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

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

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