Seville Cathedral in Spain

10 Must-Visits and Must-Sees in Seville, Spain

The Moorish, Romans, and Christians that passed through Seville left in the city an incomparable cultural legacy that still lives on. This past heritage that can be seen all over town — in the arts, language, and architecture — is a big part of what makes Seville, to this day, one of the most vibrant cities in Spain.

And that’s why we wanted to put together information on the best spots, monuments, and landmarks that you can visit when you’re in town.

P.S. Since monuments tend to have a large tourist influx, buy your tickets online to avoid the queues.

 

1. Seville Cathedral

UNESCO World Heritage site.

Its real name is Saint Mary of the Sede Cathedral, and it’s the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world.

 

Cathédrale de Séville

Seville Cathedral

 

One of the most interesting facts about the Cathedral is that it was built over a Muslim mosque right after Seville was reconquered by the Christians from the Muslim Moors. However, the real ex-libris of the building is the La Giralda tower: an old Moorish minaret that was converted into a bell tower.

Still the tallest building in Seville, La Giralda was the highest tower in Europe for many centuries. Its 104 meters of height is not the only impressive thing about La Giralda. The tower is so wide that it could be climbed by a man on horseback.

 

Seville cathedral, Spain

 

From the top of the tower, you’ll get the best view of Seville and El Patio de Los Naranjos — one of the remains of the old mosque.

There are 2 types of visits available:

• The interior of the Cathedral for €9 (locals, the unemployed, and under 14 pay €4)

• “The Roofs of the Cathedral”, a guided tour through the roof of the Cathedral, that also includes a visit to the interior afterward. The price is €15 and lasts an hour and a half.

 

20170719_123910__DSC1152-Pano.jpg

 

You can buy your tickets online here:  www.articketing.vocces.com

Timetables

Monday: 11h to 15:30h
Tuesday to Saturday: 11h to 17h
Sunday: 14:30 to 18h

Exceptional timetables (July and August)

Monday: 10:30 to 16:00
Tuesday to Saturday: 10:30 to 18:00
Sunday: 14:00 to 19:00

2. General Archive of the Indies

UNESCO World Heritage site.

Right next to the cathedral is the Archivo General de Indias, a building where all the documents referring to the Spanish colonies and overseas expansion are stored. Perfect for anyone who likes history — plus, the entrance is free.


Timetable:

Monday to Saturday das 9:30 às 17h
Sundays and holidays 10:00 às 14:00h.

 

3. Alcázar of Seville

Located near the Cathedral in the heart of the city, is the oldest royal palace still in use in all Europe. The upper levels are still used by the Spanish Royal Family as the official Seville Residence.

For all the Game of Thrones fans: the palace was used as set for Water Gardens at Dorne.

Day-visits ticket cost: €11.50 (students up to 25 y.o pay €3). Free for under 16 and locals
Night-visits ticket cost: €14.

You can buy the tickets online here: www.realalcazarsevilla.sacatuentrada.com

Timetable:

October to March from 9:30 to 17:00h
April to September from 9:30 to 19:00.

 

4. Barrio de Santa Cruz

The Barrio de Santa Cruz is an old Jewish Quarter that flourished by the mosque — now the Seville Cathedral. It’s a charming and complex labyrinth of narrow streets, alleys, and squares painted by colorful houses and the flowers on pretty much every patio.
In case you get lost, find a bar with a terrace and grab a drink. You can find your way back later.

 

Bar Las Teresas 001

 

5. Barrio de San Bartolomé

The neighborhood of San Bartolomé is a less visited but equally picturesque neighborhood located around a church with the same name.

Here, we recommend a visit to the ancient Moorish palace Casa de Pilatos. Ticket cost to visit the entire palace is €12. The cost to visit just the ground floor is €10. Both visits include an audioguide.

 

Casa de Pilatos

Casa de Pilatos (Seville)

Timetables to Casa de Pilatos:

November to March 9:00 às 18:00
April to October 9:00 às 19:00





6. Plaza de España and the Maria Luisa Garden

A 10-minute walk from the Cathedral is the Plaza de España. Built on 1929 for the Ibero-American exhibition, it gained interplanetary recognition when it appeared as planet Naboo in Star Wars Episode II.

Plaza de España

 

Right in front of the Plaza de España is a large park perfect for a bike ride or for a walk on the peak heat hours of the day. Along the park, you’ll find statues, fountains and the Mudejar Pavillion that serves as the Museum of Arts and Traditions of Seville.

If you are a European citizen you can enter de Pavillion for free. Other nationalities pay a €1,5 fee.

Timetables for the Mudejar Pavillion

June to August it’s open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9:00 to 15:00.
The rest of the year it’s open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9:00 às 21:00. Sundays and holidays from 9:00 às 15:00h.

 

7. Seville Aquarium

Right by to the river, near the Maria Luisa Park is the Aquarium of Seville. Great for families with kids.

Ticket cost:

Adults pay €15
Kids 4 to 14 pay €10
For family discounts, group rates and timetables check:  www.acuariosevilla.es/en/hours-and-rates

 

8. Barrio de Triana

Another typical neighborhood next to the Guadalquivir River and a must-visit for those wanting to experience the genuine atmosphere of Andaluzia.

During the day check the local Triana Market, and at night have a drink at one of the many bars in Calle Betis or Calle Pureza. If you’re interested in attending a genuine Flamenco show, go to Casa Anselma. Drinks can be expensive around here, but the Flamenco is the real deal.

 

Seville 2017

 

Public Transport to Barrio de Triana

Catch the metro and leave it in Plaza de Cuba and Parque de Los Principes, or hop on the bus nº5,6,40,43, C1 or C2.





9. Metropol Parasol

This controversial building that many Sevillians refer to as “the mushrooms of Seville”, has four different levels that you can visit.

 

Metropol Parasol - Sevilla

 

At level 0 you’ll find an Antiquarium with Moorish and Roman remains. At level 1 is Seville’s old central market with fresh produce, a bar, and restaurants. On the second level are the panoramic terraces usually used for concerts venues. And finally, the last level on top of the structure is a great viewpoint over Seville.

 

Vista aéra Metropol Parasol

 

The Antiquarium can be visited from Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 20:00 and on Sundays and holidays from 10:00 to 14:00 The price of the ticket is € 2.

To access the top level, you’ll have to pay a €3 fee and can only do it from Sundays to Thursdays 9:30 to 23:00 and Fridays 9:30 to 23:30.

 

10. Palacio de las Dueñas

After a 15-minute walk from the Cathedral is a very eclectic palace (which still belongs to Alba’s house) filled with large collections of Spanish paintings and artifacts. The buildings and courtyards were influenced by Renaissance, Gothic and Moorish styles, making it a major historic home of Seville.

 

Ticket cost:

€10. Children and students under 25 pay €8.
You can book your tickets here: www.lasduenas.es/tickets

Timetable:

From April to September it’s open from 10 to 20h, and between October and March, it’s open from 10 to 18h.

Cover photo by Matt Kieffer.

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Myanmar at night

Entering Myanmar (Land borders, Airports, and Limitations)

Now that you know what needs to be done to get your visa, let’s talk about the most common ways to enter Myanmar.

Getting into Myanmar by land

Currently, travelers are only allowed to walk into Myanmar through Thailand as the land borders with Bangladesh, Laos, and China are closed to foreigners. If you’re coming from India (Moreh, Manipur State) you must acquire a permit which is obtained separately to your visa.

Read Myanmar Visas for Foreigners where we’ve gathered all the info on Visas so that your trip can get off on the right foot. We covered all the bases: from the application process to required documents and costs.

Crossing Thailand – Myanmar land borders

If you’ve applied for a Myanmar e-Visa and intend to cross the Thailand-Myanmar border,
you can only do it through the following land ports:

• Mae Sai / Tachileik
• Mae Sot / Myawaddy
• Ranong / Kawthaung

 

Getting into Myanmar by Airplane

In case you’re coming from overseas, Myanmar has 3 airports receiving international flights:

• Yangon International Airport (aka Yangon Mingaladon Airport)
• Mandalay International Airport
• Nay Pyi Taw International Airport.

As many airlines fly to Myanmar from Bangkok, you are likely to make your layover there. And it’s possible that you’ll have to change airports (from Suvarnabhumi International Airport to Don Mueang) if your next flight is on a low-cost airline. If so, there are free shuttle buses linking the two airports.

For more info and timetables on the Free Shuttle Bus service go to www.thaizer.com/free-airport-shuttle-bus.

Standard airlines such as ThaiSmile, Bangkok Airways, and Myanmar Airways International always depart from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

 

Airplane flying Myanmar
Photo by Papa Dos.

Flying from Bangkok to Yangon

Low-cost flights from Bangkok (Don Mueang Airport) to Yangon take about 1h20 and cost between €100 and €150 — depending on the time of year.

The low-cost airlines with the most frequent flights are:

• NokAir
• Air Asia*

*Tip: install and check the Air Asia app for deals that can’t be found on the website. You can save up to 20% off.

The standard airlines flying frequently to Yangon are:

• Myanmar National Airlines
• Myanmar Airways International (daily flights)
• Bangkok Airways
• Thai Airways International





Transport from Yangon International Airport to the city

As the airport is a 30-minute drive from Yangon, the easiest way to get to the city is by taking a taxi which shouldn’t cost more than 8000 MMK (€ 4.90).

However, buses can save you money if you’re traveling alone or can’t find other travelers to split the taxi fare with. To find the buses, exit the arrival Terminal and cross the parking space. A bus ride to Yangon cost 500 MMK (€0,30).

 

Flying from Bangkok to Mandalay

Low-cost flights from Bangkok (Don Mueang) will take 2 hours to reach Mandalay.

Transport from Mandalay Airport to the city

Mandalay Internation Airport is a 1-hour taxi ride from Mandalay city center. Fares on taxis with AC cost up to 15000 MMK (€ 9,15), but if you can handle the heat, taxis with no AC are a bit cheaper.

Besides taxis, we’re not aware of any other transportation to the city.

 

Old Bagan town

 

Getting around Myanmar (Domestic Flights)

Myanmar National Airlines have many domestic flights — that even locals try to avoid due to a bad reputation. Flights range from € 50 up to € 250, depending on the destination and time of year. In April during the Thingyan Water Festival, flights sell out super fast.

The most common domestic flights are:

• Yangon > Bagan (Nyaung-U)
• Yangon > Mandalay
• Yangon > NayPyiTaw.

Domestic flights are infamous for leaving earlier than the scheduled time. Also, have in mind that while flying can save you time, you’ll spend a lot more money than if you travel by land.

Cover photo by Hai Yang.

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Crossing Myanmar Land Border

Myanmar Visa for Foreign Travelers (what to know before you go)

As you may already know, foreign travelers are required to have a Visa before entering Myanmar. Meaning that unless you’re from one of neighboring ASEAN nations, there’s no Visa on arrival for you.

“Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Thailand anymore.”

 

As the Myanmar visa application takes some time, paperwork, and organizing beforehand, we’ve gathered all the relevant (and updated) information so that your trip can get off on the right foot.

 

Myanmar Visa Application Options

e-Visa

You can apply for a Regular e-Visa or for an Express Tourist e-Visa at evisa.gov.mm. With the Express e-Visa, you can have the application process completed in 24 hours. But considering the number of complaints and that it is a recent service, we recommend doing it at least 3 days in advance. Just in case.

What you’ll need to apply for a Myanmar e-Visa

• Passport valid for 6 months
• A recent digital personal photo (48mmx38mm).
• Regular e-Visa cost (3 days): 50 USD
• Express e-Visa cost (24 hours): 56 USD

You can pay with MasterCard, American Express, Visa, or JCB.

Have in mind that not all passport holders are eligible for applying to an e-Visa. You must be from one of the 100 countries that have an agreement with Myanmar. Know more here: evisa.mm/NoticetoTourists (jump over to paragraph 10 and 11).

 

Myanmar, land of Algerian

 

e-Visa validity and permitted length of stay

After applying, you’ll be sent the e-Visa approval letter to your email inbox. The letter is valid for 90 days from the issued date, and if it expires, your entry into the country will be denied.
By the time you cross the border, you must carry a printed version of the letter to present to the border officials and get your passport stamped.

 

Gate in Bagan, Myanmar

 

After entering Myanmar you’ll have 29 days to visit the country, and you won’t be able to leave and re-enter without acquiring a new Visa. Nevertheless, your stay can be extended for another 14 days, paying 3 USD per day fee to the immigration officers at the border (plus an extra fee of 5 USD if you’re leaving through an airport).

There’s a slight problem with overstaying though. Some hotels may deny service to overstayers (as they would be in for a hefty fine should they be caught for allowing that).

e-Visa Entry Permissions

e-Visas will limit how you can enter the country. Currently, passengers with e-Visa are only permitted to enter via following ports:

✈️  Through airplane 

• Yangon International Airport
• Mandalay International Airport
• Nay Pyi Taw International Airport

🚌  By land

• Tachileik Land Border Checkpoint
• Myawaddy Land Border Checkpoint
• Kawthaung Land Border Checkpoint
• Tamu Land Border Checkpoint
• Rih Khaw Dar Land Border Checkpoint





Paper Visa

In case you’re already traveling in a neighboring country, you can go over to the nearest Myanmar embassy or consulate. Here’s a list of all the Myanmar embassies abroad: www.embassypages.com/myanmar

Each of the embassies on the list has their own hours to handle Visas. Also, application processes can take from 1 day all the way up to 2 weeks.

Required documents (can change according to your location)

• Passport valid for 6 months
• 2 personal photos (35mmx45mm). The photos should be recent.
• A colored photocopy of your passport
• Proof of the bus or plane ticket into Myanmar
• Proof of a hotel booking*

Cost can vary according to the embassy you’re applying — to be paid in cash only.

We made our application at the Myanmar consulate in Chiang Mai and paid 1600 THB (49 USD) to have the visas ready in 3 business days. If you wish to have it processed on the same day, you’ll have to pay 2400 THB (74 USD).

Working hours are a bit odd there: 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM.

* The application form asked us to write down the address of the hotel we would be staying in Myanmar. Not having a reservation yet, we wrote down the city and a hotel name that we managed to memorize from a Google search days before. We were not asked for another evidence.

 

Locals walking on Myanmar temple

 

Is a pre-booked outbound flight necessary to enter Myanmar?

Some travel books allege that to enter Myanmar foreigners must have a proof of a pre-booked flight leaving the country. On the other hand, many bloggers say they don’t.

The truth is that neither at the moment of our visa application nor at the moment of crossing the border we were asked for that. Apparently, the myth exists due to border regulations providing that possibility — even though it rarely happens.

So in the spirit of reducing the likelihood of that happening check out the article: 9 tips and tricks for a smooth border crossing.

 

Vaccination requirements for entering Myanmar

The vaccine is mandatory if you’re arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever. Check the updated list to see if you’re required to get it: countries with risk of Yellow Fever.

 

If you have any questions regarding Myanmar visas, use the comments below. We might be able to answer.

Cover photo by James Antrobus.

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Beach in south Gran Canaria

The Complete Travel Guide to the South of Gran Canaria

Now that you know all you can do in the North of Gran Canaria it’s time to travel to the South and get familiar with the natural landscapes, popular beaches, and the best food around.

So before you start packing, here’s a tip: pack a pair mountain boots with your swim shorts — you’re likely to wear both at the same time.

 

Weather in the South

There’s a significant weather difference between the north and the south of Gran Canaria. There’s like an invisible dividing wall preventing rain clouds from going south and ruining tourists’ tans.

The south gets over 320 days of sunshine per year, with temperatures between 25ºC and 30ºC. The best time to visit goes from May to mid-October.

To check the weather during your trip go to www.accuweather.com/Gran-Canaria-South

 

Transportation from the North to the South of the Island

Gran Canaria has a great public transport system. Buses are on time, cheap, and the best option to travel across the island.

A bus trip from Las Palmas → Playa del Ingles costs: €6.25
Duration: 45 minutes

Routes and schedules are available in  www.globalsu.net

 

What to do in the South

Faro de Maspalomas

Even though the Faro de Maspalomas is a landmark of the island, you don’t go there for the lighthouse itself — you go for its surroundings.

 

Maspalomas


The area probably has the best walkway in Gran Canaria. The fresh air, the wonderful ocean view, and the fancy shops make it the ideal spot for a stroll. When the sun sets, the many bars and restaurants provide a pleasant evening out for dinner and drinks.

Puerto de Mógan

Puerto de Mogán is an idyllic little place by the sea where time seems to have stopped. Around here everything seems perfectly proportioned and perfectly placed. From the crescent-shaped beach, the busy little harbor that manages to accommodate local fishing boats and the yachts of visitors.

 

Puerto de Mogán

 

To the white houses built over the water canals, and the colored bougainvilleas creating natural shadows for people walking in the area.

Puerto De Mogan

Puerto de Mogán

https://www.flickr.com/photos/timove/38580591495

 

Still, this perfect little nugget of a town can get crowded with tourists, particularly on Fridays and weekends. Meaning that the beach gets crowded, the streets busy, and the restaurants full.

 

Puerto de Mogán.Fotos Aéreas "Costa turística de Mogán" Gran Canaria Islas Canarias

 

Getting to Puerto de Mogán by Public Bus

From Playa del Inglés to Puerto de Mogán, get on the Bus nº 1, nº 32 (fast route), or nº 33.
Trip cost: €4.15
Trip duration: 45 minutes

For more info on the trip, check: www.guaguasglobal.com/timetables





Yumbo Shopping Centre

This alfresco shopping center near Playa del Ingles might look a tad generic during the day. But at night it turns into the inclusive gay mecca of Gran Canaria — don’t let the mosque at the entrance fool you.

From around 9 P.M, cabaret bars, karaoke cafes, and nightclubs are targeted to the LGBTQ crowd. Yet the fun atmosphere and popularity of the drag shows, always attract a very mixed audience.

 

IMG_6622

IMG_7524

 

When Nuno and I visited Yumbo all the bars were jam-packed, so we simply stopped by one that was announcing a drag show. To our surprise, we ended up watching 5 in-your-face Spice Girls impersonators on a concert that filled our hearts with 90’s nostalgia.

 

Maspalomas Dunes

The Maspalomas Dunes are a nature reserve of 400 hectares where 3 ecosystems coexist: a palm grove, a brackish water lagoon, and the sand dunes.

 

Maspalomas Dunes Gran Canaria
Photo by Marc Ryckaert.

The desert-like proportions of the sandhills block all wind and sound, allowing the visitor to submerge into complete silence and isolation on one of the most visited coasts in Europe.

 

Maspalomas Dunes
Photo by Himarerme.

For us, the solitude didn’t last long. We only got a few minutes to enjoy the silence before a giant fart out of the ass of another tourist (probably also believing he was alone) echoed through the dunes and ruined the moment.

…and to think that those dunes are the resting place for birds migrating to Africa.
What kind of rest can any bird get under those conditions?

? Viewpoint “Mirador de las Dunas”

 

Popular Beaches in the South of Gran Canaria

Playa del Inglés

In spite of the fact that Playa del Inglés is the most visited beach in Gran Canaria, it has enough space for everyone. The 2.7 km stretch of sand offers different beaches for different folks. There’s a beach for:

• Families,
• Surfers,
• Nudists,
• Loners,
• LGBTQ crowds
Playa del Ingles Map
But if laying on the sand all day isn’t for you, Playa del Inglés has plenty of sports activities like: windsurf, jet-ski, banana boat rides, and sail.

Prices start at €30 for one person.

 

 

If that’s too much action, you can always go for a walk on the Maspalomas dunes to live your Prince of Persia fantasy. If you’re hard to please or feel like walking on sand is bad for your knees, go over to the Paseo Costa Canaria: a 2km promenade by the beach brimming with restaurants, ice cream shops, and cafes.  

? Public Showers and restrooms available
♿ Beach accessible to wheelchair users

 

Puerto Rico

It’s the first artificial beach in Gran Canaria, popular among British and Irish families due to its calm waters and convenient amenities provided by the surrounding resorts such as:

• Sunbeds and sunshades
• Restaurants
• Leisure excursions
• Water sports activities (sailing, dolphin watching, jet skiing, etc)

? Public Showers and restrooms available

 

Playa Puerto Rico

 

Amadores beach

Another man-made beach awarded with a blue flag for the cleanliness of its water and sand.

The white sands sit in a moon-shaped bay where the water is turquoise, shallow, and waves are pretty much nonexistent. That’s what makes Amadores a very popular beach among families with kids.  

 

Amadores beach - Puerto Rico

 

? Smoke-free beach
♿ Disabled-friendly
? Public Showers and restrooms available
?️ Underground parking area

 

Underrated Beaches

San Agustín

A few kilometers from Playa del Inglés is San Agustín, considered to be a very calm beach with fewer tourists than its neighboring beaches.

 

San Agustin Beach
Photo by Wouter Hagens.

Locals usually come here on weekends, so take advantage of the weekdays if you prefer a bit more room to spread out.

It’s an urban beach with a coastal walkway that connects to Playa del Inglés — meaning you’ll find lots of places to eat and drink close by.  

? Public Showers and restrooms available
?️ Free parking





Las Burras

Maybe it’s the wind that can be felt around here that pushes tourists away, but Las Burras beach remains the most local of beaches in the south of Gran Canaria.

Nevertheless, fewer tourists don’t necessarily mean that the beach isn’t busy in months like July, August, and September.

 

Public buses to all the Beaches (mentioned above)


Buses nº 1, 39, 91, 33 can drop you right by any of the beaches. Depending on your starting point, the trip can cost up to €4.

Check the timetables on the guaguas’ Global website.

What to eat


Food in Gran Canaria is always fresh and seasoned to perfection,
after all, we’re talking about the lovechild of Spanish, African and Latin-American cuisines, so you can’t go wrong.

Meanwhile, here are our recommendations:

Papas arrugadas con mojo
• Anything with gofio on it
Bienmesabe
Huevos rotos
• Plenty of mojo rojo or mojo verde

 

Typical Villages to visit in the South of Gran Canaria

Ingenio

A small agricultural village and one of the oldest in the island. Besides a visit to the old quarter, we suggest:

• Playa del Burrero
• The pre-hispanic necropolis on the Guayadeque Ravine
• Caldera de los Marteles natural reserve

 

Ingenio church in Gran Canaria
Photo by Backlit.

Agüimes

If you have time to spear on the island, to the east is the traditional hill town of Agüimes.

 

Aguimes Village
Photo by Martin Falbisoner.

Here in Aimes, we recommend:

• A walk through the old quarter and medieval alleyways
• Festival de Sur, an international theater festival (September)
• Playa del Cabrón as it is one of the best diving spots on the island

 

Interested in visiting the North of the island?
Go to: The Complete Travel Guide to the North of Gran Canaria

Cover photo by Bertram Nudelbach.

Nuno and Mario

Hi there! We’re Nuno and Mário and we share helpful tips to make travel planning easy for you.

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Las Palmas cityscape Gran Canaria Island

The Complete Travel Guide to the North of Gran Canaria

The Canary Islands are a popular summer destination for many Europeans due to a combination of great weather, epic beaches, diverse landscapes, and low-cost flights available almost year-round.

Today we’ll be focusing on Gran Canaria. And considering that it’s quite a big island (and we have a lot to write about), we divided the information into 2 parts: the North and the South in 2 different blog posts. In this one, we’ll be covering the northern part of the island.

 

Climate

Subtropical. People say the weather in the Canary Islands is of an eternal spring, making it the best in the world. The average annual temperature is 24 degrees.

To check the weather during your trip go to www.accuweather.com/Gran-Canaria

 

Getting to Gran Canaria
(Inter-island transportation)

Ferry

We usually do the island crossing by ferry due to the cost being similar to commercial air travel, and because we don’t get the chance to be on a boat that often.

There are 2 ferry operators making the connecting routes between island: Naviera Armas and Fred Olsen.

 

Ferry a Tenerife

 

To give you an idea of costs and travel times, here’s the info on the trip from Tenerife to Gran Canaria:

Naviera Armas

Cost: €35
Trip duration: 2h45
Docks in the port of Las Palmas, where a transfer will take you to the city center in 10 minutes (no extra fees).

For the ferry timetables check www.navieraarmas.com/timetables

Fred Olsen

Costs: €40
Trip duration: 80 minutes for the ferry, and 25 minutes for the shuttle bus (no extra fees). The ferry docks in Agaete but a shuttle bus will take you to Las Palmas.

For Fred Olsen ferry timetables check: www.fredolsen.es

Airplane

Canaryfly and Binter have frequent flight connections between islands. Prices are reasonable — €20 on average — depending on the month.

Airplanes land at Las Palmas Gran Canaria Airport, located 19 km from the capital Las Palmas or 30 km from Playa del Inglés in the south.

 

Gran Canaria from above

Photo by Marc Ryckaert

Airport Transfer Buses (for inter-island and international flights)

To get anywhere on Gran Canaria you can hop on one of the blue buses (guaguas as locals call them) parked right outside the terminal.

The ticket cost for Las Palmas is € 2.95 and for Playa del Inglés € 3.50. You can’t beat that!

For timetables and alternative routes check: Guaguas Global

 

Accommodation

As a tourism-dependent island, there’s an array of accommodation options scattered all over Gran Canaria. Prices start at €12 a night in a hostel, up to €120 a night in a four-star hotel.

In the north of the island, most are located near the beach of Las Canteras. We’ve stayed at hotel Pujol (pronounced Poo-whole). ?

 

What to do in Las Palmas

The Historic Quarter of Vegueta

Vegueta is an old neighborhood with the best colonial architecture of the island. You can walk for hours on cobblestone streets, finding new alleys and admiring the historical houses from the 15th century.

Right on the center is Santa Ana square and Cathedral. There’s a fee to go in, but don’t bother, the interior is a bit dull.

 

Santa Ana square and Cathedral

Photo by Jvhertum

 

We recommend instead spending your money at one of the many outdoor cafes in the area eating tapas and enjoying the sun.

There’s a craft market every Sunday.





Calle Mayor de Triana (Shopping street)

Triana neighborhood — also one of the oldest in Las Palmas — has become the main shopping district of the city. Small old-timey shops, popular stores or fancy boutiques are always presented in beautifully restored buildings, making for a beautiful walk even to the most frugal.

 

Calle Mayor de Triana, Shopping Street in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

Photo by Matti Mattila

 

Vegueta Market

Vegueta Market is the first market ever built in the Canary Islands back in 1856. And today remains the spot where locals come to buy fresh produce.

Tip: you’ll be tempted to buy some of the glorious tropical fruit displayed on the stalls. If you do, ask for the price beforehand as several vendors tend to overcharge tourists.

 

Museums

House of Columbus (Casa de Colón)

A museum about the relationship between the Canary Island and the Americas.

 

Casa de Colón in Vegueta, Gran Canaria

House of Colombus museum

Location: Calle de Los Balcones, on the historic quarter of Vegueta.
Admission fee: €4 (you can visit the building’s library for free).
Opens: Mondays to Saturdays 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Sundays 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

 

Museu Canario

A museum about the prehispanic population and the history of the archipelago.

Location: Calle del Dr. Verneau, on the historic quarter of Vegueta
Admission fee: €5 (free for kids under 12 y.o.)
Opens: Mondays to Fridays 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

 

Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno

Exhibition and activity center of contemporary art from the Canary Islands, Europe, Africa and the Americas.

Location: Calle Los Balcones, on the historic quarter of Vegueta (near Casa de Colón)
Admission fee: €5
Opens: Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM

 

Beaches in the North of Gran Canaria

Las Canteras

Las Canteras is the largest beach in Las Palmas, covering a 4 km slice of coast. Being located right by the city, it is the central hub for local life and the favorite spot for surfers and tourists.

 

Playa Las Canteras Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

 

If you’re not up for an entire day just laying on the beach, you can hang out on one of the numerous cafes, restaurants, and shops in the wide promenade by the sand.

 

Las Canteras Gran Canaria

Photo by Pepelopex

Gui Gui

Gui Gui is a secluded beach on the west side of the island (it’s actually two: small Gui Gui and big Gui Gui). Getting there means a 2.5-hour hike or a boat trip from the nearest town of Tasartico.

The long walk to Gui Gui is worth it as the mountains and scenery along the way are just as impressive as the destination. The beach itself is an unspoiled paradise where you can spend the rest of the day and even spend the night (if you do so, take the appropriate gear as the nights get quite cold).

Many hikers that come to Gui Gui and camp overnight say the night sky is breathtaking.

Typical villages on the North of Gran Canaria

Agaete

A fishing village in Puerto de las Nieves, with one of the most picturesque landscapes on the island made of white and blue houses by the sea.

 

Gran Canaria

 

Besides the small town itself, we recommend:

• The necropolis of Maipés
• Las Salinas de Agaete where you can swim in a natural pool

 

Firgas

Firgas is known as the “balcony of the Atlantic”, for having the best viewpoint on the ocean and the entire northern part of the island.





Artenara

It is the highest city of the island and the perfect spot to rest from the beaches of the coast.

 

El mar de nubes en Artenara Gran Canaria

 

Here in Artenara, we recommend:

• Natural Park Pinar de Tamadaba
• The caves of the Guanches
• Acusa Archaeological Park
• Astronomical observatory Vega de Acusa

 

Night Sky in Artenara, Gran Canaria island.

Photo by El Coleccionista de Instantes

Nature attractions

Tamadaba Natural Park

Close to Agaete, Artenara and San Nicolás de Tolentino is the Natural Park of Tamadaba.

 

Tamadaba

 

Here you’ll find the oldest and best-preserved pine forest on the island classified by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve extending from the summit of the mountain all the way to the west coast. Along the park, you can expect some breathtaking views of the Atlantic and the Teide (all the way on Tenerife island), stunning valleys, and little old villages.

?‍♂️ Great hiking and walking site.

Getting to Tamadaba Natural Park by Bus

From Las Palmas bus station, take the hourly Bus No. 102 to Agaete. In Agaete stop at El Lomo and follow the trail to Tamadaba.

 

Rural Park del Nublo

Right in the center of the island is the Rural Park del Nublo, a natural wonder also classified by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve.

 

Parque Rural Nublo

Photo by Tamara K.

 

We recommend visiting:

• The natural lagoons
• The volcanic boilers of Tejeda Valley
• Roque Nublo ravines
• Roque Bentayga
• Las Niñas dam

?‍♂️ Great hiking spot.
⛺ Campground available

 

If you have any question or some extra info to add, let us know in the comments.

Cover photo by El Coleccionista de Instantes

Nuno and Mario

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Sunday Night market

The 6 Best Markets in Chiang Mai (from Popular to Obscure)

For many centuries, Chiang Mai had an important role in Thai commercial relations with China and the Burmese Kingdom. And these days, considering the number of open-air markets scattered all over town, we could say that trading heritage is still alive. Consequently and to honor that tradition, we’re showing you 6 of the best markets in Chiang Mai.

We aimed for diversity here: there are 3 popular markets, and 3 alternative shopping experiences (the type of market where you won’t find temple pants).

 

1. Chiang Mai night bazaar

Open: every day, from 6 PM to 10:30 PM.
Location:
the i
ntersection of Tha Pae and Chang Klang Roads.

The Chiang Mai Night Bazaar is one of the oldest evening markets in Thailand. These days is known as the best spot to buy fake designer goods: from shoes and clothing to fake Rolex and sunglasses.

Have in mind that around here, tourist are the main targets of the vendors so prices will be marked up at least 20%. Get ready to bargain!

 

Chiang Mai Night Bazaar


But Nuno and I share the opinion that the real cultural experience is in the food and drinks area — especially if you like to eat al fresco. There are an array of stalls selling every street food you can imagine, sweet Thai snacks (like banana roti, mango and sticky rice, fruit smoothies), western style restaurants, and bars. All next to a gardened area perfect to socialize and watch the street artist perform.

 

Chiang Mai Street Food

Night market in Chiang Mai (Thailand 2014)

 

2. Sunday Night Market (or Walking Street Market)

Open: every Sunday, all year round, from 4 P.M to 00.00 A.M.
Location: mainly on Ratchadamnoen Road in the center of the walled city, but keeps spreading down many side streets as it gets bigger every year.

Every Sunday afternoon, Ratchadamnoen Road closes to traffic allowing you to walk around without the constant fear of cars. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll experience a relaxed atmosphere.

The Sunday Night Market is the most popular shopping spot in Chiang Mai (both for locals and for tourists) and it can get a bit overwhelming.

Yet, unlike other popular Asian markets, the products on display stand out for its quality and craftsmanship once you filter out the generic bric-a-brac. That’s why it can be the perfect place to purchase souvenirs: you’ll find work from local artisans at great prices.

 

Sunday Night Market Chiang Mai

 

But if you’re more interested in the food and entertainment, there’s plenty of that as well. Multiple areas are dedicated to food, so ensure your stomach is empty before arrival. The shows, street entertainers, and musicians start performing after dark on the stages featured either side of the main road.





3. Warorot Market (Kaad Luang) Central Market

Open daily from 06 A.M to 7 P.M.
Located: at the Chang Moi Road, north of Nawarat Bridge near the west side of the River Ping.

Warorot Market (or Kad Luang as locals call it), is less touristy and confined to and around a three storey building, and the goods are organized by floors:

Ground floor: produce and food, particularly Northern Thai dishes such as grilled sausages, sweet curries, crispy pork skin.

 

Warorot Market (41 of 71)

 

Second and third floors: clothing and personal care products.
Alleys around Warorot Market: textiles, hill tribe handicraft, and the beautiful flower market Ton Lamyai.

Here’s where Thais do their shopping: from fresh produce to fireworks, and that’s why a visit to Warorot can be an immersive experience into the local way of life.

 

Warorot Market in Chiang Mai

 

Plus, and as you might expect from a non-touristy place, prices are much cheaper so there’s no need to bargain for a discount.

 

4. Flower Market (Ton Lamyai)

Open 24 hours a day, Mondays to Sundays.
Best time to visit: early mornings.
Location: Thanon Praisani, next to Warorot Market, along the River Ping.

If you’re an early bird looking for a pleasurable market experience in Chiang Mai, head up to Ton Lamyai. This vibrant bazaar specialized in flowers is a beautiful way to start your day.

 

Flower Market


Piles, bouquets, and garlands of fresh blossoms arrive from farms around Chiang Mai in the early hours of the morning, adorning Ton Lamyai with exotic colors and the fragrance of a thousand flowers (so make sure to take an antihistamine before).

 

 5. The Amulet Market (Kad Kham Tieng)

Open: Thursdays from 7 A.M to 2 P.M
Location: north of the Old City off the Superhighway behind Tesco Superstore.

Kad Kham Tieng is one of the most intriguing bazaars in Chiang Mai and the in-spot for all superstitious people. As most Thais believe that good luck, protection, and fortune can be influenced by wearing ‘charged’ amulets, the inventory around here is quite strange:

• Eyebrow hairs from special monks
• Incense ashes
• Monk blood
• Scarves with magic spells
• Pollen
• Old opium pipes

And thousands of other options — all spiritually charged by ceremonial chanting.

 

Buddhist Amulets

The amulet prices can go all the way up to 10 million bahts when considering its rarity, the monk that performed the ceremony, and the temple that ceremony was held.

Kad Kham Tieng may not a very large market, but it is a unique spot to spend your Thursday mornings in.

 

6. Jing Jai Organic market

Open: Wednesdays, Saturdays from 6 AM to 9 AM and Sundays from 6 AM 12 PM.
Location: 45 Assadathon Road, Chiang Mai

For the health conscious people wanting to move away from the touristy markets, Jing Jai is the best option. On Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sunday mornings the market complex becomes a source for everything organic and locally grown: food, vegetables, fruits, and fresh pressed juices.

 

On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays from 10 AM to 18 PM, you’ll still find a similarly relaxed atmosphere in the area, but there’s no Organic market. There are coffee shops and restaurants to sit back, and a few vendors selling second-hand furniture and antiques. In the evenings, the surrounding area comes to life with a myriad of outdoor Thai-style bars.

If we missed your favorite local market, feel free to shoot us a note in the comments!

Nuno and Mario

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Songthaews and buses in Chiang Mai

All transportation from Bangkok to Chiang Mai

There are several transportation options to travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Below, you’ll find a set of alternatives to do so along with costs, timetables, and trip durations so you can decide which works best for you.

 

Buses from Bangkok to Chiang Mai

Bus trips take 10 to 12 hours.
You can book your trip at one of the many travel agencies in town (but preferably near your accommodation), at the desk of your hotel, or at Mo Chit Bus Terminal.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/dgmckelvey/6907009264/

Tourist Buses

Tourist bus tickets fees to Chiang Mai start at 530 THB.

Most buses depart from Khao San Road every hour. If you opt for the overnight bus and need to put a backpack on the luggage hold underneath, make sure to carry your valuables with you on the bus.

Deluxe Buses

Deluxe bus tickets fees can go up to 850 THB.

All deluxe buses heading to Chiang Mai depart from Mo Chit Bus Terminal (easily accessible via Skytrain).
You can buy your ticket for that day once you arrive at the station. There are complimentary snacks and water for the road.





Bagkok Skytrain
Bangkok Skytrain BTS

 

From Chiang Mai Bus Station to the city center

Chiang Mai has two bus stations: Arcade Bus Station and Chang Puak Bus Station.
The Arcade Bus Station is located at Kaeo Narawat Road. Terminals 2 and 3 is where all the long-distance buses coming from outside the Chiang Mai province arrive and depart (Bangkok, Chiang Rai, Phitsanulok, Ubon, Korat, Nan, Luang Prabang, Mae Sot).

From the Arcade Bus Station, you can quickly arrange a songthaew to take you to the city (Tha Phae Gate). The songthaews fare is 100 THB, but if you’re willing to wait for the songthaew to fill up, you can lower the price to THB 20 per person (expect to pay more if you want them to take you to the hotel). The trip takes around 15 minutes.

 

Songthaew

 

By Airplane

Chiang Mai International Airport receives domestic and international flights. There are daily flights coming in from Bangkok at almost every hour.

 

Air Asia X A330

 

The low-cost airlines operating at this airport are:
• Air Asia
• Nokair
• Thai Smile

Plane tickets from Bangkok to Chiang Mai can cost around 500 up to 1500 THB, and flights take an average of 1h20m.

 

From the Airport to Chiang Mai:

There are taxis waiting at the northern end of the airport, and trips to the city center should cost around 160 THB.

In the southern end, you’ll find the Airport shuttle buses (not very frequent) charging 60 THB, and songthaews charging 40 THB. Both only tend to only leave when they’re full.

Tip: If you’re willing to walk a few hundred meters on the main road outside the airport, you’ll be able to get a songthaew for 20-25 THB.

 

By Train

You can travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by train during the day or at night. Check the timetables here: www.railway.co.th

Trips can take 14 to 16 hours, therefore, to optimize your time, you can travel at night on a sleeping train. As this is a very sought after option, buy your tickets in advance. And to avoid commissions stay away from travel agencies and buy the ticket at the Station counter yourself.

 

Hua Lamphong Railway Station, Bangkok

 

Costs will vary according to the class you want to travel in: starting at 791 THB up to 1650 THB.

Have in mind that Chiang Mai train station is located 3 km from the city center, but there will be songthaews at hand on the train station.

 

If you have any question or some extra info to add, let us know in the comments.

Nuno and Mario

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Yee Peng and Loi Krathong

The lineup for Chiang Mai Festivals (Year round Program)

Brahmanic, Buddhist, and Lanna heritages endowed Chiang Mai with a plentiful array of cultural expressions. Over time (and thanks to a community with artistic aptitude), traditions evolved into festivals and celebrations that won the hearts of Thais and the interest of the world.

Planning a visit to Chiang Mai? Festivals spread out year round, so there might be one coinciding with your visit. Check the program below:

 

January. Bo Sang Umbrella & Handicrafts Festival

When:

Every year on the third weekend of January, for 3 days.

Where:

Bo Sang, a village 9 km southeast of Chiang Mai.

How to get Bo Sang:

By songthaew or by bus (White Bus). You can catch either near the river by Warorot Market. The trip takes 25 minutes and should cost roughly 20 THB.

Bo Sang is home to skilled craftspeople in the making of rice paper fans, lanterns, and umbrellas. During the festival, the village streets and alleys are illuminated by lanterns, while hundreds of paper parasols decorate the outside of houses and shops.

 

Umbrella Festival, Chiang Mai

 

It all gets particularly magical after the sun sets, so take the time to go for a night stroll and visit the umbrella making shops.

 

Chiang Mai 2016-24

What to expect:

• Old school carnival games,
• Umbrella making workshops,
• Umbrella painting competition (locals compete to win the year’s most beautiful umbrella),
• Concerts,
• Lanna style dancing performances,
• Parades (2:00 PM)
• Northern Thai food festival,
• A local beauty pageant.

 

Chiang Mai 2016-26

 

February. The Chiang Mai Flower Festival

When:

On the first weekend of February (1, 2, and 3 of February 2019)

Where:

The key spot is Nong Buak Haad public park.
The Flower Parade goes through Nawarat bridge to Thapae road, Kotchasarn Road, Changlor Road and Arak Road.

Running for over 40 years, the Chiang Mai Flower Festival is a 3-day celebration that showcases Chiang Mai’s unique flowers and plants (all in full bloom at the beginning of February).

 

IMG_1040

 

What to expect:

• Rare flowers exhibitions,
• Dancers and entertainers,
• Musical performances,
• Plenty of Thai food and drinks,
• Miss Flower contest,
• The Flower Parade.

 

Chiang Mai flower parade
Photo by Devon Sampson

 

On Saturday morning (starting at 8 A.M), the long-awaited Flower Parade goes out to the streets. Floats are decorated with millions of natural flowers and accompanied by dancers in traditional costumes.

 

Flower Festival Parade 2015-13

Chiang Mai Flower Festival

The floats are considered the highlight of the event. For many months in advance, thousands of locals participate in the building of the floats, making them items of great pride to the community.

As many Thais travel to Chiang Mai for the festivities, streets are not the only place that gets packed with people — so do accommodations. Make your reservations in advance!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/_motormouse_/26373726011/

 

February. Jai Thep Art and Music Festival

Where:

Lanna Rock Garden in Hang Dong, south of Chiang Mai.

When:

February 2, 3, and 4.

Ticket price:

850THB (1-day ticket)
1.500THB (2-day ticket)
1.900THB (3-day ticket)
You can camp there for free if you take your own tent.

Jai Thep is a family-friendly festival created by a collective of artists, and defined as a “3-day celebration of art, music, and magic”.

 

Along the enclosure of the event are 4 stages occupied by bands and DJs from Thailand and the international scene.

Music genres:

• House
• Drum’n’bass
• Psytrance.
• Electro-chill

You’ll find hundreds of art installations and a great number of creative workshops that’ll suit adults and children.

For more information on Jai Thep go to www.jaithepfestival.com

 

April. Songkran the Water Festival

When:

April 13th, 14th and 15th 2018.

Where:

All over the city center, but the key celebration spots are near the Tha Pae Gate.

Marking the new solar year, the high energy ceremonies last for 3 days, and they’re the perfect time to let the child in you come out and play. The most popular custom of Songkran is the water fights all over town.

 

Songkran_2014-35

Songkran_added-3

Have in mind that what to us Westerners seems like a good laugh, represents to Thai people the purification of the body and soul. Songkran is a beloved symbolic tradition, therefore some etiquette is required:

• Don’t take your shirt off, no matter how soaked or how hot it is that day
• No bikinis and no short-shorts.  
• Don’t through water to monks, babies, and the elderly.

Tip:

Being the most anticipated public holiday for Thais, expats, and backpackers, book your accommodation early.





November. Yee Peng and Loi Krathong Festivals

When:

during the full moon of November, so the date is subject to change. If you write “Loy Krathong” on to Google, you’ll get the correct date for that year.

For 2018 the dates are November 21, 22 and 23.

Where:

Tha Pae gate, particularly between the Nawarat and Iron Bridges.

Loi Krathong or Festival of lights is celebrated for 3 days, once a year. Most ceremonies take place in the evening on various venues throughout Chiang Mai.

What to expect:

• Lantern procession,
• A beauty pageant,
• Parades,
• Boat races on the Mae Ping river,
• Krathong making competitions,
• Lantern release
• Krathong launch

The day before Loi Krathong takes place the Yee Peng ceremony. People decorate their houses, temples, and streets with paper lanterns of many shapes and colors.

 

Yi Peng Lanterns

At night the paper lanterns are lit and tossed into the air, carrying a wish for good fortune in the new year.

 

Untitled

 

Simultaneously, on the Mae Ping river are released hundreds of krathong (baskets made of banana leaves, adorned with incense and candles), to honor the Water Spirit.

 

Loi_Krathong


The krathong symbolizes letting go of all sins and misfortunes of the previous year.

 

Extra

For on and off festivals and upcoming events, check the website City Now!- Chiang Mai. 

Cover photo by Rodney Ee

Nuno and Mario

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Laos to Thailand by Bus (from Luang Prabang to Chiang Rai overland)

Traveling by bus may not be the fastest way to go from Laos to Thailand, but it sure is one of the cheapest. So if your goal is to save money by going overland, you came to the right place: we’ve compiled the information you’ll need to do so.

 

Where to buy Bus tickets to Chiang Rai

In Luang Prabang vouchers for the Bus tickets can be bought in advance at the travel agencies located on Sisavagnon street. Prices will vary slightly from agency to agency, so is up to you to look for the best offer.

Bus ticket price: around €30,60
Timetable: 6:00 PM on Tuesdays and Fridays
Departure: Luang Prabang Bus Station
Trip duration: 17 hours

 

Laung Prabang (Second South) Bus Station

Bus from Laos to Thailand

 

Even though we bought tickets for a sleeping bus, we ended up traveling on a bus with reclining seats — probably due to the small number of people traveling that day. Nonetheless, everyone got a blanket, and the spacious seats were comfortable enough to sleep in. It was a surprisingly tolerable 17-hour trip.

On the day of departure, you must be at the Luang Prabang Bus Station counter by 5:30 PM to check-in, and exchange your voucher for the final bus ticket.
Tuk-tuks to the bus station cost around 15,000 Kip (€1.50) per person.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/qubodup/14594018781/in/album-72157645510025706/





The Bus trip

At the start of the trip, all passengers got a complimentary water bottle, a small soy milk box, and snacks.

We had 2 bathroom breaks during the night, and 1 more early in the morning. On the latest, we stopped at a service station with food stalls and a large clean washroom.

This first leg of the trip took around 14 hours (from Luang Prabang to the Huay Xai border post).

 

Road in Laos

 

Crossing Huay Xai (Laos) – Chiang Khon (Thailand) border

Being Saturday morning, we had to pay a weekend fee of 10.000 Kips (€1.00) to get our passport exit stamp. The bus waited on the other side of the border.

From there, it takes 3 more hours to get to Chiang Rai.

Remember to check beforehand your entry requirements for Thailand: Visas and border crossings.

 

Arriving at Chiang Rai

We arrived at Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 2 at 11:00 A.M.
Here’s where all long-distance buses stop, unfortunately, it’s also the furthest bus station from the city center.

From here you can hop on a songthaew and head to town. Share the fare with other people from your bus as many will be going to Chiang Rai too.

We paid €0.50 each for a ride to the city center.

 

Going to the train station on a songthaew.

 

To keep saving money on transportation while visiting Chiang Rai, check the posts:

Taking the public bus to the White temple
Public bus to the bizarre Black House (Baan Dam) in Chiang Rai

Cover photo by Jim Holmes / AusAID

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Quick Guide to Chiang Rai Night Markets

The night markets in Chiang Rai may not be as big as the ones in Chiang Mai, but is size that important? Around here, what they lack in size they make up for in organization and the laid back character you’d expect from a small-town bazaar.

So if you’re looking for inexpensive night-time entertainment and food, keep reading.

 What to expect from a Thai Night Market

– Northern Thai food and drinks;
– Handcrafted products;
– Thai massage;
– Clothing;
– Thai dancing shows;

– Folk concerts;
– A good time.

Thai people love night markets, and they do so for a reason: it’s so hot during the day, that it is much more pleasant to do your shopping at night. For us foreigners, these night hubs are more than a place to shop for souvenirs. They’re communal places for entertainment, music, and good food — it’s Thailand after all!

 

Saturday Night Market

Open every Saturday from 04.30 P.M to 00.30 A.M.
Located on Thana Lai Road, right in the city center.

Every Saturday by mid-afternoon, Thana Lai Road closes to traffic and opens up for people to wander through the stalls. After a bit of browsing, you’ll find the quality work of local artisans standing out from the generic bric-a-brac.

Still, if you’re not planning on buying anything due to a full backpack, there’s an abundance of Thai snacks and desserts to fill your empty stomach.

 

Khanom Bueang

 

If you’re there to eat, we recommend an early dinner — by 8:00 P.M the place will be jammed packed with people and the queues for buying food get long.

 

Stalls at Saturday Night Market Chiang Rai

 

Having said that, this is also when the market starts to get it going: when the Chinese lanterns are lit, and entertainers start to perform.

Have in mind that if you’re a tourist and look like a tourist you’ll have to bargain. Chances are that vendors doubled the price just for you.

 Sunday Happy Street (Snag Khon Noil)

Open Sundays from 5:00 P.M to 11:00 P.M
Located on Sankhongnoi Road near the Chiang Rai Hospital. Just a 10-minute walk from the Chiang Rai Night Bazaar.

The main feature of the Sunday Happy Street is its family-friendly atmosphere. The eating spots on this one are a great way to relax, mingle with locals, and enjoy typical northern Thai cuisine.

 

Thai grilled Squid

 

Even though this street market is smaller than the one on Saturdays, the shops along Sankhongnoi Road open their doors to help even it out.

 

Chiang Rai Night Bazaar

Open daily from 6:00 P.M to 11:00 P.M regardless of the weather.
Located near the Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1, off Phaholyothin Road.

We found the Night Bazaar to be more touristy than the weekend markets. Not by the amount of tourist walking around, but for the type products being sold — the same overpriced knick-knacks repeated on every stall. Although touristy, vendors were never pushy though.

 

Fresh fruit at Night Market

Fresh orange juice

 

Most locals hang out near the food and beer area. Next to it is a temple yard with benches and tables where they eat, socialize and watch artists perform. When the crowd is familiar with the music, they’ll get up and dance (and everyone is invited to join).





The Municipal Market Food Court

Open from 7:00 P.M to 11:00 P.M.
Located near the Night Bazaar is a tin-roofed Municipal Market.

The food court inside has stalls all around the perimeter specialized in fried treats, and hot pots.

 

Hot Pot stall Chiang Rai

Photo by Marvin Wan


In the center are hundreds of chairs and tables to eat on, and a stage where local entertainers perform while you munch a crispy deep-fried whatever.

 

Dining area Municipal food Court.

Image by Marvin Wan

 

Kaad Luang (The Big Wet Market)

Open daily from 17:00 P.M to 00:00 A.M
Located on Uttarakit Road, three blocks north of the Clock Tower.

Chiang Rai Kaad Luang starts the day as a regular bazaar but transforms into a street food paradise when the sun sets.

 

Fresh produce Night Markets

 

Vendors hit the streets and set up their stalls around the main building. In almost no time, the entire street block is occupied by a myriad of fresh fruit and pick up meal options: from fresh seafood to desserts.

If you don’t know where to begin, let the scent of the stir-fried garlic guide you.


Cover photo by Maxim B.

Nuno and Mario

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