Many travelers devote some of their time and luggage space on souvenirs for themselves and gifts to bring home to their family and friends. Indeed, one of the most important things upon returning from a holiday is reuniting with your loved ones and giving them a token of your travels.
Here are some souvenirs that you should definitely buy for your loved ones back home:
1, Anything with an elephant on it
Everyone knows that an elephant is a symbol of Thailand. You can find images of the beloved pachyderm everywhere—on fabric, carved onto pieces of wood, crafted into jewelry, appliquéd or silk-screened onto handbags, and in a thousand other guises. On a trip to Thailand a couple of years ago, I brought home the cutest elephant earrings which made me the envy of a lot of teenage girls in my hood. And of course, I couldn’t leave Thailand without buying a pair of miniature elephant statues to put on my knick knack shelf.
Here’s another idea: how about buying a painting, not of an elephant, but made by an elephant? Before you think that I must have had too many bottles of Thai beer, elephant-made art is actually a big deal in the country. At the Elephant Stay program in Ayutthaya which is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of ruined temples outside Bangkok, elephants are coached to paint pictures with their mahouts, and the results are surprising and hauntingly beautiful. These paintings can be bought as souvenirs. I’m planning to get one for myself, just to see the look on my friends’ faces once I tell them that an elephant made it. It’s sure to be a conversation starter on my next dinner party.
You can buy fabrics anywhere in Thailand. Take your pick from bolts of fabric to finished products. Personally, I think carrying bolts of fabric, however nice they may be, might be a bit unwieldy for me especially once I get to the airport. But silk scarves make beautiful, inexpensive, and perfectly portable gifts for everyone, especially for the fashionable members of your clan. You can also find a wide selection of silk clothing, fabric purses, and neckties. When it comes to fabric, there’s definitely something for everybody in Thailand.
You can find real Thai silk in Chinatown. Cheap souvenir stands will label everything as “Thai silk” so be aware of what you’re buying. For ready-made, high quality Thai silk items, head on over to the Jim Thompson shops. They’re found all over Bangkok, and there’s even a Jim Thompson shop in the airport.
3, Spa Products
Pomelo, lemon grass, coconut, mangosteen, and rambutan scented soaps and lotions make great and exotic gifts to give to your girl friends or female co-workers. I am a big fan of these items, and they smell so good, it’s tempting to buy several sets to give as gifts and to keep for little old me. If you’re on a budget, most Thai supermarkets carry a line of locally produced bath and body products. Or you can buy them at one of the high-end beauty supply shops throughout Bangkok.
4, Silver Jewelry
For the people in your life who can’t resist some new bling, get them authentic silver jewelry from one of the many silver shops in Chiang Mai. Aside from jewelry, you can also buy silver plates and cups to take home with you.For the people in your life who can’t resist some new bling, get them authentic silver jewelry from one of the many silver shops in Chiang Mai. Aside from jewelry, you can also buy silver plates and cups to take home with you.
The next time you’re in Thailand and you’re looking for gifts to bring home for your family and friends, consider the things on this list for gifts that will delight your loved ones. Though it’s the thought that counts, a little creativity and a little time spent shopping for the perfect gift will be much appreciated.