As you guys may know I’ve been based in Chiang Mai recently, and of course had to scope out some of the best thrifting spots for you!
When I heard about Free Bird Cafe I immediately arranged a lunch date to check it out. It’s in the centre of Chiang Mai and is pretty easy to find if you look out for the banners and graffiti outside. It’s always busy with travellers, hippies and foreigners, plus a few locals too.
Although I found a few second hand clothes places in Chiang Mai this was the only ‘charity shop’ I tracked down. It’s such a gap in the market! They take donations from travellers who need to lighten their bag as they go/shop, and also locals of course. They sell books and clothes on site, but will take pretty much anything. The items they don’t choose to sell in the shop are given to refugees arriving in the area, or sent out to other worthy causes in Chiang Mai. All the money raised goes towards funding the Thai Freedom House (for Burmese refugees).
The actual cafe itself was super cool – lots of photos of supporters on the wall, regular ethical events going on, travel books to read, and of course my beloved charity shop.
Here’s a quick sample of the food – basically it was epic! All vegetarian and organic with heaps of vegan options and rejuvenating smoothies. I managed to hunt down the most sinful thing on the menu (rich dark chocolate brownie) which was heavenly! I balanced it out with some hummus and vegetables, while the others had curries. Yummy!
I wolfed down the (delicious food) as elegantly as I could whilst being DESPERATE to finish up and go thrifting. They had a surprisingly large selection of clothes, books, shoes, and accessories. As everything has been donated by travellers it’s ideal for other travellers – they had exactly what I needed for lightweight, comfortable, stylish clothes. Wonderful.
There were lots of thoughtful touches like you being able to try on a sample size of the branded t-shirts to make sure you got the right fit. Wish more places would do this!
Here I am in heaven! I ended up getting a super cute white crochet top with a very 90s traveller vibe, and my friend Steph got a gorgeous burgundy high-low skirt. I was tempted by LOADS of things but am trying to be good since my 30 Day Declutter Challenge.
I’d definitely recommend you guys checking this place out if you’re ever in Thailand. The food was amazing, service great, full of cool people, and even a charity shop tagged on.