Baan Tawai Village was the village of wood sculptures and wood-carved products made in Hangdong District, Chiang Mai Province at present - Baantawai, has become so much more with hundreds of shops set up for exports and wholesaler. There you can purchase just about anything made in Thailand, at greatly reduced prices and there are lots of shipping companies to help get your treasures home be it air freighted or by the container load. There is a day market that makes Chiang Mais night market look small and without selection.
Baan Tawai village market is located off the Chiang Mai - Hangdong road and is the best place to purchase handicrafts but the average tour guides are not going to be too happy to take you there as if they do get any "kickbacks" it is minimum compared to Sangapang road. Baan Tawai used to never be having tour buses but it is clear the tour buses have some arrangement made out there now too. It is best to Hire a seelaour(red truck - hold all your buys) for the day to take you out to explore and it is huge so plan on a whole day. It is the exporters wholesale area with many producer that are strictly offering custom made items but most are willing to sell retail and happy to have you buy direct.
The Chiang Mai Night Market is wonderful to people watch, as long as you like watching tourists and Burmese shop girls as there are few Thai people working there anymore. It is still a great place to see the type of handicrafts available as most large stores and manufactures have their standard products on display there.
Sangkapang road is great a wonderful place to see the art of bamboo parasol being made and to check out some tourist factories selling to the bus tour and unsuspecting "handicraft tour" takers. But if shopping is your thing try Baan Tawai Village.
Sop Moei Arts - Karen art - handicrafts
Is without question one of the finest creator of Thai influenced decor and handicraft items.