Chiang Mai: Markets and Night Bazaar
Address: The night Bazaar is located in the heart of the city, on Chan Klan Road between Tha Pae and Sri Donchai roads. The Sunday Walking Street Market is located in the centre of the old walled city. Start at the Tha Pae Gate and make your way down the 1km strip of Ratchadamnoen Road.
Open: They set up around 4pm in the afternoon and are open ’til late.
Chiang Mai has fantastic markets selling handcrafted goodies from the hill tribes, including bags and wallets, paintings, instruments, organic cotton clothes, accessories and jewellery and more. Take in the aromatic smells, colourful lights, music and bustling vibes of the travellers and friendly locals.
The night bazaar is open every day of the year and is located on the east side of the old walled city, a good walk or a cheap tuk-tuk ride away. The other markets not to miss are the Walking Street Markets on a Sunday.
They both have performers and local food stalls. If your feet get sore from walking, why not have a massage at the massage stalls? Want something to write home about? Try a fried cockroach or cricket from the food section – they are seasoned with soy sauce and chilli and can be really crunchy.
Remember to bargain: I sometimes have a hard time with this as I feel paying $2 full-price for a t-shirt isn’t bad, but since were all stingy hobos, let’s make it 50 cents. There’s a real trick to bartering and every traveller has a different tactic. Mine is to start high and get lower and lower, kind of like breaking it down on the D-floor. If you suggest a price that seems too low for the vendor and they refuse, say, “Okay, too expensive,” and walk away slowly. Hopefully (and sometimes this really doesn’t work and you have to shamefacedly walk back and buy it), the vendor will chase after you and you’ll have a deal.