Finely detailed hand work
and distinctive design make
Thailand gifts a popular choice!
Thailand compares in size to France in both area and population (60+ million). It is bordered by Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia; and the southern isthmus (with the Andaman Sea/Indian Ocean to the west and the Gulf of Thailand to the east) extends to Malaysia.
While Thailand's climate is generally tropical with seasonal monsoons, the north enjoys a cooler season, especially in the mountains. The climate and geography are well suited to growing rice – in fact, Thailand exports more rice than any other country.
The Thai people migrated from China into southeast Asia around 1000 years ago and founded the first Thai nation-state in 1238. Formerly known as Siam, the Kingdom of Thailand is a constitutional monarchy. Thailand is the only southeast Asian country to remain independent throughout the European colonial period.
The culture of Thailand reflects the fact that about 95% of the population are Buddhists. There is a small minority of Muslims in the south, smaller minorities of Hindus and Christians, and traces of Spirit worship and animism. A strong respect for elders and ancestors plays an essential role in the Thai peoples' spiritual and daily practices.
Thai culture (and Thailand gifts) incorporate traditions of the ethnic groups within the population - among them, Chinese, Indian, Malay, Khmer-Mon, Vietnamese, and various hill tribes in the north. Cultural imagery is often seen in the arts and crafts of Thailand, which include textiles, ceramics, wood carvings, silver and lacquer ware, and jewelry.
Thailand gifts are popular among our visitors. Here are creative gift ideas selected from the treasure trove of fair trade products offered by NOVICA in association with National Geographic. Enjoy the beautiful Thailand scenes as we shop!
Ceramics and Porcelain
Benjarong, Thailand's "royal" porcelain, is made with colored enamels hand painted on a white porcelain base. This craft dates from China's Ming dynasty, but the name has its roots in Bali and Sanskrit words for "five colors."
Benjarong features traditional Thai motifs and symbols, often repeated in stunning geometrical patterns that are both compact and delicate. Most Thai Benjarong designs are lavishly accented in gold, in a style called "Lai Nam Thong." These are elegant Thailand gifts!
Celadon ceramics – The term "celadon" refers both to a type of glaze that produces a crackled effect, and to the pale jade- or sea-green color prized by collectors. Celadon can be made in other colors, depending on the type of clay used and how thickly the glaze is applied.
Celedons are not limited to tableware, though this celadon tea set is a well-chosen gift for any table. A pair of lotus blossom candle holders are charming Thailand gifts for tapers, or the blossom can be removed and the base used to hold a votive or small pillar. Find a huge variety of Celadon gifts from Thailand, beginning with boxes and jars and continuing with figurines, vases, and many others in the dropdown menu at upper left.
Laterite is an interesting material for ceramics. It's a clay-like substance made by decomposing rocks, tropical heat, heavy rains, and centuries of time. In this laterite vase, the antiquity of the material is well complemented by the distinctive hand painted design.
Textiles, Silk, Batik
Textiles, particularly silk, are among the major exports of Thailand, and the hand work is beautiful. From garments and accessories to fabric items for the home, to framed textile art, one of these Thailand gifts is sure to please your most discriminatiing recipient.
Wall Hangings - Thai wall hangings feature hand loomed textiles, hand stitched embroidery, applique, and batik. There's a slightly whimsical tone to this cotton batik "Proud Male Bird" and his companion, "Proud Female Bird." The pair would be well-chosen Thailand gifts for an anniversary couple - cotton (traditional) for the 2nd or textiles (modern) for the 13th.
Gifts of Silk - You'll find gorgeous Thailand gifts of pure silk, or silk and cotton blend, among these scarves and shawls.
Textile Bags - Any woman who lugs a lot of stuff around (don't we all?) will be pleased to receive a hand bag or shoulder bag from this extra-large collection. The link opens to cotton bags, and the drop down menu will take you to bags made of silk, leather, hemp, bamboo, and even sterling silver - there's huge variety in these Thailand gifts!
Household Linens from Thailand are offered in arange of colors and designs that will complement almost any decor. Here is a great selection of cushion covers, and you can find bedding, throws, and table linens in the drop-down menu at the upper left of the page.
in Wood and Other Materials
Teak is used to make many Thailand gifts for the home, and here is a collection of teak relief panels by an artist whose family has worked with wood for generations. His "Lotus Circle" mirror would be a beautiful housewarming gift, or a gift of wood for a 5th (traditional) or 6th (modern) anniversary couple.
This artist's lacquered wood home accents are customer favorites - just read his reviews! Wood, ceramic and other materials are used in the animal figurines and other sculptures found in the drop down menu.
For lovers of contemporary styling, we suggest this mango wood and glass vase.
Paintings, Photography and Prints
Whatever art style your recipient favors, Thailand's fine artists are sure to please. The Buddhist category shows the great variety of style in Thai art, and a dozen other categories appear in the drop down menu at the upper left. I'd love to display "Forest Serenity" in my home (hope my children see this!).
Novica also offers ink prints/paintings and photography.
Jewelry and Personal Items
Jewelry - Thailand gifts of jewelry are crafted from all sorts of interesting materials including silver, leather, coconut shells, many types of gemstones, and even real flowers!
Jewelry from Thailand can complement a casual, dressy, or tailored outfit. Isn't "Budding Beauty" a pretty pearl ring, fashioned with zirconium accents in a hand crafted sterling silver setting?
You can choose among hundreds of pairs of earrings at Novica, and you'll find hundreds of other Thailand jewelry gifts in the drop down menu.
Personal stationery items - Papermaking is an ancient Thai art. Their famous "Saa" paper is made from the bark of mulberry trees, using environmentally sustainable methods, and has a very nice texture. Many of these Thailand gifts are decorated with natural materials, and some are creatively embossed.
A photo album is a terrific wedding or Mothers Day gift, and some of the journals offered at Novica come in matching pairs. Here's a striking design called "Natural Artists in Red," a pair of nicely hand bound journals decorated with bougainvillea petals, 25 pages each. Two gifts in one purchase!
The Thai Mulberry Artisans offer sets of 8 greeting cards with envelopes (both holiday and all-occasion). And to complete your gift giving needs, Thai Saa Paper Artisans offer sheets of screen printed saa paper. The large 20" x 27" sheets make lovely gift wrap but can also be used to make lamp shades or parasols.
As I mentioned above, NOVICA brings us fair trade Thailand gifts in association with National Georgraphic. I recently ordered another gift through National Geographic and, as usual, the quality and service were top notch.
Thailand gifts have that certain something
that pleases recipients. A fair trade purchase
gives you an extra good feeling too!
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Logo photo by Jane M. Sawyer; temple rooftops and temple guards by Prasit Imtanavanich;
Buddhist monks by "ameenullah"; seated Buddha and beach scene by "rakihi";
elephants and longtail boat by Keith Richardson - all courtesy of morguefile;
rice field workers by Gili Fahima; City of Bangkok by Dan C/interact images - both
courtesy of stock.xchng. Map courtesy of Microsoft.