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Best way to enjoy Baan Tawai Village

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Perth, Australia
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Best way to enjoy Baan Tawai Village

Hi everyone,

I'd like to visit Baan Tawai Village, but am unsure as to the best way to arrange my visit. I don't like being rushed or pressured and would like to spend several hours just browsing the shops and perhaps having a bit of lunch.

I thought about hiring a guide for the day, but I don't really like the idea of having someone with me as I like to be independant and not have to think about anyone else or keeping to a schedule.

Would it be possible for me to take a taxi or tuk tuk there and then get another one from there back to Chiang Mai after I've finished?

Also, I'd like to see a variety of crafts, so are they all in generally the same location where I can walk between them or would I have to have transport to travel between the shops.

Your suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Kind regards,

Sue

Florida - Alaska...
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1. Re: Best way to enjoy Baan Tawai Village

You will be hard pressed to find a taxi or tuk tuk for a return trip, you would need to arrange with the driver that took you down to either wait or return at a set time.

Baan Tawai is primarily a wood working village, though in recent years shops selling all sorts of regional handicrafts are popping up. The village sprawls out over quite a bit of area, but can be walkable.

Vancouver
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2. Re: Best way to enjoy Baan Tawai Village

Your question is a good one, Susan, as I too will definitely be wanting to spend a long leisurely time there and it helps to know how to get there and back and not have someone following me all around all the time I'm there, so MrCycling has a good suggestion when he suggests to ask the driver to wait and that you'll be back when you ready to come back.... I did that when i was in Cambodia exploring Angkor Wat - I just told my driver to relax, that I didn't know how long I would be, and I'd see him when I was ready to go back to town...

My question would be: Do I take a large bag with me to put my smaller purchaes in and carry it with me as it gets heavier and heavier? And what do I do if i buy something big to be shipped home but am not finished shopping yet?

So I will keep an eye on your posting and see what ideas come back to you.

Johannesburg, South...
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3. Re: Best way to enjoy Baan Tawai Village

I have done the Chiang Mai to Baan Tawai trip and back many times. The most recent being in November 2012. What I normally do is arrange with the tuk tuk driver to drop me at BT and wait. They normally do not follow you around. It is good to agree a round-trip price and possible duration of the trip upfront. I typically negotiate 4 to 6 hours from CM to BT and back. I usually spend less time than originally planned. The reason for this is that many stalls are a repitition and therefore I run through the area quite quickly. Also, it gets very hot there, resulting in you wanting to rush back to your hotel room to refresh. Hope this helps.

Florida - Alaska...
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4. Re: Best way to enjoy Baan Tawai Village

There are several shipping companies with offices within Baan Tawai. If you are buying large pieces like furniture, statues, etc, the shipping company will come by the shop to pick it up. The shop keeper will hold on to it until you make arrangements for a shipping company ... you just have to remember which little alley and which shop you went to ;-)

Likewise with small purchases, if you buy a few things like a couple of small spirit houses, the shopkeeper will hang on to them for you, while you continue your shopping. You can come by later either by yourself or with your driver to pick them up ... but again you gotta remember which alley you went down and which shop you bought from, they all start looking alike after a while.

Vancouver
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5. Re: Best way to enjoy Baan Tawai Village

Hmmm.... so if I pay for something and leave it at the shop until I'm ready to go back to Chiang Mai, I need to be able to find my way back there. Are there maps available that define the various alleyways and the names of the shops on each one?

If not, I guess I could just make a note of the shop name or number and what landmark it is close to. I may end up making more than one trip out there during my week in Chiang Mai and buying a few things each time that are manageable to take with me. I'm not into furniture at all, but I'm sure there will be many other things that want a piece of my wallet! lol...

London, United...
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6. Re: Best way to enjoy Baan Tawai Village

If you're not into furniture then you won't need a map , the area with the smaller more manageable items really isn't that big , and it's normally fairly quiet. Quite an enjoyable stroll as markets go , and my missus has dragged me around a few , that's a fact !. There are shops that line the road on the way in , but most are bigger designer style furniture places.

It is best to arrange a ride back though , we struggled a bit to find a ride once , although there are always a few cabs around, there mostly waiting for someone, so get a driver to wait, they won't follow you around. There are places to eat and drink and cash machines.

Vancouver
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7. Re: Best way to enjoy Baan Tawai Village

Great advice and info - thanks. What do you think would be a fair price to pay a driver to take me to Baan Tawaii, wait for me for 2-3 hours (or more) and then take me back to Chiang Mai?

Florida - Alaska...
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8. Re: Best way to enjoy Baan Tawai Village

There are maps, but they don't detail all the shops and names. Best bet is to get the shopkeeper to write down their phone number and shop info. Then in worst case scenario your driver can call the shop keeper to figure out where they are.

Taxi will be a half day hire or perhaps full day (depending on your shopping time). I am not sure of costs, but there are plenty of posts which people talk about what they paid.

LondonDesmond - Baan Tawai is huge, my guess is that you and the missus visited the central drive (a split road with ditch down the middle?), there are several other sections with equally as many shops each.

Perth, Australia
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9. Re: Best way to enjoy Baan Tawai Village

Thanks everyone for your replies. Really great information.

Skeezix, I can see that my wallet will probably take a hammering also.

I'll definitely arrange for a driver to wait for me.

Regards,

Sue

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10. Re: Best way to enjoy Baan Tawai Village

What I usually do is get a tuk tuk out to Baan Tawai and have my driver wait for me. I usually pay 200/THB per hour for the ride out and back and having him wait - DO NOT LEAVE BAAN TAWAI. I give the shop owner a deposit (last weekend I bought 5 vases) gave her 1/3 of the total price and asked her to wrap them then hold them till I came back with my driver. I then went along and bought various other items doing the same thing. I made note of the shops (yes - after awhile it all gets to look same/same) and if the shop had a business card I asked them for one so we could find our way back into the small soi off of the main road. My smaller purchases I carried with me while I was on my "decorating the house like a maniac since Christmas spree). After about 4 hours I called my driver - gave my phone to the shop keeper who told him were I was - he arrived, picked me up, we went back to the other shops loaded the tuk tuk up and he took me back home. Entire trip out, back and his wait cost 800/THB. I DO NOT PAY THE DRIVER a single THB until he gets me back home. Hope this helps and enjoy shopping in my hometown. Marie (nannyre)