Looking for a special souvenir but can’t find anything? You always wanted to try Lanna style dishes but didn’t know where? Although Chiang Mai offers plenty of dining and shopping opportunities, it’s the markets that turn shopping and eating into a special experience! Here are seven must see markets in Chiang Mai:
1. Saturday Night Market (Saturday Night Walking Street)
Every Saturday, the famous Wualai Road, Chiang Mai’s silversmith quartier, turns into a bustling market area which is entirely closed for traffic. Thousands of visitors are drawn by the countless vendors who open their stalls along the length of the road as well as several side roads. Take your time to soak into the wonderful atmosphere, watch people haggling, indulge to delicious Thai snacks or simply look for great souvenirs for family and friends. Just in case you should be tired from all the walking, pamper yourself at one of the dozens of open air massage places for a relaxing foot massage.
Location: along Wualai Road, starting from Chiang Mai Gate.
Open: Saturdays, 17:00-midnight.
2. Sunday Night Market (Sunday Night Walking Street)
The Sunday Night Market is a huge market area which starts at Thapae Gate and goes along the entire stretch of Rachadamnoen Road and its many alleys. It’s in many ways similar to the Saturday Night Market (the roads are closed as well) but several times bigger in size. This market is the place to go if you’re looking for unique handicraft items made from materials like ceramic, silk or wood (among others). It gets quickly busy after sunset when the market really comes alive with lots of entertaining performers and buskers.
Location: along Rachadamnoen Road, starting from Thapae Gate.
Open: Sundays, 16:00-midnight.
3. Chiang Mai Gate
There are two daily markets taking place at Chiang Mai Gate, one in the morning and the other one at night. The morning market is still a hidden gem as it’s not much frequented by visitors; it comprises of a canopied area with solely food sellers and an outside area where vendors sell flowers, clothes, linen and various household items. Come early enough to watch locals buying their daily goods and monks collecting alms. The atmosphere provides fantastic photo opportunities as well.
The night market opens around 17:00 and is only focused around food. You can get mainly Thai dishes here, such as Som Tam (green shredded papaya salad), or the famous Pad Thai, but also a few international dishes such as chicken kebab and biryani. Almost all vendors offer seating facilities as well.
Location: Chiang Mai Gate
Open: daily, morning market – 04:00-12:30; night market: 17:00-midnight.
4. Warorot Market
Warorot is located in the heart of Chiang Mai’s Chinatown and is basically a multi-storey building with dozens of food vendors on the ground floor while you can find lots of small shops selling shoes, clothes and household items on the upper floors. This bustling mall is accompanied by a colourful market just outside the building where you can literally find anything from fruits and vegetables over spices and cooked meals to flowers, toys, watches and electronics. Warorot is also a great place to sample various northern Thai-style dishes, like Sai Oua (grilled pork sausage stuffed with herbs).
Location: 10-15 minutes walking from Thapae Gate, near Ping River.
Open: 05:00-18:00 (Warorot); 05:00-23:00 (the market)
5. Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
The daily occurring Night Bazaar takes place along the stretch of Chan Klang Road with its many side roads and enjoys lots of popularity from its visitors. The vendors here offer significant different items as oppose to the aforementioned Saturday –and Sunday Night Market especially lots of copycat material like DVDs and Rolex watches can be found here. Nevertheless, you can also find lots of unique things here such as luggage –and travel accessories, sunglasses, household items, smooth silk scarfs and much more. If you’re looking for handicraft items, consider visiting Warorot Market as you can get it cheaper there. Generally, be ready to haggle, as you can expect a discount of 25-30%. Dozens of food stalls, eateries and restaurants can be found around the Night Bazaar, speaking you can easily recharge while shopping.
Location: Chan Klang Road
Open: daily, 17:00-00:00.
6. Anusarn Market
Anusarn Market is a small canopied stretch which is connected to the above mentioned Night Bazaar where vendors primarily offer handicraft items similar to those for sale at Saturday –and Sunday Night Market. In addition, you can find numerous Arabic restaurants here, as well as the famous Ladyboy Cabaret.
Location: Chang Klan Road
Open: daily, 18:00- midnight
7. Chang Puak Fresh Market
Located near Chang Puak Gate (which is also known as ‘North Gate’) comes this large market where vendors selling lip-smacking Thai dishes. Enough tables and chairs are around, take a bit of time with you to sample as many dishes as you can.
Location: near Chang Puak Gate.
Open: daily, 17:00-midnight.