LUXE City Guides - Chiang Mai - - Charoenrat Road -

Step back in time at this quick-shop strip clus­tered in and around some fine old teak houses by the Ping River, in the most charm­ing part of town. Start this walk­ing tour by head­ing out of the city across Nawarat Bridge and turn­ing left onto Charoen­rat Rd., keep­ing the river on your left. On the right at #14 is Rar­in­jinda Well­ness Spa’s (see Spa) Bloom­ing Shop for sig­na­ture es­sen­tial oils and suds, and take note of The River­side 1 on your left (see Rest./ Re­laxed) at #9, with the se­cond branch op­po­site. Then it’s on­wards to Vila Cini at #30-34 / 053 246 246 / vi­ / for flow­ing silks, cush­ions, shawls, Sino-style lacquer and teak boxes. Next door, sis­ter shop Ori­en­tal Style at #36 / 053 243 156 / has ele­phant logo-ed cot­ton prod­ucts. Keep right, cross a road and come to Nus­sara at #66 / 053 302 072 / for trad Thai cot­ton, hemp clothes and shoul­der bags. Cross the road for The Meet­ing Room / 080 627 9219 / a con­vivial lit­tle hy­brid coffee shop/resto/wine bar and art gallery with amaz­ing lamps and sil­ver jew­ellery. At #86 is Cir­cle Source / 053 302 719 / for lo­cally-made mul­berry pa­pers. Com­ing up at #116 is Su­vannab­humi Art Gallery / 081 031 5309 / su­vannab­hu­mi­art­ / for two floors of Burmese art. Keep on for fairtrade Sop Moei Arts (see Stand­out Stores) at #150/10 with mod­ern tribal silk, cot­ton tex­tiles and gor­geous wall hang­ings, then at #152 Tanita House / 053 243 755 / an­ / has plenty of dé­cor and an­tiques dis­played in pretty wooden Thai houses in a court­yard. Next door at #154 is Colour Fac­tory / 053 246 448 / colour­ / with an Ele­phant Pa­rade (see Stand­out Stores) on the ground floor and hand­bags in snake skin on the top floor. Op­tions, if your stom­ach’s about to eat it­self, sim­ply cross from Tanita House to Comedara at #193 / 053 248 751 / a two­s­torey colo­nial house with trad Lanna art in the gallery and Thai bites by the river, or whiz back to The River­side 1 for more re­laxed Thai, or a pam­per at Rar­in­jinda Spa-aaah.

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