The city of Chiang Mai is not only Thailand’s fifth largest city but is also the main tourist hub for the country’s northern region. The city is most sought after for its lush countryside, mountains, gardens, and temples. But another thing to experience and enjoy while in Chiang May is its vibrant street markets.
At night, the city center lights up with its huge Night Market. This splendid commercial extravaganza covers many blocks, adorned with not only stalls but also bars, restaurants and entertainment arcades. If you want to be in the thick of things, then make your way to Chang Klan Road, which lies in the heart of the city and encompasses three blocks. Another thing great about Chan Klan Road is that it is walking distance to a number of notable hotels in Chiang Mai.
The Night Market or Bazaar has become an iconic attraction of Chiang Mai as it is one of the cheapest shopping areas for tourists in all of Thailand. Here, you will find everything from silk tops, antiques, silver jewelry, and cheap DVDs. This particular market is also filled with bootleg products, so it is important that you know the difference between what is fake and real before actually purchasing!
Aside from the Night Market, Chiang Mai also hosts two “Walking Street” markets set up on weekends. The first one is held on a Saturday and is spread along the Wualai Walking Street. This street is the traditional home to jewelry shops and prominent silversmiths in the city. The second street market is set up every Sunday and runs along the Ratchadamnoen Road until the Thapae Gate. You can easily reach this road through the old town centre. The Sunday Walking Street is lined with not only vendors and small restaurants but also features live music and street performances. In addition, it features a more artistic vibe due to its large collection of arts and crafts stalls.
If you have the flexibility, try to plan your trip to Chiang Mai around these market’s schedules as shopping here promises to be quite the experience. It is important to understand that the Walking Street Markets can be crowded but they can easily became one of the highlights of your trip to Chiang Mai because of its distinct energetic atmosphere. A number of handicrafts and adorable cute art work can be found in these two markets and many are sold by the same people who made them. That is why these items are unavailable at the regular Chiang Mai Night Market.
The markets usually open in the afternoon and are in full swing until 11 pm. You should come before dusk if you want to deal with a smaller crowd. And if you have trouble choosing what things to buy to bring home or give as gifts; then consider looking for lacquerware. After all, the Chiang Mai region holds a long and highly celebrated tradition of making gold-on-black lacquerware pieces. Some of its more popular varieties include bowls, decorative boxes and bracelets. Other special products in the area include ceramics, embroidered bags and paper umbrellas.