Chiang Mai Night Markets: A Culinary Haven for Locals & Foodies Alike

Chiang Mai Night Market Thumbnail

Over my six-month stay in Chiang Mai, I’ve become captivated by the diverse array of night markets the city offers. Each visit to these Chiang Mai Night Markets has revealed two distinct experiences. The tourist-oriented markets buzz with vibrant sights, delicious local and international cuisines. In contrast, the local village night markets of Chiang Mai present a more authentic experience. These markets are where locals gather, offering fresh produce, traditional snacks at prices that echo the local economy.

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A Guide to Chiang Mai Night Markets

I will be sharing a curated list of my favorite Chiang Mai Night Markets, complete with personal YouTube videos. Whether you’re a curious traveler or a local, these night markets offer a blend of cultural and culinary adventures.

Sunday Walking Market – [Every Sunday, 4:00 PM – 12:00 AM]

Chiang Mai Sunday Night Market Seating Area
Chiang Mai Sunday Night Market Seating Area

The Sunday Walking Market is an unmissable experience, especially if it’s your first time in Chiang Mai. Known as one of the largest night markets, it comes to life every Sunday evening. Explore a myriad of local souvenirs, including traditional scarves priced between 100-150B, and indulge in an array of culinary delights.

Check out my full Sunday Night Market Tour on youtube too!

Snacks, Food & Local Souvenirs

From authentic Thai snacks to Japanese, and a variety of stir-fried dishes, this market offers a taste for every palate. As someone who often holds modest expectations for food in tourist-centric areas, I was pleasantly surprised by the delectable flavors here.

The Thai stir-fry dishes, such as Phad Thai and holy basil pork with rice and fried eggs, stand out for their authenticity and taste. The average price for a fulfilling meal is about 70 THB, while snacks hover around the 30 THB mark.

The market’s layout, with limited seating, naturally fosters a communal atmosphere where you might find yourself sharing a table and stories with fellow travelers from across the globe. I’ve had the joy of making new friends from Chile and the Netherlands in this very setting.

Khao Soi - Northern Thai Chicken Curry Noodle
Khao Soi – Northern Thai Chicken Curry Noodle

I ordered freshly made Obanyaki, chocolate is a must order!

Traditonal Thai Coconut Dessert
Traditonal Thai Coconut Dessert
Met a group of friendly Singaporeans
Met a group of friendly Singaporeans, if any of you know them please tag them 😀

Experience Thai Traditional Outdoor Massage

For those looking for relaxation after a delightful stroll, the market also offers outdoor body massages, ranging from 200THB per hour, providing a perfect way to unwind.

This Sunday Walking Market truly encapsulates the vibrant spirit of Chiang Mai Night Markets, making it a top recommendation for anyone visiting the city.

Warorot Market (Kad Luang) [Daily 4 AM–11PM]

Chiang Mai - Warorot Chinatown
Chiang Mai – Warorot Chinatown

Located in Chiang Mai’s Chinatown, this place offers a unique blend of day and night experiences, perfectly embodying the vibrant life of the city.

Morning Market Vibes

During the day, I often visit this market for breakfast or lunch. The basement area is a hidden gem, where you can savor a dish of holy basil pork with fried egg and rice for just 40 THB, the lowest price. The quality and flavors here are so impressive that on my last visit, I couldn’t resist ordering a second helping of Pad See Ew, reminiscent of Singapore’s Hor Fun.

This market also features stalls selling an array of dried goods, fresh fruits, vegetables, raw meats, textiles, traditional footwear, and a variety of souvenirs – a testament to the diverse offerings of Chiang Mai Market.

On another connected block’s basement I found a curry rice store selling a plate of 2 sides + 1 Rice and Fried Egg for only 50 – 60THB.

A Floral Wonderland

Chiang Mai Warorot Market Florist
Chiang Mai Warorot Market Florist

For those with a fondness for florals, a visit to NokT florist and the stretch of flower shops offers a beautiful array of blooms to choose from.

Crispy Fried Thai Chicken Drums

As the evening approaches, around 4 PM, the ambiance shifts. Street vendors begin setting up, transforming the area into a bustling hub of night market activities. A personal favorite of mine is the freshly fried Thai Chicken drums – crispy, juicy, and utterly delicious. Paired with a soju and a K-drama back at your hotel, it makes for an unbeatable snack combination.

They even have sushi going for only 10THB per piece!

Traditional Thai Coconut Dessert Vendor

I tried a few of their coconut sticky rice dessert I must say they were not overly sweet and delicious!

It is 5 THB per piece.

Dinner – Spicy Noodles

There are also some small shops where you can dine in. I ordered a bowl of spicy rice noodles costing around 40THB.

Spicy Rice Noodles with Pork and Chicken Blood Cubes
Spicy Rice Noodles with Pork and Chicken Blood Cubes

Warorot Night Market – Must Visit for the Local Market Experience, Souvenirs and Food

If you find yourself near Changklan Road, Warorot market is a must-visit.

By day, it’s a haven for breakfast and souvenir shopping.

By night, it transforms into an essential part of the Chiang Mai Night Markets experience, ideal for savoring dinner and snacks under the stars.The prices here are quite local and most of the stores have their prices on the items too.

I came here almost everyday as it is only 10 minutes walk away from my hotel. This is also my favourite place as things are affordable and you get to find anything you like to eat and drink all in one place at anytime of the day.

Ladies, you can come here at night to have manicure at one of their many popup night stands.

Changklan Road Night Markets

If you are along Changklan Road you will get to see a row of night markets, namely Ploen Ruedee Night Market, Anusarn Night Market, Chiang Mai Night Bazaar and Kalare Night Bazaar. They have lively atmosphere is complemented by an array of shopping options. From local souvenirs that capture the essence of Thai culture to a diverse selection of clothing, there’s something for every shopper.

Additionally, a number of skilled tailors are nestled within these markets, offering custom clothing services – a unique opportunity to get tailor-made outfits.

The Changklan Road night markets truly embody the vibrant spirit of Chiang Mai Night Markets, making them a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the city’s dynamic night scene.

Ploen Ruedee Night Market
[Daily 6:00 PM – 12:00 AM, Closed on Sunday]

Chiang Mai - Ploen Ruedee Night Market
Chiang Mai – Ploen Ruedee Night Market

Live Bands

Nestled within the vibrant scene of Chiang Mai Night Markets is a particular market that stands out for those who relish international cuisine, live music, and a spirited atmosphere with a touch of nightlife. This market is a hub where tables fill the space, surrounded by the captivating sounds of live bands, creating an environment where even tourists are seen swaying and dancing to the rhythm.

Skip the pad thai here..

However, it’s worth noting that while this market excels in ambiance, the culinary experience can be a bit hit or miss. For instance, I sampled a Pad Thai here and, admittedly, found it lacking in the authentic flavors one would expect from such a classic Thai dish. Surprisingly, it was accompanied by a side of ketchup, which is quite unconventional, to make things worst, the chicken breast is hard and dry reminding me of my early days amateur gym meal prep.

However, I tried another store’s Pork Ribs it was really tender and juicy!

Tourist Price

The pricing here tends to be on the higher side, with average Thai stir-fry dishes like Phad Thai costing between 80-100 THB, notably more expensive compared to the usual 50 THB I would spend on a delectable plate of stir-fried dish in other local Chiang Mai Markets.

Anusarn Night Market
[Daily 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM]

Anusarn Night Market
Anusarn Night Market

 

I ordered freshly made Rotee with Eggs, it is soft and crispy.

Chang Puak Gate Food Night Market
[Daily 5:00 PM – 12:00 AM]

Chang Phueak Pork Leg Rice – 凤飞飞猪脚饭

Specializing in authentic local dishes at wallet-friendly prices, this spot is renowned for its exceptionally tender pig trotter rice – a dish that’s a must-try for any visitor. Known locally as 凤飞飞猪脚饭, or Chang Phueak Pork Leg Rice, it epitomizes the rich flavors and culinary traditions that Chiang Mai’s night markets are celebrated for.

The pork trotter rice is not just a meal; it’s a culinary experience. The meat, cooked to perfection, is so tender it practically melts in your mouth, paired with flavors that are both robust and delicately balanced. The pork fats just melts in your mouth and it has no smelly pork smell at all.

Best part is it is only 60THB.

Check out my youtube experience at this store!

Pig Trotter Rice Cowboy Hat Lady Boss
Pig Trotter Rice Cowboy Hat Lady Boss

I am here with my friends Alexandra and David for Mango Sticky Rice, a dessert not to be missed. The mango, perfectly in season, was exceptionally sweet, creating a sublime pairing with the warm, creamy coconut milk drizzled over delicately prepared sticky rice.

Mango Sticky Rice
Mango Sticky Rice

Other Recommended Chiang Mai Night Markets

Kalare Night Bazaar [Daily 4:00 PM – 12:00 AM] –[Google Maps] – A Tourist Dining Spot

Chiang Mai Night Bazaar [Daily 5:00 PM – 12:00 AM] – [Google Maps] – A Tourist Dining Spot

Chiang Mai University Night Market (CMU Market) [Daily 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM] – [Google Maps] – Popular among students, offering Thai fashions and affordable food options.

One Nimman White Market [Every Friday to Sunday from 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM] -[Google Maps] -Connected markets offering artisan goods, food, and live entertainment.

Ming Muang Market [Daily 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM] -[Google Maps] – A market specializing in fresh vegetables and fruits, known for its quality and variety of food offerings.

Jing Jai Market Chiang Mai [Monday to Friday 8:30AM – 9PM, Weekends 6:30AM – 10PM] – [Google Maps] – A modern hipster market known for its wide range of goods, dishes, handcrafted products, and a peaceful atmosphere.

Unveiling the Local Side of
Chiang Mai Night Markets

Chiang Mai Night Market Food - Selfie
Chiang Mai Night Market Food – Selfie

In the vibrant city of Chiang Mai, beyond the well-trodden paths of the famous night markets, lies a network of markets primarily frequented by locals. These markets form an integral part of the Chiang Mai Night Markets experience, buzzing with activity and offering an array of fresh groceries, snacks, and authentic Thai cuisine.

It’s essential to note that these local markets aren’t a daily affair and often shift locations during the week. To catch them in action, I recommend using Google Maps to check their current operating hours. If you’re not staying in the vicinity of these markets, a local tip is to ask your host for recommendations on the closest ones in your area, ensuring you don’t miss out on these hidden treasures.

Local Night Markets Do Not Have English Names

Yea you read it correctly, they have only have Thai names and foreigners hardly know these places unless their local hosts recommend it to them.

Don’t Arrive Too Late

For those planning to explore these local markets, it’s useful to know that vendors might start packing up approximately 30 minutes before closing time, particularly on less crowded days.

Park and Go

Easy Free Parking By The Road
Easy Free Parking By The Road

Parking here is refreshingly uncomplicated, adopting a ‘park and go’ approach that epitomizes the locals’ efficient shopping style. These markets don’t typically provide sit-down dining options, reflecting the local customs and lifestyle.

Pricing

As for pricing, it’s a bit of an insider’s game – often not displayed and generally known by the regulars. A handy price gauge is that three medium stalks of Xiao Bai Cai usually cost around 15-20 THB, reflecting the local cost of living in Chiang Mai.

For solo travelers or those interested in home cooking, these markets are especially convenient. Vegetables are typically sold in small bags, each containing about three stalks – perfect for small meal preparations and ensuring a variety of fresh ingredients. This approach to selling produce not only supports local farmers but also allows you to experiment with fresh, local produce in your cooking.

ตลาดนัดบ้านป่างิ้ว
(Monday and Thursday 4PM – 8 PM)

Expansive and Exciting: An Hour-Long Adventure Through the Night Market

This night market’s vastness is truly impressive, taking me over an hour to fully explore its expanse. It quickly became one of my favorites, offering the unique opportunity to shop for fresh groceries and dinner in one vibrant location. The experience of wandering through the various stalls, each brimming with fresh produce and an array of dining options, was both exhilarating and convenient, making it a must-visit spot for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the local lifestyle.

For a more in-depth look, check out my full tour on YouTube!

Thai Coconut Pancakes: A Must-Try Treat

During my visit, I had the pleasure of trying Thai pancakes infused with coconut flesh. I must say, they were absolutely delicious! The balance of sweetness was perfect, not too overpowering, and my friends loved them as well. These pancakes are a culinary delight that you absolutely must try when you’re in the area – a true testament to the simple yet rich flavors of Thai street food.

Thai Coconut Pancake
Thai Coconut Pancake
Thai Coconut Pancake
Thai Coconut Pancake

Irresistible Aromas: Hot Waffles, Croissants & Thai Fried Chicken

As I strolled through the market, I was instantly captivated by the tantalizing aroma wafting from a waffle stand. The allure of fresh, hot waffles being made right before my eyes was irresistible, especially when I discovered they were being sold for just 20 THB each.

Warm Hospitality from the Lady Boss at the Local Market

In the serene atmosphere of this local market, the pace is noticeably slower compared to the bustling tourist markets. Here, I encountered a storekeeper whose patience and friendliness were truly heartwarming. She took the time to introduce me to an array of exotic foods with such enthusiasm. Her welcoming smile was genuinely heart-melting, making the experience not only about the food but also about the warmth of human connection.

Elephant Pants and Apparel: Unbeatable Deals Starting from 20 THB

At this local night market, the range of selections is impressively vast and priced with locals in mind. If you’re in the mood for a bargain, this is definitely the place to be! Here, you can find elephant pants for as low as 100 THB each, a stark contrast to the tourist markets where prices range from 200-250 THB. This market not only offers great value but also a chance to shop like a local, experiencing the true essence of Chiang Mai’s shopping culture. Quality is decent but don’t expect Uniqlo quality.

กาดนัดโต้งแพะ
(Monday, Wednesday and Saturday 1PM – 7PM)

My Go-To Local Night Market: A Haven for Fresh Produce

This particular night market has quickly become one of my favorites, and I find myself visiting almost thrice a week. It’s my ideal spot for purchasing fresh vegetables to cook at home. For instance, a pack of golden mushrooms here costs just 10 THB, a testament to the market’s affordability and quality.

Check out my YouTube video Market Tour, split into Part 1 and Part 2, where I delve into all the amazing finds and experiences this market has to offer!

Savor the Crunch: Freshly Fried Pork Skin & Delectable Dishes

If you’re visiting this market, I highly recommend trying the Fried Pork Skin. It’s a must-try delicacy, freshly fried right before your eyes. All of the other markets I visited in this blog only sells them prepacked. Simply let the stall owner know how much you’d like, and they’ll weigh and pack it for you. For those trying it for the first time, I suggest opting for the Small or Medium size, as the Large version can be quite substantial and a bit challenging to chew.

Ready-Cooked Dishes at the Market

I was drawn to get some of the ready-cooked dishes available. The standout for me was the ginger chicken, which was exceptionally tender and packed with flavor, yet pleasantly mild in terms of spice. Each dish, attractively priced at just 30 THB, provides a convenient and delicious option for those days when cooking at home feels like a chore.

Ordering is as simple as pointing to the dishes just like Singapore’s Mixed Rice Store.

Refreshing Coconut Smoothie: A Perfect Nighttime Dessert

Despite the evening temperature at a cool 20 degrees, I couldn’t resist the temptation of a fresh coconut smoothie. To fully savor the natural sweetness of the coconut, I requested it be made with fresh milk and no added sugar. The highlight was the generous topping of fresh coconut flesh, skillfully scraped right out of the coconut by the stall owner. This delightful concoction turned out to be the perfect dessert to cap off the night, offering a refreshing and authentic taste of tropical indulgence.

ตลาดนัดวัดเกาะกลาง
(Tuesday and Saturday 3pm – 8pm)

Village-Style Market: Fresh Fare and Family Fun

This village-style market is similar to the above two local night markets. It has an array of fresh groceries, tempting snacks, and ready-cooked meals that evoke the essence of home cooking. It’s a place where the simplicity and authenticity of village life are beautifully preserved and showcased.

For families, the market offers an extra touch of joy with its Angry Birds Slide – a playful attraction that is sure to delight the kids. While parents browse through the stalls, filled with fresh produce and culinary delights, children can revel in the fun and excitement of this well-loved slide.

Chiang Mai Night Market - Angry Bird Slide
Chiang Mai Night Market – Angry Bird Slide
Chiang Mai Night Market - Shoppers
Chiang Mai Night Market – Shoppers
 

These night markets are an essential part of the my Chiang Mai experience, offering a glimpse into the local culture, cuisine, and craftsmanship. Whether you’re a food lover, a souvenir hunter, or simply enjoy the lively atmosphere, these markets are sure to offer something memorable.

I personally prefer to visit the non touristy night markets as they give super simple, chill and humble rural vibes. Store vendors are really warm in their service.

Best of all these local night markets are cheaper in prices so if you are on a budget these are worth the visit.

Visit the Charm of Chiang Mai Today!

Chiang Mai might not rival the sprawling, bustling metropolis of Bangkok, but it certainly captivates with its unique allure, perfect for those yearning to unwind and relish the simpler joys of life.

This charming city serves as a sanctuary for those seeking a retreat into a more tranquil way of life.

The night markets here are not just marketplaces; they are vibrant reflections of Chiang Mai’s relaxed and authentic lifestyle, providing enriching and grounding experiences.

If your heart is longing for a peaceful escape infused with cultural depth, Chiang Mai awaits your exploration.

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As you plan your visit, it’s wise to avoid the burning season, usually from February to March. During this time, the city is shrouded in a hazy sky. However, outside these months, Chiang Mai boasts some of Thailand’s cleanest air, offering a rejuvenating and clear ambiance that further accentuates the region’s allure and charm.

 


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