10 Thailand souvenirs that don’t suck

Let’s be honest: did you really like that tiny tuk-tuk, paper umbrella or tacky buddha statue your friends brought you as a souvenir from their Thailand trip? Probably not. That’s why we’ve selected 10 unique gifts, so you don’t have to be *that* friend. Most of these items are locally made and exclusively available in Thailand, pleasing even the most aesthetically inclined individual.

‘Very Thai’ book

Very Thai Philip Cornwel-Smith

Ever wondered about the meaning of taxi talismans, the life of Bangkok’s ‘hi-so’ crowd, or why drinks are often served in plastic bags? Philip Cornwel-Smith’s Very Thai gives a fascinating insight into the colorful everyday life of Thailand’s residents and shines a light on aspects of everyday pop culture, Thai design, and ancient traditions. This book is essential for anyone who wants to take a deeper dive into contemporary Thai culture. A lot of ‘Ah, that’s why!’ moments guaranteed.

Where to find it:
Available at most branches of Asia Books. (THB 995,-)

Pryn Parfum perfume

Pryn Parfum

Pryn Parfum was founded in 2016 by Thai filmmaker Prin Lomros as a way to translate his extensive travels to something sensible. The brand’s unisex Ayothaya fragrance is inspired by the ancient Thai kingdom of Ayutthaya, a meeting point for foreign traders from the Middle East, India, China and Europe and a center of Buddhism. This resulted in a woody perfume with notes of gunpowder, oolong tea, teakwood, and patchouli. Not your style? The Pryn Parfum collection also includes fragrances with more citrusy and floral tones.

Where to find it:
Available at Pur.suit in Siam Discovery and online at prynparfum.com. (THB 1495,-)

Thai indigo products

Kindcraft Thailand

3 There’s something incredibly luxurious about hand-crafted textiles, and the indigo fabrics from Northern Thailand’s tribespeople are no exception. The indigo dyeing technique, called mo hom in Thai, starts with green leaves and ends up in a fermented indigo paste to dye the fabric. We like the contemporary take on this technique by Studio Naenna & The Kindcraft, who produced a range of hand-made products using high-quality cotton, natural dying techniques, and ethical production methods.

Where to find it:
Selected pieces available at Studio Naenna in Chiang Mai and the full collection available online at thekindcraft.com. (from THB 3000,-)

Jeep Kongdechakul ceramics

jeep kongdechakul

Bangkok’s Silapakorn University harbors a wealth of creative talent, and alumnae Jeep Kongdechakul, a young Bangkok-based illustrator, is one of our favorites. Taking inspiration from her travels, fashion, and everyday life, her designs are vibrant, eclectic and incredibly charming. Use her colorful ceramic plates as a statement piece to jazz up a dinner table, or hang them on the wall for some seriously cool interior decoration.

Where to find it:
Available at The Selected in Siam Center.

Thai khon masks

Khon Mask Thailand

5 Khon masks play an important role in classical Thai dance-dramas, where actors wore one of the several variations on their head. Once commonplace, few artisans are creating the masks nowadays. Their colorful features and intricate designs make them a statement piece in any home. Authentic, handmade khon masks don’t come cheap, so it’s worth doing your research before purchasing one. If you’re not looking to spend half your holiday budget, the flimsy plastic versions are actually pretty cute, too.

Where to find it:
Available at handicraft and antique stores across the country. Narai Phand in Bangkok is a well-respected supplier. (from THB 7900,-)

Punn pineapple paper

Khon Mask Thailand

6 Pineapples are ubiquitous in Thailand. The fruit is used in juices, curries, and desserts, resulting in tons and tons of leftover pineapple peel. The clever folks at CCC OBJECTS (a Bangkok-based design studio) saw an opportunity and turned this waste into something useful: placemats, trivets, and diffusers made from pineapple fiber. The Punn objects are eco-friendly, durable and water-resistant and provide a colorful touch to any dining table.

Where to find it:
Available at various home-decor stores in Bangkok, such as ROOM Concept Store in Central Embassy. (from THB 500,-)

Chalong Bay rum

Chalong Bay Rum Thailand

7 Some of your best memories in Thailand are probably made with a cocktail in hand. Bring back those memories with a bottle of award-winning Chalong Bay Rum. Made from 100% pure sugarcane, it’s smooth, tropical, and performs well in a wide range of cocktails. Chalong Bay uses sustainable production methods and partners with local farmers to source only the best sugarcane available. Getting buzzed never felt so responsible.

Where to find it:
Available at the bigger supermarkets in Bangkok, or at the ‘Taste of Thailand’ shop in Suvarnabhumi Airport’s duty-free area.

Yugen wellness products

Yugen Thailand

8 Wellness products are a very appropriate gift to bring back from the land of spas, massages and exotic scents. While Bangkok’s malls are stocked with a wide array of wellness-focused brands (our favorites include Pañpuri and Thann), Yugen’s vibrant yet minimalistic packaging really make them stand out from the rest. Check out the massage candles, or opt for the ‘aromatic volcanic stone’ if you’re looking for something a bit more special.

Where to find it:
Available in the wellness section of many department stores and malls, such as Siam Paragon and Emporium.

Thai coffee beans

Roots Coffee Bangkok

9 The perfect gift for a friend that takes their coffee seriously. One of Bangkok’s prime coffee institutions, Roots, sources beans from Northern Thailand (in addition to beans from places such as Rwanda and Brazil) and crafts them into killer espressos at their Bangkok coffee bar.  Tasting notes for their ‘Thailand’ espresso beans include ‘cotton candy’, ‘creamy’ and ‘peanut butter aftertaste’, but we’ll let you be the judge.

Where to find it:
Available at Roots BKK at The COMMONS, Thonglor soi 17. (THB 550,-)

THINGG home decor

THINGG Thailand

10 Set up by the creative duo behind Bangkok-based design studio THINKK, the home decor products from THINGG combine contemporary designs with traditional Thai craftsmanship. Products are handmade by local craftsmen and have won various design awards across the globe. The THINGG collection consists of items made from marble, ceramic, palm leaf and teak wood and range from lamps to small containers.

Where to find it:
Available at Siam Discovery

 

 

✨ Want to spend less on your souvenir shopping? Check out our favorite cheap and cheerful Thai souvenirs (all for less than a 100 baht!)