Home to a majority of Thailand’s expats, Chiang Mai is one of the most vibrant cities in Southeast Asia. The city has seen an incredible evolution from a small hilly town to the largest town in the northern part of Thailand over the course of the last 30 years. There are many exciting things to do in Chiang Mai and many reasons why expats choose it over Bangkok but for me, the most incredible part of the city are the Chiang Mai night markets.
There are many night markets spread across the city and in this post, we’ll do our best to cover all of them and provide you with some useful tips about shopping at Chiang Mai night markets, what to buy, where to get things, how to bargain and much more!
Sunday Night Market (Tha Pae Walking Street)
Hours: Every Sunday, 4 PM– 11 PM.
Location: Ratchadamnoen Road, around Tha Pae Gate.
We start off this list of Chiang Mai night markets with perhaps the most famous one- Tha Pae Walking Street, also known as the Sunday Night Market Walking Street. This is hands down the most popular night shopping experience in Chiang Mai. If you happen to be in Chiang Mai on a Sunday night, this is one place you really shouldn’t miss visiting. The market stretches across Ratchadamnoen Road for more than one kilometer, starting at Wat Phra Singh and ending at Tha Pae Gate (or vice versa, depending on where you start).
The road gets closed for traffic every Sunday afternoon (around 4 PM) and it turns into an incredibly vibrant walking street. Here, you can find a lot of interesting souvenirs, handicrafts, jewelry, as well as a lot of food vendors, roadside massage areas, and a myriad of street artists that create a lovely atmosphere.
Saturday Night Market (Wualai Walking Street)
Hours: Every Saturday, 4 PM– 10:30 PM.
Location: Wualai Road, near Pratu Chiang Mai Gate (Chiang Mai Gate).
Another popular night market in Chiang Mai is the Saturday Night Market, also known as Wualai Walking Street. Similar to the Sunday Night Market, this market is only open on Saturday evenings. The Saturday Night Market is also very similar to the Sunday Night Market (you’ll find most of the things you see on the Sunday Night Market as many vendors go to both markets) but this market is slightly smaller.
Needless to say, if you’re in Chiang Mai on a Saturday night, visiting this market is a must. I recommend you combine this with a trip to the famous Silver Temple (Wat Sri Suphan) located on the same street. Just so it happens that on Saturdays, the monks have a sort of an open day where visitors can greet monks and chat with them.
Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
Hours: Every day, 6 PM- 11 PM.
Location: Chang Khlan Road, near Le Meridien.
Chiang Mai’s Night Bazaar is one of the largest bazaars in town. During the day, the street doesn’t look very different than the average urban street in Chiang Mai. It’s filled with ordinary shops, shopping arcades, restaurants, and hotels but it’s the night when the magic happens on Chang Khlan Road. Every day around 6 PM Chang Khlan Road turns from an ordinary street to an exciting arcade-style night market where you can find a lot of incredible bargains.
The bazaar consists of many different parts; one part of the bazaar is reserved for handicrafts, another for souvenirs, another for clothing and accessories, one for shopping plazas, another for bars and street food, etc. The Night Bazaar is located in the eastern part of the city roughly 10 minutes away from Tha Pae Gate.
Are you a fan of street food? Then you may also want to check out our guide to Taiwanese street food.
Kalare Night Market
Hours: Every Day, 5 PM- 12 AM.
Location: Chang Khlan Road.
When you’re in the area around Chang Khlan Road, you can combine your trip to the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar with the nearby Kalare Night Market. This is another beautiful night market in Chiang Mai filled with clothing stalls, bag outlets, accessories and souvenirs stalls, tasty street food, street artists, and much more. In other words, it has most of the things you’ll find at the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar but it’s less crowded.
Hours: Every day, 5 PM- 12 AM.
Location: Chang Khlan Road, at the far end of Chiang Mai Night Bazaar.
If you’re in the area and willing to explore, you’ll also find another night market down Chang Khlan Road. Anusarn is one of the largest Chiang Mai night markets and this one is famous for its live (and free) cabaret shows, live performances, and for being a haven for art lovers. Here, you can find many paintings, sculptures, and other forms of art that you can buy as a souvenir from your trip to Thailand.
Chang Phuak Gate Night Market
Hours: Every day, 5 PM- 12 AM.
Location: Manee Nopparat Road, Opposite Chang Phuak Gate.
If you’re a street food lover looking for a late-night snack, you’re in luck The Chang Phuag Gate Night Market is a night market that entirely consists of street food stalls and roadside eateries. Located on the northern side of the old city wall, right across the Chang Phuak Gate, this night market is where locals go to have a late-night snack.
The market has a wide selection of street food snacks, including noodles, grilled seafood, pork, fresh fruits and juices, satay, local sweets, and Thai desserts. And the best part about this market are the prices. You can have a decent meal in less than 100 baht ($3) and literally eat until you throw up for less than 200 baht ($6).
Central Kad Suan Kaew Night Market
Hours: Thursday-Saturday, 4 PM- 10 PM.
Location: 12, Huay Kaew Road, Tambon Su Thep.
This is one of the smallest but yet most popular Chiang Mai night markets. This bazaar is famous for cheap clothes, shoes, and accessories but also the outdoor food court and affordable and delicious street food that seriously rivals the food you’d get at Chang Phuak. The market begins at the start of Huay Kaew Road and should not be confused with the larger Kad Suan Kaew Night Market down the road, speaking of which…
Kad Suan Kaew Night Market
Hours: Thursday- Saturday, 4 PM- 10 PM
Location: 2 Huaykaew Road, next to the Kad Suan Kaew Mall.
This night market is named after the Kad Suan Kaew Mall which is located right behind the corner. By the way, this is the oldest mall in Chiang Mai and the night market is one of the oldest ones too. Similar to other markets, as the sun sets, street vendors start setting up their stalls and preparing for a busy night of selling, mainly local handicrafts, art from local artists, souvenirs and accessories, local drinks, and of course, some street food.
Chiang Mai Gate Night Market
Hours: Every day, 6 PM-12 AM.
Location: Chiang Mai Gate, on the southern side of the old city wall.
Even though we’re mentioning it here in the context of its night market, you won’t be wrong to visit this market during the day when the market is one of the hottest food markets in Chiang Mai. Here, you can find a variety of different street food snacks (especially grilled seafood), food stalls, and eateries but after nightfall, street vendors bring their tents and prepare for a busy evening. The market is actually the starting point of the Saturday Night Market, so be ready for the crowds if you’re visiting on a Saturday.
Kad Na Mor (Malin Plaza)
Hours: Every day, 6 PM- 10:30 PM.
Location: Huay Kaew Road, next to Chiang Mai University.
Kad Na Mor Market, also known among locals as Malin Plaza is a popular night market located near Chiang Mai University. This makes it very popular among college students which is why every evening, you’ll find a lot of young people roaming around. If you’re a student or a younger person yourself, I’m sure you’ll like it because no matter how crowded it gets, the atmosphere is always relaxed.
The market is more fitted for locals as not a lot of foreigners know about it and since the main target group are students/young people, you’ll find a lot of cheap clothing, gadgets, cosmetics, shoes, and some of the best smoothies in town for ridiculously cheap prices.
Rincome Night Market
Hours: Every day, 6 PM- 12 AM
Location: Kad Rincome Huay Kaew Rd next to MAYA Shopping Mall
Rincome is another small and cozy night market with live entertainment that often attracts huge crowds. A contributing factor to this is that the market is located right next to MAYA Shopping Center. Honestly, the shopping experience here isn’t comparable to the Night Bazaar or the Sunday Night Market because this isn’t a tourist-oriented night market but the atmosphere of the market is a reason enough to visit.
Talat Muang Mai
Hours: Every day, 24/7
Location: Witchayanon and Mueang Samut Road
Speaking of Chiang Mai night markets, we can’t forget about Talat Muang Mai. If you want to try cooking some Thai (or any other kind of) food on your own, this is the place to get fresh produce. The market consists of wholesale shops that sell a wide range of fresh produce at heavily discounted prices. The market is open 24/7 and here, you can get anything from apples and oranges to mango, papaya, tangerines, sandalwood, and much more! With all the fresh produce on display, this is easily one of the most colorful and vibrant markets in Chiang Mai.
Ploen Ruedee Night Market
Hours: Every day, 6 PM- 11 PM
Location: 28/3-4 Chang Khlan Road
This is another great place for a late-night snack. Located near the Night Bazaar, Ploen Ruedee Night Market is a vibrant food market filled with eateries and cocktail bars that’s also famous for live entertainment, including concerts and martial art shows. So if you’re planning a trip to the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar and have some extra time, a quick visit to Ploen Ruedee is highly recommended.
Suan Dok Park Night Market
Hours: Every day, 10 AM- 10 PM
Location: 110 Suthep Road
Named after the homonymous park, Suandok Park Night Market differs from most other Chiang Mai night markets because it’s open during the day (as well as the night) and it has all the elements of an outdoor shopping mall. There’s a food court with seating areas where you can enjoy your food and drinks as well as a lot of small shops and a range of street vendors selling souvenirs, accessories, and cheap clothing.
Hours: Every day, 24/7
Location: Wichayanon Rd, Tambon Chang Moi
Located in the heart of China Town, Waroot Market is probably the best 24-hour bargain market. The market is divided into five different parts; a flower market, a souvenir/accessories market, a clothing market, an exotic products market (where you’ll see some really interesting things you can only find in Thailand), and of course, the food market. So, if you’re a fan of bargain shopping, Warorot Market always has something for you (literally, always as the market runs 24/7).
Ton Lamyai Market
Hours: Monday-Friday, 24/7
Location: Thanon Praisani, 88/1 Wichayanon Rd
If you’ve ever seen stunning vibrant photos of what appears to be an endless stretch of colorful flowers (in Chiang Mai), those photos were probably taken at Ton Lamyai Market. Ton Lamyai is Chiang Mai’s most popular flower market and even though it isn’t primarily a night market, we’ll mention it on this list because it runs 24 hours a day. This market is a local favorite and it gets especially crowded during festivals and religious events when locals buy flowers in bulk.
Kat Rin Kham Bazaar
Hours: Every day, 6 PM- 12 AM
Location: Huai Keaw Road
Finally, we round up this list of Chiang Mai night markets with perhaps one of the smallest night markets in town, the Kat Rin Kham Bazaar. This market isn’t very touristy and it primarily caters to local youth. That’s why Kat Rin Kham Bazaar is one of the best places where you can buy modern clothes at affordable rates, as well as cheap jewelry, electronic gadgets, and a lot of recycled goods.
What to buy in Chiang Mai?
Now that we have covered all of the Chiang Mai night markets (at least the ones we know of), let’s give you some tips about night shopping in Chiang Mai. Let’s start with what are some of the most popular things tourists buy here. As you could tell from this article and the photos, night markets in Chiang Mai are very vibrant and some of the most popular items are products made by local artisans, most often, handicrafts, fashion items, jewelry, and silverware.
However, if you don’t relate to most tourists and are looking for something truly unique (or even bizarre according to some), you can find literally anything at these night markets. You can get cheap clothing, designer knock-offs, cheap watches, cliché souvenirs, local ceramics, silks, vases, and other types of decorations produced by local hill tribes.
Important: Don’t buy any Buddha statues because technically that’s illegal in Thailand and if caught, the item will be confiscated and you may have to pay a fine.
Bargaining at night markets
Bargaining at street markets is one of the most important aspects of traveling to Thailand on a budget. But just like everything else, you shouldn’t try to push it too much and be too aggressive when bargaining; this is one of the things you shouldn’t do in Thailand mainly because you might insult or even make some of the vendors angry. That being said, you shouldn’t fear about your safety in these markets as they’re relatively safe but just like every other place in Thailand, you should be wary of scammers and pickpockets.
But let’s get back to the topic. Naturally, every vendor will ask for a price that’s higher than the actual market value, especially if you’re a foreigner. As a rule of thumb, you’d generally get 20-30 baht off just by asking the simple question but if you know how to bargain and stand your ground, you can easily get up to 30% off.
Food and drinks at the Chiang Mai Markets
Personally, I think that most of the food you get at the Chiang Mai night markets is amazing but you should note that most of it is still street food. It’s as sanitary as street food can be but if your stomach is having a hard time adjusting to new food, you may want to be careful about the things (and quantity) you eat. And if you’re not enthusiastic about trying local food or just don’t like Thai food, some of the night markets on this list have food courts that also have fast food, continental food, Japanese/Chinese food, etc.
A few more tips for the end
Firstly, keep your valuables close and safe and always be wary of pickpockets. Crowded night markets are the kind of places where pickpockets thrive.
Feel free to bargain but always do it without being rude and with a smile on your face.
Most night markets mentioned in this article are located on narrow and often crowded streets. If you’re renting a car (you can use this special offer to save up to 30%) and are planning to use it for commuting, keep in mind that finding.
Some of these night markets are very large and you might have to walk a lot if you want to fully explore the area. That’s why you should always wear comfortable shoes since you’ll probably be spending quite some time here.
If you have food allergies, be careful about what you eat and always ask the vendor about the ingredients before ordering. Local street food is delicious but if you have food allergies or a stomach that’s not adjusted to Thai food, you might end up having a bad time.
Last but not least, be careful about tourist traps and shops/vendors that sell merchandise at ridiculously inflated prices. Remember that one US dollar equals roughly 33 Thai Baht and if you struggle converting the prices, always use your phone’s calculator to confirm the price before purchasing.
Are you planning to explore Thailand on a longer trip? You may also want to check out some of our other articles:
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Did you ever visit Chiang Mai? Do you like the Chiang Mai night markets? Which one is your favorite? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!
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