well as leisure and entertainment extravaganza held throughout the period. The highlight is the “Bangkok Countdown” held in front of the Central World Plaza on New Year’s Eve in which Thai and foreign visitors gather and join the rest of the world in welcoming the New Year.


The gorgeous Thai silk favoured by many Thai and international designers originates from northeastern Thailand where cloth-weaving is a traditional folk craft. Northeastern silk is renowned for mudmee and khit silk varieties, usually made into tubular skirts or phasin. Phu Thai folk employ an elaborate weaving style called chok to create unique phrae wa and phrae mon silks. Hang kra yok silk is the speciality of Thais of Khmer origin, in which complicated weaving patterns create a harmonious, multi-coloured combination of threads.
Northern hand-woven fabrics include cottons with distinctive patterns, such as nam lai and tin chok. The North's most famous rustic cloth is the traditional dark blue mo hom denimlike cloth favoured by Thai farmers.
In southern Thailand, Phum Riang silk is produced by Thai-Muslim villagers who apply traditional weaving patterns to Japanese silk. The Yok Nakhon cotton of Nakhon Si Thammarat is equally distinctive, while batiks and patae skirts glow with the brilliant colours of Malay-influenced designs.


Thailand is rich in precious stones, with a natural abundance of rubies, sapphires, zircon, onyx, jade and opal. Local cutting, design and manufacturing skills ensure a fine range of quality items with a wide choice of prices. Thailand also has a long tradition of fine jewellery cutting and making. Design and cutting skills ensure a fine range of quality items, with a wide choice of prices.
Kanchanaburi and Chanthaburi are both well-known gemstone mining areas, while Bangkok is the major manufacturing centre, the venue where experts converge to judge, grade, buy and sell.

The hand-made nang talung shadow play in southern Thailand features distinctive puppets with moving parts, while the classic nang yai shadow play associated with the royal courts of Ayutthaya and Bangkok features larger pieces which have no moving either principal characters or scenes from the Thai version of the classic Ramayana.
Shadow play puppets make unusual souvenirs and are manufactured principally in the south of Thailand.


A variety of leather goods are available with a wide range of designs meticulously. made with Thai craftsmanship. Thai leather goods are created in many beautiful designs with durable genuine leathers.


Clothing presents many excellent buys, both men and women's fashions off-the-peg and tailor made.
A whole range of accessories are also to be found, especially le.ather goods which offer particularly good value for money.

Folk wisdom and the countrywide distribution of bamboo combine to make basketweaving an important folk craft.
Rattan, sedge, kok, bullrush. or kra chud are also used to produce beautifullydesigned furniture and attractive souvenirs. These natural materials are widely used for woven mats and other woven handicrafts, while the popular and delicate li pao vine ladies' handbags were introduced by Her Majesty the Queen.

The hand-made nang talung shadow play in southern Thailand features distinctive puppets with moving parts, while the classic nang yai shadow play associated with the royal courts of Ayutthaya and Bangkok features larger pieces which have no moving parts and are vignettes depicting either principal characters or scenes from the Thai version of the classic Rarnayana. Shadow play puppets make unusual souvenirs and are manufactured principally in the south of Thailand.

Chiang Mai has been the commercial centre of wood crafting in northern Thailand for decades.
Wooden elephants were popular souvenir items at first, while today craftsmen have enhanced wood carving by featuring mythical angels, dancing figures, animals and the reproduction of ornamental fragments from old palaces and temples.

Thai kilns have a long, primarily Chinese-influenced tradition of pottery making. Of the various styles, handpainted 14th century Sangkhalok, produced in Sukhothai, and 19th century Bencharong with decorative porcelain bowls, jars and spittoons are the most popular. Bencharong has proved the most desirable among Thai and foreign collectors due to the rarity and rich surface decorations. The northeastern community of Dan Kwian produces a distinctive range of rust-red objects including vases, flower pots and tiny ornamental accessories. In northern Thailand, high-fired seagreen celadon produces an effect similar to venerable Sangkhalok ceramics.

Cultured pearl production mimics the natural process to produce pearls of guaranteed quality.
Cultured pearl farms are found principally in southern Thailand, particularly in Ranong, Phang-nga and Phuket provinces.


Gold has been used primarily in temples and palaces, as golden Buddha images, jewellery and royal insignia and decorations.
Buddha images are decorated with gold leaf and gold is used to enhance modern jewellery.


Lacquerware is an ancient oriental craft, and entails a repeated process of coating structural bamboo or wood with lacquer before hand-painting it with elaborate designs. Generally, objects are produced either in gold and black, or yellow and green on a red-brown background. Chiang Mai is the major centre of lacquerware. Products include boxes, trays and dolls.
Silver beating is another traditional northern craft. Bowls, boxes, cigarette cases, vases are fashioned in a craft which has been practised in southern Thailand for hundreds of years.
Nielloware, or khrueang thorn, is the craft of decorating objects with delicately etched designs which are filled with a metal alloy to produce a smooth patterned surface in black and gold. The art is widely practised in Nakhon Si Tharnmarat.
Pewterware, essentially an alloy of lead and tin which produces a metal with a smooth and silky feel, comes mainly in the form of beakers, goblets, tankards and decorative figurines

Thailand is known as Southeast Asia and the world's leading manufacturer of ready-to-wear clothing, producing a wide range of garments for the local market and export. Upmarket fashion boutiques are located in modern shopping malls, while bargain clothing is to be found at bazaar stalls or make-shift stalls on the streets.


There are literally hundreds of establishments small and large producing all kinds of clothing orders in a variety of styles in just a few days. You may choose a style from recent fashion magazines and select the cloth from a wide display of materials, both locally made and imported.

Tailors and Dressmakers, Fashion Designers and Fashion Shops in Thailand

T-ra Design
T-ra Design has fashion outlets at Zen CentralWorld, All Seasons Place and Central Chitlom. T-ra represents one of the most promising talents of the young generation of Thai fashion designers, who will shape tomorrow’s fashion scene.
Boudoir by Disaya
Boudoir by Disaya conveys an attitude of being playful yet sophisticated. Boudoir's womenswear range is subtly luxurious with hints of boldness and buoyancy. The wide range of products offered by Boudoir will suit many women, from young teens to professional and mature ladies. Boudoir by Disaya is available in U.S.A., Australia, Spain, U.K., department stores in Bangkok. Lingerie, ready to wear and fashion jewelry.
Gulatino, Exclusive Custom Tailor, Phuket
Welcome to Gulatino Exclusive Custom Tailor individual bespoke tailoring in Phuket.We offer an excellent range of superior quality made to measure ladies and gentlemen's suits using fine fabrics at competitive prices.
The Truth about Tailors, Pattaya
Tailoring business in Pattaya - Guaranteed best tailoring both in terms of quality and prices (or your money back). You can be my next customer.
Senada Theory
Senada incorporates a range of ethnic influences in its designs. Indian embroidery, Chinese silks, and Thai patterns transform into contemporary urban looks. Located at Gaysorn Plaza. Senada is available in the United States and around Europe.
Tube Gallery
Tube Gallery offers fashion collections for men and women. Outlets at Siam Centre, Zen CentralWorld, Siam Paragon and Playground, Bangkok.
Custom quality dress shirts for men, shipped free within one week, for only $59
New Bangkok International Tailor
Bangkok tailor, located Sukhumvit Soi 7.
Narry Co. Ltd.
Narry’s Boutique and Inn, Patong, Phuket : suits, dresses, trousers, shirts etc.
Lords Tailor, Pattaya
Lords Tailor has a long experience in the tailor business and it shows in the clothes we make. The quality and value we give tourists and locals are such that our repeat customers continue to rise.
Dapper General Apparel Co. Ltd.
Men’s apparel : shirts, trousers and suits, casual and fashion wear. Footwear for men and women.
Body Glove Thailand Co. Ltd.
Manufacturer of trendy fashion : Body Glove Thailand.
Top High Class Fashion
Based in Thailand, we specialize in making high quality women's dresses. Our products : party dresses, evening dresses, prom dresses, cocktail dresses, summer dresses, short dresses, long dresses, skirt set, pant set, cat suits. All made with the best fabrics.
Crown Tailor, Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok
Established in the late eighties, Crown Tailor has over 15 years of professional tailoring experience. All our suits are exclusively handmade with meticulous attention to detail, quality craftsmanship and with only the finest materials and threads. Our website gives the low down on how you can order a suit right from where you are. Located Sukhumvit road.
Accadamia Italiana Thailand
If you are looking for a fashion and design institute in Thailand now in Bangkok , you can attend courses at one of the best among Fashion design schools, Design Schools and Art Schools in the world. You can specialize in fashion design , interior and product design , graphic design and visual communications, costume design (for cinema, theater and televistion).
Top High Class Fashion
Based in Thailand, we specialize in making high quality women’s dresses. Our products : party dresses, evening dresses, prom dresses, cocktail dresses, summer dresses, short dresses, long dresses, skirt set, pant set, cat suits. All made with the best fabrics.
Wholesale fashion handbags, fashion shoes company based in Pratunam, Thailand, providing good quality wholesale handbags, shoes at very attractive prices.
Crown Tailor, Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok
Established in the late eighties, Crown Tailor has over 15 years of professional tailoring experience. All our suits are exclusively handmade with meticulous attention to detail, quality craftsmanship and with only the finest materials and threads. Our website gives the low down on how you can order a suit right from where you are. Located Sukhumvit road.
Come Prima Fashion Garments
Come Prima Fashion Garments is one of Thailand’s longest established garment producers with a wide range of ladies, men’s, children’s and sports fashion wear and jeans.
Niche Nation Eyewear (Thonglor)
Niche Nation is the boutique in Bangkok for designer eyewear, stylish optical eye glasses and unique sunglasses. The shop stocks the worlds most rewarded brands of the industry including those from Alain Mikli, Theo, Lindberg, Freudenhaus, Funk, Vinylize, Spec Espace, H Fusion, Ic Berlin, Mykita, Sfm Dream, Oliver Peoples and Paul Smith.
Thai J. Press Co. Ltd.
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King's Fashion Phuket
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Inders Fashion - House of Style
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New International Boutique House
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Julie Thai Cotton & Silk
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Dave's Collection, Four Wings Hotel, Bangkok
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A. M. Production Co. Ltd., Phuket
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Der Herr
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วันพุธที่ 4 กุมภาพันธ์ พ.ศ. 2552

Rather than Barneys, perhaps Bangkok

It started years ago on the sultry Indonesian island of Java when I arrived without enough cool clothing. Out of desperation, I approached street-side mom-and-pop tailors in the city of Yogyakarta. They spoke no English, so I relied on rough sketches and pantomime to communicate that I wanted to turn a $2 batik sarong into a pair of loose-fitting trousers. They could copy the waistband from my Banana Republic shorts.

My goal was to get through the rest of my trip without sweltering, although at the time I felt a little like Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone With the Wind,” designing an outfit from the green velvet parlor drapes that once hung at Tara. But I was so pleased with the results that I had those $10 pants copied five more times on subsequent trips to the region.

That experience, born of necessity, was my introduction to the affordable luxury of custom-made clothing from Southeast Asia, an interest I have pursued with a passion on seven trips to that part of the world during the last 14 years. Each time, I have looked forward to visiting tailors who seem to magically stitch beautiful garments in a matter of days or even hours – often for less than it would cost to buy the same things off the rack back home.

In the process, I have built a wardrobe sewn for me in Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Laos. Some pieces, such as my Javanese trousers, have been Western designs cut from traditional local fabrics such as silk or batik. Many more have been made of wool, cotton or linen that was available there or that I brought with me from the United States.

Cost saving is one attraction of buying clothes this way, but an even stronger motivation is being able to get exactly what I want. Because Southeast Asian tailors tend to be skilled at copying, I have learned to take prototypes from my own closet that I want replicated or updated, although it’s also possible to have things made based on a photograph or on samples displayed in the store.

Two of the places I visited on a December trip to the area are known for their tailors: Bangkok, Thailand, has had a busy garment trade for years; Hoi An, Vietnam, is developing one. Intending to have clothes made in both places, I left home with half a duffel bag of prototypes, fabrics and even buttons. I returned with six linen blouses – four of them copied from a Perry Ellis original, a three-piece (skirt, pants, jacket) wool crepe suit, cashmere hip-hugger dress pants, two pairs of silk pajamas and corduroy jeans. The tab was $402, not counting the fabric I took with me, but including some that the tailors supplied. That’s less than it would have cost to buy just one designer blazer in the United States.

Not surprisingly, the success of such endeavors depends on the quality of the tailor, and choosing one can be a bit tricky. Many of the shops in Bangkok, for example, look indistinguishable – cramped, unassuming places that are either clustered together or sandwiched between other stores.

One possibility is to rely on leads from locals. Although hotel concierges can also make suggestions (they got me to the mom-and-pop operation in Yogyakarta), I take them with a grain of salt. Sometimes their rave reviews are inspired by what the locals call “tea money” that has passed under the table.

I’ve had the best luck with recommendations from ex-pats, who tend to appreciate the tailoring more than label-conscious residents who generally prefer ready-made Western designs. In Singapore I have been a repeat customer for more than 10 years at Carvette Fashion, the shop of Alice Pwa Ah Lan. Carvette was a favorite of an American friend who once lived in Singapore.

Anticipating my visit to Bangkok and not fully trusting what I read on various travelers’ websites, I contacted Julie Dolan, whose commentary on her travels in Bangkok I had heard many times on the National Public Radio show “Satellite Sisters.” Dolan, who has since moved to Moscow, recommended a dressmaker for me and a shirt maker for my husband, Ken Stern.

My husband and I contacted the shops by e-mail before we left home, because we wanted to be sure they would be open around New Year’s weekend, when we planned to conclude our vacation with a stop in Bangkok. Lucky we did; they replied that they would be closed for all or part of the time. With that in mind, we scheduled a five-hour layover in Bangkok earlier in our trip, on the way from southern Thailand to Laos, and hopped a taxi to both stores.


Our first stop was Cotton House – actually a thumbnail-sized room – in the mini-shopping plaza called Oriental Place opposite the Oriental Hotel. (If I hadn’t been looking for it, I might have walked right by.) There, precisely 65 minutes after our flight landed, Khun Reed greeted us with her measuring tape around her neck. She was expecting us. The walls of her tiny shop were lined with colored silks and cottons, and bolts of wool and linen. All the women who worked there wore intricately detailed white cotton blouses that I later learned were the store’s hallmark. Because I had brought most of the fabric I wanted with me, along with samples to be copied, it took Reed just 30 minutes to take my measurements and write the order. When we returned one week later, she had eight “pieces,” as they are called, ready for fitting.

Getting things just right required two more days and two more fittings; fortunately we were staying at the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel, which was just a 10-minute walk away.

But I had ordered difficult items, including a wool suit that needed several adjustments because the fabric stretches as you work with it. Reed kept the shop open the afternoon of New Year’s Eve to complete the order before the holiday. And the final products were exquisite. Because these were business clothes, I had requested finishing details that are rare, or at least extremely expensive, on off-the-rack clothing back home, such as bound buttonholes on the suit jacket and French seams on the linen blouses. If your taste runs to self-covered buttons – made out of the same fabric as the garment – these are readily available in Asia. Had I had not brought my own buttons, I would have asked to see the ones the shop planned to use. We had an equally positive experience with the shirt shop, Rajawongse, run by an Indian father and son, Jesse and Victor Gulatis, in the heart of Bangkok’s garment district near the Landmark Hotel on Sukhumvit Road. “Chalk the cloth you want,” said Victor, handing us a piece of yellow tailor’s chalk and motioning to the nearly 100 bolts of cotton that lined one wall, arranged first by pattern, stripes, solids and tattersalls, and then by color.

Victor, who is nearly 6 feet tall and a man of some heft, looked dashing in his blue and white striped dress shirt with gold cufflinks, silk tie and black turban. My husband, whose own taste runs to Indian-style banded-collar shirts, produced a sample.

We can improve upon that,” Victor said with an air of authority. And he did. By the time we returned to Bangkok a week later the store was closed for vacation. But there was a shopping bag from Rajawongse waiting for us at our hotel. It contained seven perfectly tailored shirts in fine Egyptian cotton. They cost us $25 apiece.

Hoi An, Vietnam

In contrast with the impeccable quality and service we got in Bangkok, having clothes made in Hoi An was more a chore than a pleasure. We had been to Hoi An briefly nine years earlier and remembered it as a tranquil little town where we wanted to come back and linger.

A 16th century Japanese covered bridge and historic Chinese shop houses, with stores in the front and merchants’ living quarters in the back or upstairs, have since earned Hoi An designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But the sleepy village we remembered had been taken over by the rag trade. Everywhere we turned there were tailor shops and touts beckoning.

Unlike Bangkok and Singapore, where tailors depend on repeat business from tourists using their city as a transportation hub, the tailors in Hoi An treat their customers like one-timers. We suspected as much after noticing many tourists walking about town with what looked like ill-fitting new clothes.

Prices for most things were nearly as high as in large cities, no matter how hard people bargained (customary in Southeast Asia). The going rate for a wool or silk suit was about $85 ($125 for cashmere), pants were $25, and a silk blouse cost $35. Unless you insisted on natural fibers and seemed to know the difference, much of the fabric offered was blended with rayon. And the quality of the workmanship was inconsistent.

This was painfully apparent at Yaly Couture, the most upscale of the handful of tailor shops we visited in Hoi An, which had an extensive selection of gorgeous fabrics. Customers can hear the din of sewing machines upstairs where 45 tailors labor. At another location nearby, our saleswoman told us, an additional 30 tailors just do jackets. Sample items on display in the store suggested that the owners pride themselves on meticulous workmanship. But our experience there indicates that the quality of the garment you get will be as good as the tailor assigned to your project.

Four sewers worked on our small order, which took just 12 hours from conception until the first fitting. The consequence was that each of the three cotton dress shirts Ken ordered ($11 each), all based on the same sample he supplied, looked different and one was significantly better than the others.

A single round of alterations corrected the problems – sleeves too wide, cuffs too tight and a missing button – but it took time out of our vacation, and the shirts don’t look good enough to wear for anything but travel or a beach cover-up. I’ve enjoyed two pairs of silk pajamas I had made there ($20 apiece), copied from a camisole top and drawstring pants I brought from home, but the workmanship was sloppy. Had it been better, I planned to order other items. Based on this dry run, I wasn’t even tempted.

A very hip looking mother and son from Los Angeles whom we met in Hoi An came away from Yaly much more satisfied. The son had ordered a silk suit copied from a picture in a magazine, which fit perfectly on the first try and, according to his mother, stopped traffic in the store when he tried it on. But a friend of theirs who placed an order at the same time was apparently so dissatisfied with the fit, even after alterations, she refused to take the outfit.

We were happier with the final product at Thu Thuy, another shop, where I had a favorite pair of jeans copied ($28). The pants, which I ordered in the morning, were ready seven hours later and fit without alteration. But I found the sales staff surly and the shopping experience unpleasant. Among other things, the saleswoman initially objected when I asked her to put a tiny snippet of the corduroy I chose from their stock on the receipt she gave me when she took my $10 deposit. This is standard practice in Asia to avoid mix-ups, and I wanted to be sure that the pants were made of the high-quality fabric I had selected, rather than from an inferior substitute.

Louangphrabang, Laos

I contrast our struggles in Hoi An with all the fun I’ve had ordering clothes elsewhere in Asia. For example, last year in Louangphrabang, a charming city in northern Laos, I had an outfit made of hand-woven Lao textiles from the OckPopTok textile shop. Joanna Smith, a former fashion photographer from London who is one of the owners, designed a tight sleeveless top made of a silk pa bieng, a long narrow piece of cloth that resembles a large scarf and is worn for Lao ceremonies. To go with it, Smith suggested hip-hugger silk pants trimmed in the black and white pattern from the pa bieng. The whole ensemble, expertly tailored off the premises in the space of 48 hours, cost $125.

For me, custom-made clothes are the ultimate Southeast Asian souvenirs. The experience and memories of acquiring them add to the enjoyment each time I put them on.



Sampling of tailors


Carvette Fashion, 19 Tanglin Road, 03-49 Tanglin Shopping Centre, Singapore 247909; 011-65-673-46-229

Cotton House, Oriental Place Shopping Arcade, 30/1 Charoen Krung Road, 38 Bangkok, Thailand; 011-662-266-0186, Ext. 1021, e-mail: cottonhouse100

Rajawongse, 130 Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, Thailand; 011-662-255-3714,

Thu Thuy, 60 Le Loi St., Hoi An, Vietnam; 011-84-510-861-699

Yaly Couture, 47 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Hoi An, Vietnam; 011-84-510-910-474, e-mail:

OckPopTok, 73-5 Ban Vat Nong, Louangphrabang, Laos; 011-856-71-253-219

Deborah Jacobs