Visiting The Sunday Night Market In Chiang Mai: Best Market In Thailand

crowds buying coconut carved bowls at the chiang mai sunday night market

Find out everything you need to know about the Chiang Mai Sunday Night Markets. From the location, prices, opening hours, what to buy and more, this ultimate guide to this massive walking street has you covered!

Before I visited the Chiang Mai Sunday Markets I thought it would be like the rest of markets you find throughout Thailand and Southeast Asia. Consisting of souvenirs, a few foods stalls, a bit of live music and mainly full of tourists. Though, this opinion of mine quickly changed after hitting up The Chiang Mai Sunday Markets, which in my opinion is the best night markets in Thailand.

Just so you know the Chiang Mai Sunday Market/ Chiang Mai Night Market/ Sunday Walking Street Market Chiang Mai has so many different names. Luckily, no matter what you call it by everyone will know which one you are talking about.

Chiang Mai Sunday Night Market:

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filming strawberry smoothie and cheese balls at the chiang mai sunday walking market

fried samosas at the sunday walking street chiang mai

Opening Hours Of The Chiang Mai Sunday Market

The Sunday Walking Street Market is held every Sunday from 4pm until about midnight when all the crowds depart. To say it draws in a massive audience would be an understatement. When I was visiting some of the first questions I was asked is ‘if I would be in town for the Sunday market’, The answer was “of course, yes!”

The majority of the crowds tend to swarm the streets between 7pm-10pm. Therefore if you are claustrophobic or get anxious in large crowds I highly recommend visiting earlier in the evening.

food and clothing at the night market chiang mai

early evening crowds at the sunday night walking market chiang mai

Location Of The Chiang Mai Sunday Night Market

The location of the Chiang Mai Walking Street Market is extremely easy to find as it is within the Old Town walls. Stalls are set up 1km along Ratchadamnoen Road, as well as spreading through the side streets and Tha Phae Gate. From the late afternoon until the midnight darkness the streets in the Chiang Mai Old City quickly come to life with people enjoying the evening.

It is in a central location and is easy to get to from some of the best areas to stay in and the best hostels in Chiang Mai. You need a decent amount of time set aside for exploring. Trust me, you will want to be tasting all the wonderfully cheap food, buy some souvenirs and watch the street performances from the locals.

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location of the chiang mai sunday market on a map

golden temple and crowds at the sunday walking street market chiang mai

What To Expect At The Chiang Mai Sunday Markets

To say the Night Markets are one of the best things to do in Chiang Mai would be an understatement. It seems that everybody visits on a Sunday evening, travelers, locals and domestic tourists. There are even plenty of dogs walking around with their owners! In all honesty, it is one of the top things to do in Thailand and should be added to your adventure bucket list.

If you are not comfortable in large crowds it is best if you visit during the earlier part of the evening, before 7.00pm. I cannot even put into words how crowded the streets become, the only time you can really move is when the people in front of you do, and if they stop to look at something, you will be stuck there as well.

I visited the Chiang Mai Sunday Markets with a couple I had previously met in Bangkok. We were all on Khao San Road trying to get to the bus terminal without getting ripped off by the tuk-tuks and ended up getting to know each other in a taxi. We got along quite well so decided to catch up again in Chiang Mai to explore the markets everyone says is a must see.

To say it is crowded would be an understatement, though we managed not to lose each other among the chaos.  There is no real direction that everyone goes, you will just constantly be dodging others, though it’s totally worth it.

There are so many stalls to look at selling all sorts of goodies and it’s the perfect place to purchase souvenirs. Remember to haggle! From flower-shaped soaps, jewelry, buddhas and butterfly wall pieces, you will find everything here. Some amazing artists line the streets as well, showing off their talents to the crowd. Unfortunately, photos are discouraged, but trust me its something you have to see!

hawaiian lasange and crowds at the night market chiang mai

buying a strawberry flavored smoothie at the sunday night bazaar chiang mai

crowds and stalls outside seven eleven at the chiang mai sunday night market

Chiang Mai Sunday Market For Foodies

To say I love food is an understatement, and I was certainly in heaven at the Chaing Mai Sunday Markets. There are multiple areas dedicated to food stalls, as well as the many which also line the walking street. Here, you can get whatever food you feel like and at amazing prices! Wanting noodles? No problem. Feeling like seafood? Easy done. How about something a little sweet? All sorted. Or even my favorite tourist staple, a fruit smoothie.

Seriously it is an awesome atmosphere, with so many scents in the air and the way they mass cook the food is like some sort of show. I often ended up in a temple complex where many food outlets are situated as well as a decent amount of seating. My favorite was three samosas for $0.75 and coconut ice cream for $1.00. On the main Walking Street of Ratchadamnoen Road, there is also the best steak in the world, according to my partner, who was absolutely amazed.

Of course, if you are craving the iconic Thai foods such as pad thai, coconut pancakes and curry, there is an abundance available. With friendly locals serving up decent sized portions you cannot go wrong! If you are feeling like something a little more adventurous give the fried insects a try. Choose from tarantulas, crickets, worms and so many more creepy crawlies if you are brave enough!

Seriously the Chiang Mai Sunday Market is a food lovers dream. On my most recent visit, we treated it like our own food tour and purchased such a wide variety of items we usually wouldn’t. It was great giving some new foods a go and in total, we spent less than $15.00 for both of us! We were certainly full enough to explode by the end.

coconut ice cream at the sunday night market in chiang mai

barbecue sausage and meats at the chiang mai sunday market

fried noodles at the sunday night bazaar chiang mai

What Else Can You Buy?

If you aren’t in the mood for street food there are plenty of restaurants right off the walking street. Chill out with a good meal and watch the craziness unfold in front of you from the peace and quiet of your private table. Though, this market only happens once a week, so do you really want to miss out on all the action?

If you are needing to relax with a foot massage after wandering around for hours this is the place to be. There are cheap massages on offer set up on the streets. Trust me you won’t miss it with the locals doing their sales pitch to every person who walks past. Also when it’s $6.00 for an hour you can’t really pass up this type of bargain.

One of my favorite purchases from my most recent trip to Thailand was actually from the Chiang Mai Sunday Night Market. I first saw a sign stating 100 baht for these large screen-printed paintings. I thought that could not be true, though on my way out I saw it again and knew I had to stop. Luckily enough the prices were correct and I brought 2 different paintings. One of the beaches in Southern Thailand and another of elephants in the hills of Northen Thailand.

No matter what you are after you can bet on finding here in the night markets. From delightful soaps, elephant temple pant and so so much more! It is seriously shoppers paradise and I cannot stress it enough that you need to visit, especially if you are wanting to purchase souvenirs.

brightly colored decorated bowls for sale at the sunday walking street chiang mai

How Much Should I Pay?

It can always be difficult in markets around Asia knowing exactly how much you should pay. Luckily in the Chiang Mai Sunday Market, the street food almost always has pricing around it. Most items are around 20 baht, though if you are looking for something fancier expect to pay more.

The decor, clothing and basically anything except the food is a little more difficult as they sometimes do not have pricing. Luckily for me the screen printings I purchased which I mentioned above, they were 100 baht each, fixed pricing. For many items here you will want to haggle.

It is best knowing a rough estimate of the price of the item before purchasing so you know whether you are getting a fair deal, though this can sometimes be hard to do. To avoid this you can try to shop around try to establish an average price. Alternatively, it is best practice to counter offer at least half what the seller first says it costs. Unfortunately, 99% of the time they will refuse and offer a price lower than the original. From here bounce offers back and forth until an agreement is made.

Through personal experience, I have found that the closer you are to the middle of the market the more expensive items get. On the side streets and at each end of the road is where average prices seem to be a bit cheaper. I guess this is due to be traffic within the center.

cheap thai sweets and cookies at the sunday night walking market chiang mai

cream cheese brownies at the sunday night market

Other Top Markets in Chiang Mai

If you are a lover of exploring markets and trying new foods here are some other highly recommended markets you should check out during your visit to Chiang Mai. Just don’t eat beforehand so you have plenty of room for some yummy delights.

Chiang Mai Gate Night Food Market

When: Everyday, from 5pm till noon.

Location: Chiang Mai South Gate. Just at the opposite side of the Chiang Mai Gate. Rat Chiang Saen road.

Chang Puak North Gate Food Market

When: Everyday, from 5pm till noon.

Location: Chiang Mai North Gate / Chang Puak Gate.

Saturday night Market

When: Every Saturday, 5pm – 11pm.

Location: Wualai Road.

How I Book Cheap Transport In Thailand: 12Go Asia

Chiang Mai Sunday Market: The Best Market In Thailand

Seriously if you are in Chiang Mai make sure you check out Chiang Mai Sunday Markets. It is the perfect way to spend an evening with great food, good atmosphere and provides the perfect opportunity to do a little souvenir shopping or pick up a new pair of temple pants.

If you think the Chiang Mai Sunday Markets are going to be a little to crazy for you there are so many other markets in the area you are bound of find one you love.

Any Questions? Let me know in the comments!


Find out everything you need to know about the Chiang Mai Sunday Night Markets. From the location, prices, opening hours, what to buy and more, this ultimate guide to this massive walking street has you covered.

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. So, if you click on it and purchase something, I get a small percentage at no extra cost to you. As always all opinions are my own and your support is much appreciated.

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    Your typical New Zealander, now discovering the world one country at a time. With a high-end backpacking style I prefer to glampack across the globe by embracing the best of each destination. All of which I share right here on Backpackers Wanderlust. 




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  • 67 Responses

    1. I usually avoid going to markets because of its huge crowed, but here there is something which I admire the most “Food”. I am sure gonna visit this yummy market asap. Thanks for making me aware of this. Keep up the good work. Cheers!!!

    2. Love the Chiang Mai Sunday Walking Market. We had the best time checking out all the stalls and the street food will keep us coming back. Thanks for sharing it brings back so many memories.

    3. Thanks for this yummy post. It seems like there is a very wide of goodies to try!! One will have to ensure the stomach is empty before venturing in these markets, lol, for fear to missing out!!

    4. I have the best memories of sitting in the Chiang Mai night markets eating banana roti and having my feet massaged.

    5. Oh my God! I had no idea about this. The handicraft items look so beautiful! I’m definitely going to ensure I spend a Sunday in Chiang Mai when I plan a trip 😀

    6. This looks like such a great way to spend an evening! I absolutely love markets for getting to know a bit more about a place – the food alone can teach you so much!

      1. Yeah and its great to see the tourists and local interacting. There are so many chances to at markets, whether you are sharing a table, haggling or enjoying street performances together

    7. This sounds like such a fun experience! I’m kind of sad that this particular one is only on Sunday nights; I imagine it’s a place we’d want to go and never leave (especially as foodies). All the treats and colors and people seem so exciting and inspiring. 🙂 Though I’d never try the bugs; I’m definitely not that adventurous.

      1. Yeah I was in Chiang Mai for two weeks so I was luckily able to experience two of these markets! There are heaps of others during the week and on Saturday if you aren’t able to make it. They are just not on such a grand scale

    8. I really loved Chiang Mai when I went and easily much more than Bangkok. I thought the food was much better and the night markets are just amazing and lively. I think the vendors in these markets are much warmer to tourists than markets in Bangkok which feel too crowded for my liking.

    9. I love street food, so it looks like I should definitely add this to my bucket list! And foot massage must be a bliss!

    10. OMG I really want to go there . I am a food lover and especially I love local food and markets. Hopefully I can check it out soon. Thanks for sharing.

    11. Markets are my absolute favorite, and this one sounds iconic! I’ll definitely be checking it out!

    12. Your photos of the food are making me so hungry! These markets sound like they would be so much fun! Definitely need to put it on the Thailand bucketlist!

    13. I remember how much I loved this market (your post brings back good memories). I love markets in general but the Asian ones are in their own league. I am into visiting one or more every day.

    14. I love markets like this! I’ve heard some great things about Thailand’s as well, so I’m excited to one day check them out! Your photos are awesome! 🙂

      1. Yeah Chiang Mai makes for a great break from the Island life and constantly being covered in sand

    15. I’m from Taiwan and we have some awesome night markets but oh my goodness I totally need to visit the ones in Thailand now. This looks like total foodie heaven and girl you got me drooling all over my laptop! And three samosas for $0.75!??!??!?!?! Kay, I’m booking a flight there!

      1. I loved these night markets, I would say they are the best ones in Thailand. Total foodie heaven with prices to match!

    16. The Chiang Mai markets are amazing, aren’t they!? I hadn’t heard of them until my visit a couple of years ago but am now telling everyone to go. We even managed to find some handmade Christmas decorations when we were there in november!

      1. So amazing! Yeah I hadnt heard too much of them until I had arrived, then it was the only thing anyone would talk about! Wow christmas decorations, that would make such a cool souvenir!

    17. Wow the markets look great! I’m so looking forward to getting over to Thailand at some point 🙂

    18. I’m reading through your post and I’ve no doubt why you enjoyed it so much! I know I would too! 🙂 It looks so lively and with so many great options to choose from (not to mention inviting foods!).

    19. What a great article. I would love to try all of this delicious Thai food. I am not sure about the insects though 🙂 Your pictures are so wonderful.

    20. Lovely colors and vibes, it is a pitty pictures don’t have smell because your would be filled with aroma

    21. I always associate markets with bugs on sticks but those cakes look unreal ? Definitely changed my opinion!

      1. Its not your typical SE Asian market, well there are bugs on sticks, but so many other foods that actually taste good as well

    22. Wow! This looks and sounds incredible. I haven’t yet had the pleasure to travel to Thailand yet, but I hope to one day (especially after reading this). Also, those kiwi and oreo-topped cakes look delicious!

    23. I’ve been to Thailand before, but not to Chiang Mai. The market sounds like a must visit the next time I go back. And your pics are so vibrant!

      1. Yeah I am vegetarian and there are heaps of options 🙂 You totally should if you are in the area, just make sure you are there on a Sunday

    24. I went to this same market a few years back with my parents and sister! We ate so much.. it was such a fun night!

    25. Thailand knows how to put on a night market! They’re such fun, vibrant places to explore. Chiang Mai is a great place to wander around too.

    26. The food looks amazing here, I wouldnt know what to pick. I think I´d most enjoy the exoti fruits there

    27. I remember the markets inThailand being likes these, vibrant, loud and beautiful. There was always something amazing to see and eat at each stall. Great post

    28. I went to Chiang Mai but wasn’t there for the market, next time! The photos are amazing, especially the food ones, they are making me hungry!

    29. I love Thai markets, they are probably some of the best around the world! Plus the food is just divine!

    30. Your photos are sooo gorgeous – and I had never heard of a night market before?! That’s exactly how I’d love to spend a Sunday night ?

      1. Thanks! There are so many over in South East Asia, you will have to go check them out

    31. This market looks like the place to be, so colourful. And the food looks amazing. Love these afternoon / night markets, they are so special and it gives a different atmosphere I think.

    32. This looks and sounds so wonderful. I love your pictures too. We have a few wonderful night markets in San Diego and they’re my favorites as well.

      1. Thanks! Oh awesome, I have never been to San Diego, but if I do I now know to hit up the night markets

    33. This night market is one of my favorite memories of Thailand. We bought a huge peacock painting from a local artist and carried the wrapped up canvas around Thailand for a few more weeks. It hangs on our wall now. I’d definitely love to go back!

      1. Oh wow really! That’s awesome, I saw so many amazing paintings that I would have loved to buy, but I couldn’t imagine carrying it around.

    34. I am so happy to have read this post because it brought back so many good memories of my experience at that market a few years back. I loved it too!! I found it too crowded but you expect that of a great night market in Thailand! 🙂

      1. Oh I am glad you enjoyed it as well! Yeah it is certainly crowded, but yeah anywhere decent in Thailand is busy

    35. This market looks like a food lovers dream! My mouth is watering right now ? Awesome read!

    36. Oh my word… it does not help that I love Thai food and at this exactly moment I am starving! This brought to life all the happenings of Thai life for me!

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