The verdant hills surrounding cosmopolitan Chiang Mai have long been dotted with hill tribe villages of Thailand’s many ethnic minorities. Visiting one or more of these rural outposts has become a quintessential northern Thailand experience. Here’s what you need to know.
Saturday and Sunday Walking Street Market
If you find yourself in Chiang Mai on the weekend, these street markets are not to be missed.
The Saturday Walking Street Market takes over Wualai Road, running from the old city’s southern entrance toward the southwest. This tends to be the less busy of the two markets, with more of a focus on local crafts and souvenirs.
The Sunday Walking Street Market takes place on Ratchadamnoen Road and typically includes food markets tucked into the wat courtyards along the road. Many locals come to this market for a meal with friends in the open-air dining areas. This market is larger, louder, and busier.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Saturday and Sunday Walking Street Markets are a must-see for foodies, shopping enthusiasts, and first-time visitors.
Be sure to bring Thai currency in small denominations, as most vendors only accept cash.
You won’t see fixed prices; haggling is expected.
How to Get There
The Saturday and Sunday Walking Street Markets start near the walls to the old city, putting them within walking distance of this popular part of town. Those coming from farther away should hire a tuk-tuk to reach the markets.
When to Get There
While streets begin to close and stalls begin to go up in the late afternoon, around 4pm, these markets tend to reach full swing later in the evening and go until midnight. Come early if you want to avoid the crowds or later to get the full street-market experience.
Other Markets in Chiang Mai
If you’re not in town over the weekend, don’t fret. Chiang Mai has many markets worth visiting. One of the most popular is the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, which takes place nightly in the eastern quarter of the city. Another popular option for sampling local food or picking up souvenirs is Warorot Market, which stays open throughout the day and well into the night.
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