Did you know Chiang Mai has some of the best night markets in all of Thailand? While small markets can be found all over the city, the very best are held every Saturday and Sunday. Here’s everything you need to know about the Night Market in Chiang Mai and more fun tips for your visit!
What Makes the Chiang Mai Night Market So Unique
The Chiang Mai Night Markets are a weekend spectacle that every traveler will love. Not only will you find local jewelry, art, and clothing, but also an abundance of delicious street food!
We’ve been to markets all over Southeast Asia, but some of our favorite have been in Chiang Mai. The stalls and lights of the Chiang Mai Night Markets seem to go on forever and are the perfect end to any day.
Understanding the Night Market in Chiang Mai
One thing to know is that there is more than one Chiang Mai Night Market! Although there are several held throughout the week, the two biggest are held on Saturday and Sunday. If you can plan ahead of time to visit Chiang Mai during the weekend we highly recommend it.
On Saturday head to the Wua Lai Walking Street for a fun night of shopping and eating. While on Sundays it’s time to go to Tha Phae Walking Street for endless stalls, music, and more. Below are some easy tips to guide you through the Night Market Chiang Mai scene.
5 Tips for the Chiang Mai Night Market
1. Get there Early: If you’re not a fan of crowds, you may want to get the night market in Chiang Mai early! This is one of the most popular things to do in the city so expect a lot of people. We don’t even mind showing up before it’s dark when things are first opening.
2. Have Cash: The most important Night Market Chiang Mai tip is that the majority of stands don’t except credit cards. Make sure to have plenty of Thai Baht on you and small bills if possible.
3. Eat Street Food: One of the best parts about the Chiang Mai market is sampling all the delicious street food! Try the classics like Pad Thai and Khao Soi, or get a little wild with oyster omelettes and unique fruit drinks.
4. Wear Comfortable Shoes: The walking streets are super long and filled with side streets that you can cut down and explore. Every time we went to the Night Market in Chiang Mai we would end up walking several miles.
5. Bartering: Haggling is common throughout Thailand. However, there has been a slight change in the last few years. More vendors have their prices clearly displayed. Typically, if the price is shown it will be hard to get a better deal unless you’re buying multiple items from the same person.
Saturday Night Market Chiang Mai
On Saturdays, head over to Wua Lai Walking Street for one of the best night markets in Chiang Mai! This one starts in the early afternoon around 5pm and stays open until midnight.
It will be extremely simple to find as it’s located just outside the the Old Town walls. The street is closed to traffic and extends over 1/2 a mile with colorful shopping stands. In addition to the souvenir stands, you can even get a foot massage at the Saturday night market in Chiang Mai!
Just across from the start of Wua Lai street is also the Chiang Mai Gate Market which is open from 4pm to 2am daily. Here you’ll find countless street food specialties and the ultimate dinner spot between shopping.
Sunday Night Market Chiang Mai
Every Sunday evening, the Ratchadamnoen Road transforms into one massive Chiang Mai market! Sitting opposite of the famous Pratu Tha Phae Gate, this one long street fills with stands for as far as the eye can see.
One of the coolest parts about this Chiang Mai Night Market is the rooftop restaurant towards the entrance. We loved going to Tha Phae Grill to grab a cold beer and watch the sunset.
After the sun goes down, this night market will just be picking up. About halfway up on the left (starting at the Chiang Mai Gate) of Ratchadamnoen Rd you will find a small food court. This is a great place to grab dinner after you’ve done some looking around.
Where to Stay in Chiang Mai Thailand
Luxury – The Inside House – Enjoy a taste of luxury in Chiang Mai at the Inside House! This unique resort features a rooftop swimming pool, large rooms, and on-site restaurant.
Fun Vacation – Tamarind Village – Located in the heart of Chiang Mai Thailand, this hotel has comfortable rooms surrounded by Tamarind trees. The traditional decor and balconies will make you feel right at home.
Boutique Hotel – El Barrio Lanna – The beautiful setting and wide-open rooms of El Barrio Lanna are perfect for couples. A gorgeous pool sits in the middle of the property and is just a short walk from Old Town.
Hostel – The Common Hostel – If you’re looking for a hostel in the middle of all the action in Chiang Mai Old Town, this is it! The Common features bunks with their own private lockers and a 24 hour front desk.
For more places to stay in Chiang Mai you can explore the latest prices here!
Have any questions about this article or want to share your own fun tips for the night markets in Chiang Mai? Leave us a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
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Thailand Travel Planning
Transportation: While traveling through Thailand 12Go is where we find all our ferries, trains, buses, and transfers! You can find everything from island hopping speed boats to the night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide to find activities all over Phuket! You can find everything from a James Bond island luxury sunset cruise, to Phuket Old Town 15-taster food adventure, and 5-hour island tour!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without protection. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.