When you travel to the Land of Smiles, you’ll discover a multitude of delights that will awaken all five senses. You’ll find an incredible variety of souvenirs to take home as a testament to your exotic holiday. Be seduced by the shopping centres, floating markets, souvenir shops and amazing craft shops, where you can buy unique souvenirs in Thailand.
From handicrafts and textiles of impressive quality to exotic spices and culinary delights, you’ll be amazed at the variety of items you can pick up on your visit to Bangkok and the surrounding area. If you’re wondering “what to bring back from Thailand”, here are some of the best souvenirs not to be missed on your trip.
Cultural Thai souvenirs
Thailand is a great destination to explore a unique culture and buy traditional souvenirs.
Thailand is a country renowned for Buddhism, so the Buddha statues here are particularly exquisite and have great spiritual value. This would be a unique souvenir, steeped in Asian culture, for you or your loved ones.
The statues are not only aesthetically pleasing objects, they also represent a delicate blend of the soul of Thai culture. With a variety of styles and materials, you can easily find a small Buddha statue for decoration or a large statue to create a focal point in your living space.
Traditional Khon masks
Khon is a traditional form of theatre distinct from Thai culture. Its signature element is the Khon mask. These masks have great meaning and value, as they are made by hand in various stages, from preparing the paper to creating the lines, painting and adding the motifs.
Artisans need around 10 days to produce a detailed mask, with each line carefully crafted. This is why the price of each Khon mask can range from 50 to 120 dollars.
Nowadays, Khon theatre masks are not only used in plays, but have also become souvenirs and decorative objects that can be found all over Thailand. Owning a colourful and captivating mask, steeped in Thai culture, would be a meaningful souvenir for yourself and your friends.
Thai lanterns also known as ‘Khôm Loi’, are characteristic Thai souvenirs used for decorative purposes. They are made from materials such as paper, silk and bamboo, and come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colours.
Thai lanterns are often decorated with lively motifs or traditional symbols of the country. They’re a great souvenir to bring back with you on your visit to Thailand, and can add an interesting and authentic Asian touch to your living or working space.
Thai lanterns can be found almost everywhere, but are particularly prevalent in Chiang Mai.
Thailand is a country with a rich and varied cuisine, offering many gourmet products to bring back as gifts for your family and friends when you travel.
Thai spices and sauces
Thai cuisine would not be complete without its characteristic spices and delicious sauces. If you’re wondering which spices to bring back from Thailand to recreate traditional Thai dishes at home, here are some of the commonly used spices:
- Sriracha hot sauce: A distinctive hot sauce made from fresh chillies, garlic, sugar and vinegar.
- Tamarind sauce: A sweet and sour sauce made from tamarind pulp, sugar and other spices.
- Hot fish sauce: A savoury sauce made from fish sauce, fresh chillies, lime and sugar.
- Thai curry powder: There are several types of curry powder, such as red curry, green curry and yellow curry, which offer rich, aromatic flavours.
- Tom Yum sauce: A sauce characteristic of Thailand, with a tangy, spicy flavour derived from fish sauce, lemon juice, chillies, lemongrass and other spices.
- Pad Thai sauce: A sweet and spicy sauce used in the Pad Thai dish, made from bean paste, sugar, fish sauce and spices such as garlic, onion and chillies.
- Five spices: A blend of spices including cloves, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg and black pepper.
Thai tea/milk tea and coffee
Thai tea is famous for its distinct flavours and refined aromas. From fresh green teas to full-bodied black teas, jasmine teas and herbal teas, Thailand has a wide variety of teas to tempt tea lovers.
Thai milk tea is also an emblematic drink of Thai cuisine, particularly popular with young people. This bagged beverage is a must-have gift on a trip to Thailand. With its deliciously sweet and fragrant taste, Thai milk tea in a bag will not disappoint. The two most famous varieties are green and red Thai milk tea.
Thai coffee is also a tasty gift not to be missed. A famous variety in northern Thailand is Black Ivory coffee, known as “elephant dung coffee”. This top-of-the-range coffee is created from the digestion of coffee beans by elephants in a reserve. It’s a luxury product that’s much appreciated by coffee lovers.
One of the most delicious gifts to buy on a trip to Thailand is undoubtedly dried fruit. Thailand is renowned as a paradise for many tropical fruits. Dried fruit is widely available in shops and markets in Thailand at reasonable prices.
Here are just a few of the popular dried fruits you shouldn’t miss: dried mangoes, dried longans, dried coconuts, dried jack fruit, dried grapefruit, dried papayas,…
Thai snacks and instant noodles
Snacks and instant noodles are also gastronomic gifts not to be missed on a trip to Thailand.
Among the snacks you can find delicious, creamy Thai banana cakes, crispy puffed prawns, tasty Bento snacks and a variety of sweets made with tamarind, a fruit characteristic of Thailand,…
When it comes to instant noodles, Thailand is renowned for its sweet and sour and spicy flavours. You can buy packets of pad thai, tom yum soup, etc., for a hands-on experience of Thai cooking. If you want to cook for yourself, you can also buy noodles and vermicelli separately for more variety.
Traditional clothing and textiles
If you’re looking for souvenirs in Thiland that are easy to buy and highly functional, clothing is certainly a suggestion that couldn’t be more appropriate.
Thai ‘Sarongs’ are interesting clothing souvenirs that you can find in Thailand. The sarong is a type of long, wide fabric used to make dresses, coats or to wrap around the hips. It is usually made from lightweight materials such as silk, cotton or linen, providing a comfortable, cool feeling on hot days.
Sarongs come in many bright colours, with unique designs and traditional motifs from Thai culture. Thais often wear sarongs on special occasions such as festivals. You can find these sarongs everywhere at reasonable prices.
Thai silk is a precious, hand-woven fabric, traditionally renowned for its finesse and superior quality. Made from high-quality silk, it offers a perfect balance between softness and durability.
What sets Thai silk apart are its varied colours and patterns. From bright hues to neutral tones, there is Thai silk to suit every taste. Its diversity makes it a unique and popular choice for textile lovers.
Not only loved by travellers from all over the world for its extraordinary destinations, unique cuisine and fascinating culture, Thailand also attracts with its colourful fashion markets. No matter where you travel in Thailand, you’ll find brightly patterned elephant trousers in casual style lining every street from Bangkok to Hua Hin to Chiang Mai.
This is why Thai trousers, or ‘elephant trousers’, are considered a ‘speciality’ of the Land of the Golden Temple and embody the distinctive Thai culture. Thai elephant trousers are available at an affordable price. That’s why everyone who travels to Thailand buys elephant trousers in a variety of colours, or buys them as gifts for friends and family.
Muay Thai shorts
Muay Thai shorts have recently become a popular attraction for many tourists. They offer a feeling of comfort and extreme sportiness. There are different types of fabric, but satin remains the most popular. If you’re passionate about this traditional Thai martial art, don’t miss this great opportunity to buy some. You can buy them in sports shops, shopping centres or open-air markets.
Hill tribe handicrafts
Hill tribe handicrafts in Thailand are a captivating mix of delicate embroidery, woven hats and colourful weaving. These tribal communities proudly pass on their ancestral traditions through works of art.
Elaborate pieces of embroidery, such as fashion accessories and decorative items, reflect the skill and beauty of the craft. Bamboo products, such as baskets, hats and boxes, are both practical and aesthetically pleasing. They are ideal choices to bring back from Thailand.
Jewellery and accessories
Thailand is renowned for its meticulously designed and diverse silver jewellery. If you like top brand charm bracelets but hesitate because of their high price, Thai silver charm bracelets will certainly be an appropriate choice for you.
There are also other types of jewellery, such as finely crafted silver necklaces, rings and earrings.
These pieces feature elaborate motifs inspired by nature, spiritual symbols and traditional Thai art.
Rattan bags and purses
Rattan bags and purses are popular souvenirs in Thailand. They are made from woven natural rattan fibres, giving them a rustic and authentic look, with colourful patterns and elaborate details. These items are often handmade by talented craftsmen, representing traditional craftsmanship.
In Thailand, rattan bags are widely used as beach bags, shopping bags and fashion accessories. Rattan wallets are practical for storing coins and cards,…
Massage balms and oils
Thai massage balms and oils are widely appreciated for their therapeutic and relaxing benefits. They are made from natural ingredients such as medicinal herbs, plant extracts and specific essential oils.
Balms are particularly effective in relieving muscle pain, promoting blood circulation and reducing tension. In Thailand, Tiger Balm hot oil and Premium Plus Herbal Liquid Balm are particularly famous and highly appreciated.
The oils offer a smooth glide during massages, while also having moisturising properties for the skin. In Thailand, Tiger Balm hot oil and Premium Plus Herbal Liquid Balm are particularly famous and highly appreciated.
Soaps and natural beauty products
On a trip to Thailand, handmade Thai soaps and local beauty products are gifts not to be missed. Soaps are made from natural ingredients such as honey, goat’s milk and herbs, and are often shaped like cute fruits or animals, with attractive fragrances.
Thai beauty products also include essential oils extracted from plants, flowers and herbs, offering pure aromas and health and spiritual benefits.
Among these products, coconut oil holds a special place in the field of beauty and wellness products, and coconut oil from Thailand is renowned for its exceptional quality. These products are considered essential gifts for visitors to the country.
Medicinal herb balls
Thai medicinal herb balls are a must-have gift for your trip to Thailand. These balls, made from dried medicinal herbs, offer a unique experience of well-being. They are appreciated for their soothing and revitalising properties. These natural gifts allow you to take home a piece of Thai culture and wellness traditions.
Where can you buy the best Thai souvenirs?
Chatuchak Weekend Market
The must-see market in Bangkok, Thailand, is the Chatuchak Weekend Market. Open mainly on Friday evenings and all day on Saturdays and Sundays, this market has over 15,000 stalls selling all kinds of Thai souvenirs at low prices.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
At Chatuchak, you’ll find hundreds of stalls selling Thai silk scarves, Thai silk shawls, wood carvings, incense, jewellery, silk pillowcases, artworks, paintings, vases, wooden boxes, Buddha statues, ceramic items – in short, virtually every souvenir made in Thailand is available at Chatuchak.
Mahboonkrong Mall (MBK center)
- Map: 444 Phaya Thai Road, Wang Mai, Pathum Wan, Bangkok
- Open: 10 am – 10 pm
The multi-storey MBK is one of Bangkok’s most legendary shopping centres. The first few floors of the MBK offer everyday goods such as clothes, shoes, accessories, DVDs, jewellery and more. However, if you are looking for cheap Thai souvenirs, head to the seventh floor of the mall, where there is a large section dedicated to Thai handicrafts.
Mahboonkrong Mall (MBK)
Here you can buy Thai silk (clothes, ties, handbags, pillowcases), wooden handicrafts, lacquerware, handmade candles, Thai handmade paper products, jewellery, Buddha statues, handmade paper flowers, Thai paper lamps, bags and handbags. There’s even a stall selling eco-friendly clothes, the perfect souvenir for those who want to help protect the planet.
Talad Lot Fai (the train market)
- Map: Rama IX Road, Huai Khwang, Bangkok
- Open: 4 pm – 0 am
At Talad Lot Fai, also known as the ‘train market’, you’ll find a host of unusual Thai antiques, Thai kitsch from the 70s and 80s, Thai t-shirts and clothing, snacks and sweets, and even old car parts and radios.
What’s more, the atmosphere is great, with plenty of food and drink stalls creating a festive atmosphere. If you’re looking for something to do on a Saturday or Sunday night in Bangkok, this is a great place to shop, eat and drink. Don’t miss out on a visit to the old warehouses, where you’ll find antique shops and plenty of vintage goods.
Buying tips for souvenirs in Thailand
In Thailand, 7% value-added tax (VAT) is charged on products sold. If you wish to obtain a refund of this tax when you leave the country, it is advisable to make your purchases in places that display the sign “VAT refund for tourists”.
To be eligible for a refund, you must make purchases of at least 2,000 baht in the same shop on the same day. Ask for the “PP10 VAT Refund Form” at the shop where you make your purchases and add your invoices to this form. Be sure to specify expenses of at least 2,000 baht or more on each form.
In addition, you must have made purchases of at least 5,000 baht during your entire stay to be eligible for a tax refund. Requests for refunds must be made within 60 days of the date of purchase. When you leave the country, you can present your forms at the airport to claim the refund.
Thailand offers a varied selection of unique and authentic souvenirs that will delight your loved ones or embellish your home. Exquisite wood carvings, sparkling silks and traditional handicrafts will remind you of Thailand’s rich culture at every turn.
What’s more, take home spices, herbs and spicy sauces to prolong the Thai culinary experience back home. Don’t miss the chance to own the memories we’ve shared with you.