In addition to its two famous street markets, Chiang Mai boasts a diverse collection of markets. These are the vibrant locations typically shown on postcards of Thai markets. The different markets sell different products. Some are geared towards food and household products while others offer the best souvenir shopping in Southeast Asia.
Chiang Mai markets tend to operate either during the daytime or during the evening, but not usually both. Thais normally call evening markets night markets even though they are rarely open after midnight. At most markets, haggling over prices is almost expected. Details of the main Chiang Mai markets are below.
The Chinatown zone of Chiang Mai stretches back from the west bank of the Ping River for about half a kilometre. Chang Moi Road is the main access route and a lofty red archway inscribed with Chinese characters marks the entry at the west end. Chinatown is home to Warorot and Ton Lamyai markets. Streets and lanes in Chinatown have a really diverse collection of shops which sell fabrics, gold jewellery, Chinese medicines, clothes, shoes, utensils and household hardware. Red is a predominant colour on the shop facades and reflects the Chinese belief it is a lucky colour. There are a number of Chinese shrines in the locality and Pung Thao Kong is a flamboyant example of one which could have been transported straight from mainland China.
China Town: – Chang Moi Rd., T. Chang Moi, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50300 | Open: 09:00-18:00 (Daily) | Map
Warorot Market is the city’s central day market and is called Kad Luang by city residents. Kad Luang is literally market central. This multi-storey structure is smack in the middle of Chiang Mai’s Chinatown and is a vibrant and colourful location to spend a few hours browsing and soaking up the atmosphere. Stalls on the ground floor are laden with vivid tropical fruits, mountains of vegetables and chilli pastes, herbs and dried food. There is even a stall selling Indian herbs and spices. The upper levels are mostly dedicated to clothing and footwear. Traditional pha muang cotton and hill tribe garments are among clothing choices. As Warorot is the market of choice for Thais, clothing sizes are mostly small to medium and it pays to check whether the item will fit before buying. There is a restaurant section where kanom jeen noodles, fried rice and other Thai classics are on the menu.
Warorot Market: – Chang Moi Rd., A. Muang, Chiang Mai 503000 | Open: 05:00-18:00 (Daily) | Map
TON LAMYAI FLOWER MARKET
Ton Lamyai Market is across from the Ping River and part of Chinatown. The principal product sold here is flowers. The contrasting blooms of different genres of lilies, roses, poinsettias, chrysanthemums and Thailand’s signature orchids is a visual banquet. Skilled florists arrange the flowers into bunches, bouquets and wreaths before offering them for sale. Ton Lamyai Flower Market opens 24/7 and is at its best first thing in the morning when the first deliveries of freshly cut flowers arrive.
Ton Lamyai Flower Market: – Wichayanon Rd., A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50300 | Open: 24 hours | Map
CHIANG MAI GATE MARKET
Originally a shopping destination for local residents, the market on the north side of Chiang Mai Gate has evolved into a must-visit for international tourists who want to experience the real Thailand. Vendors in the main market hall sell the likes of clothing, footwear, fresh fruit, cooked snacks, Buddha amulets and household utensils. Stallholders shut up shop at around 17:00 and just in time to grab a bite to eat at the night market across the road. Vendors here serve up a choice of dishes and tasty snacks ranging from pad Thai noodles and noodle soup to barbecued meat on sticks, crepes, fruit smoothies and Sai Ua Northern sausages.
Chiang Mai Gate Market: – T. Phra Singh, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50300 | Open: 04:00-00:00 (Daily) | Map
MUANG MAI MARKET
Muang Mai is another traditional market and the place where Chiang Mai restaurants and hotels buy their fresh vegetables and fruit. Browsers wandering the aisles and around the stalls outside get to buy freshly picked seasonal fruit ranging from durians and mangosteens to strawberries and longans at cheap prices. Some stalls sell raw meat, seafood and household items. Muang Mai is close to the west bank of the Ping River and 10 minutes walk from Warorot market.
Muang Mai Market: #1/1 Wichayanon Rd., A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50300 | Open: 08:00-20:00 (Daily) | Map
KHAMTHIANG FLOWER MARKET
Despite the fact it is designated a flower market, Khamthiang is more a sales outlet for horticultural items. Shops here sell garden turf, plants, hedge plants, fruit tree saplings, paving slabs, wind-chimes and garden ornaments as well as orchids, roses and bunches of flowers. There are pet supplies and ornamental fish shops too. A number of cafés are dotted around the market and serve up brewed coffee, smoothies and soft drinks. Khamthiang is located near the northern arc of Chiang Mai’s inner ring road.
Khamthiang Flower Market: – T. Chang Phuak, Chiang Mai 50300 | Open: 09:00-17:30 (Daily) | Map
WAROROT EVENING MARKET
After the main building at Warorot Market shuts up shop for the day in the late afternoon, the streets outside are transformed into market. This is at its busiest in the middle of the evening and is a great spot to pick up fresh seasonal fruit, snacks, juices, cheap clothing and sandals. The core of the market is spread around the Chang Moi Road-Wichayanon Road junction.
Warorot Night Market: – Chang Moi Rd., A. Muang, Chiang Mai 503000 | Open: 05:00-18:00 (Daily) | Map