Once an independent kingdom in the past known as Lanna, the northern region is now home to a vibrant art and cultural scene that has its origins in the diverse ethnic communities that migrated or were relocated to the area in the past. Settling in a prosperous land, these peoples brought their customs, traditions, cultures, knowledge and wisdom with them. This is the origin of the present-day abundance of “Sa’lah”, the northern Thai word term used to describe the region’s skillful handicraft or craft artisans.

      Northern craft identity is distinctive for the creative ways ethnic groups used local natural abundance to fulfill their needs by making items by hand to satisfy spiritual, cultural and practical demands. Whether woven textiles, embroidery, wooden crafts, basketry, sculptures or items for ornamentation, the historical, cultural and practical elements of peoples and their crafts have intertwined to form the distinctive identity of northern Thailand.

      The charm of northern crafts lies in their evident outer beauty and in their historical origins that reflect the essence of Lanna crafts. This is especially so in the prosperous cities and surrounds of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lampang and Lamphun, which are home to valuable cultural heritages with long histories. 

      Lanna crafts link the past to present through the dynamic development and transfer of skills through time. Some of the region’s artisans have earned such repute that they are considered community scholars. As for younger artisans, meanwhile, they continue to seek to impress with their interpretations of local wisdom inherited from older generations and forbears. 


Yaujarej Somana has been attracted to handicrafts all her life, especially those that are linked to arts, culture and local traditions. Growing up in a city with a rich handicraft
Ajarn Vas displays an astonishing variety of bamboo crafts at her workshop. They include garlands of flowers and innumerable kinds of ornaments, such as birds, turtles, carps, prawns and frogs,
A chair can express the taste of a homeowner. Each corner of a house might sometimes need a different style of chair to fit with mood and tone. Roongroj Wiriyachon,
Siam Royal Orchid is one of the longest-running handicraft companies in Chiang Mai. Founded 40 years ago by Rueng Nimanhaemin, who is now its president, its mission was to create
After majoring in ceramics and graduating from the Faculty of Decorative Arts, Silpakorn University, Natthapol "Mick" Wannaporn found himself unable to earn a steady income, so he decided to continue
Mueja is a studio turning old wood into contemporary furniture that is designed and entirely handmade by Rapeepat Kaewthip, a young man from Chiang Mai who is commonly known as
Jib spent a decade on Rakker, which started out as an experimental project. “Rak” is a natural coating used in lacquer works and basketry that is mostly produced in Om
A local Chiang Mai brand, JUN designs products for male customers whose urban lifestyles require a cool, casual look using clothes of simple yet unique design. JUN offers convenient practical
Naruporn Chawantat, the owner of Naru Ceramic is like a miracle. Her big smile and bright eyes enliven the day as would a flower in bloom under a bright blue
“Hearts and Hands comes from my soul; the hearts are those of our family, and the hands are those that put all the little pieces together to make each of
The villagers of Pa Bong, which in Northern Thai means bamboo forest, have been making practical household items out of bamboo for generations, turning ancient skills into a handicraft industry.