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

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

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