10 Essential Thai Gift Ideas this Holiday Season
Travelers in Thailand this holiday season have hit the jackpot. Gifts and souvenirs here are not only in abundance but also incredibly cheap, making it easy to stock up on presents to bring back to your loved ones this Christmas. Here, 10 essential Thai gift ideas this holiday season.
Thai silk is a coveted commodity around the globe, and those visitors to Thailand should be sure to pick up a scarf or two before departing the Land of Smiles. American entrepreneur Jim Thompson made Thai silk famous after he ventured to Bangkok before later disappearing in 1967 in the hills of Malaysia. The production and popularity of the product lived on, however, and purchasing a piece of Thai silk is essential while visiting the country. A few places to find real silk in Bangkok include the Jim Thompson Factory Outlet and Queen Thai Silk. For those Christmas shoppers on a budget, there are also plenty of places that sell synthetic Thai silk, as well.
Thailand is home to some of the strangest and tastiest bites of all. From chilli-flavoured larvae to dried fruit, one cannot go wrong with purchasing their loved one a satisfying Thai snack for them to later enjoy and have their own taste of Thailand. Entire bags of dried fruit start out at as little as ฿100 (approximately $US3), and many of vendors will give customers discounts for purchasing multiple items, as well. These also make for great stocking stuffers!
Muay Thai gear
Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand, and many of visitors partake in a round or two and utilise their fists, elbows, knees, and feet in the ring. Otherwise known as the art of eight limbs, this sport is the most popular one in the country, and there are many stadiums to watch these vicious fights go down in Thailand. For those tourists who have sports-loving family members back home, Muay Thai shorts or boxing tape is makes for the most perfect of gift.
Thai spa products
Thailand is a haven of spa products. Each bar of soap made in Thailand is an aromatic combination of unique herbs found in abundance here, including lavender, lemongrass, coconut, and more. Thai soaps start out at as little as ฿40 a piece and go up to a few hundred baht depending on the brand and size. Regardless, these are both cheap and unique gifts to give loved ones this holiday season.
Theravada Buddhism is the most practised religion in Thailand, and it is a vital component of the lives of many locals. Instances of this doctrine can be found across the country, and getting someone a gift relating to this highly revered religion will undoubtedly be a coveted one. Visitors to Thailand will see many of locals wearing Buddhist amulets, and this is one gift that is both cheap and unique. Be sure to be respectful and do not get any item that relates to the Buddha that is used as a home decoration, as it is considered to be very rude to do so.
Thai spices or cookbook
While you cannot ship home the tasty Thai meals you have enjoyed to friends and family, you can give them the ingredients they need to create their own delicious Thai meals instead. Some essential Thai herbs and spices include curry paste, coriander root, dried chillies, galangal, and more. Many of these can be purchased in thin, plastic baggies and are dried to make transporting them easiest and make great gifts for the self-proclaimed foodies in your life. If you cannot bring back the herbs and spices needed to cook a Thai meal, visitors can instead opt to purchase a Thai cuisine cookbook. There are a plethora of different recipes one can utilise in the kitchen to recreate some of their favourite meals that are native to the Land of Smiles and relatively easy to create.
Anything with an elephant on it
While we discourage anyone from riding an elephant, purchasing some sort of elephant paraphilia is highly encouraged! The elephant is the national animal of Thailand and is incredibly symbolic of the country. Many of elephant statues are found around Bangkok, elephant sanctuaries (though not all reputable) are located across the country, and Thailand is one of the few countries visitors can frequent and be able to interact with the animal. Per usual, be sure to do so in an ethical way and not ride them.
Thais have quite the craftsmanship, and one of the most coveted and artistic of souvenirs are the many wood-carved ones found in both markets and malls. You can purchase things like hanging or standing lights, cool wall décor, coasters, and much more.
Paper lights and lanterns
Thailand’s markets are aglow with hanging, paper lights and standing lamps. Not only are these items affordable but they are also incredibly cheap, making them great gifts to take back home to your family this holiday season. Paper lights also fold up easier making them more convenient to pack for the long haul home.
Visitors should not depart Thailand without trying a local beer or spirit (or both). Drinking here is reasonably inexpensive, and regional brands tend to be the cheapest of them all. Because of this, this cheap booze has become a souvenir that many of tourists take home with them. Visitors can also opt to take back Thai booze paraphernalia, like a koozie or shot glass, for example. Be sure to check how much alcohol is allowed into your home country before boarding a red-eye with a few bottles in tow.