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A Night At The Chiang Mai Sunday Markets, Thailand

The Chiang Mai Sunday Markets

Before I visited the Chiang Mai Sunday Markets I thought that all night markets draw in a reasonable crowd, have a good assortment of stall with food and goods and maybe take like an hour to explore. 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 Markets/ Chiang Mai Night Market/ Chiang Mai Sunday Walking Market has so many different names. Luckily, no matter what you call it by everyone will know which one you are talking about.

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Decorative coconut bowls Chiang Mai

Important Information About The Chiang Mai Sunday Markets

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

Stalls are set up 1km along Ratchadamnoen Road, as well as spreading through the side streets and Tha Phae Gate. It is in a central location and is easy to get to from some of the best areas to stay 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.

coconut ice cream chiang mai

Chiang Mai Night Markets dogs and food

What To Expect At The Chiang Mai Sunday Markets

I visited the Chiang Mai Sunday Markets with a couple I had meet in Bangkok. We were all on Khao San Road trying to get to the bus terminal without getting ripped off by the tuktuks and ended up getting to know each other in a taxi. We got a long 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 loose each other among the chaos.  There is no real direction that everyone goes, you will just constantly be dodging others, though its totally worth it.

There are so many stalls to look at selling all sorts of goodies and it’s the perfect place to purchase souveniers. Remember to haggle! From flower shaped soaps, jewellery, buddas 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!

Sweet treats at the Chiang Mai Night Markets

The Amazing Food

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 by favourite 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 favourite was three samosas for $0.75 and coconut ice cream for $1.00.

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!

Chiang mai night market temple

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.

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 wont miss it with the locals doing their sales pitch to every person who walks past. But when its $6 for an hour you cant really say no.

Sweet cakes chiang mai night market

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.

Samosa street food chiang mai

Other Markets in Chiang Mai:

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.

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  1. Rosalind December 29, 2017 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    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.

  2. Outdoors Wonders September 15, 2017 at 4:10 am - Reply

    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!!

  3. Kaylie @happinesstravelshere September 1, 2017 at 3:41 am - Reply

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

  4. Chandrika Ghosh August 18, 2017 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    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 😀

  5. Kelly | A Pair of Passports August 15, 2017 at 12:15 am - Reply

    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!

    • Tash backpackerswanderlust.com August 16, 2017 at 9:13 pm - Reply

      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

  6. Two Nerds Travel August 14, 2017 at 9:13 am - Reply

    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.

    • Tash backpackerswanderlust.com August 16, 2017 at 9:14 pm - Reply

      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

  7. Natasha Amar August 14, 2017 at 12:02 am - Reply

    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.

  8. Magdalena Eliza August 14, 2017 at 12:00 am - Reply

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

  9. Claudia August 13, 2017 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    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.

  10. Missy | The Journey Project August 13, 2017 at 6:18 pm - Reply

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

  11. Jade Byers-Pointer August 13, 2017 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    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!

  12. Ruth Rieckehoff August 13, 2017 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    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.

  13. Rhiannon Travels August 13, 2017 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    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! 🙂

  14. flickrlovr August 13, 2017 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    Although this sounds a bit overwhelming, I still want to go check it out! The market sounds incredible!

  15. Jasmine Chen August 13, 2017 at 10:51 am - Reply

    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!

  16. Anna WouldBTraveller August 13, 2017 at 8:40 am - Reply

    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!

    • Tash backpackerswanderlust.com August 16, 2017 at 9:08 pm - Reply

      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. Ciara Walsh August 13, 2017 at 5:41 am - Reply

    Looks so great and the pictures are amazing!

  18. Alex BetterTogether August 13, 2017 at 4:36 am - Reply

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

  19. marvi ocampo August 13, 2017 at 4:22 am - Reply

    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!).

  20. Salomé Mrtn August 13, 2017 at 4:09 am - Reply

    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.

  21. Ingrid Kirita August 13, 2017 at 2:59 am - Reply

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

  22. Travelling Dany August 13, 2017 at 1:23 am - Reply

    The colors and scents of this market must’ve been wonderful, they show also in your pictures!

  23. Victoria Hughes August 13, 2017 at 12:52 am - Reply

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

    • Tash backpackerswanderlust.com August 16, 2017 at 9:05 pm - Reply

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

  24. The Middle Age Wanderer August 12, 2017 at 11:04 pm - Reply

    Great post. This looks amazing and now on my list to visit when I head there. Thanks

  25. Justine Cross August 12, 2017 at 10:52 pm - Reply

    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!

  26. Abby August 12, 2017 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    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!

  27. Soumya Nambiar August 12, 2017 at 10:04 pm - Reply

    Do they have lots of vegetarian options as well? Would love to visit when I am in Chiang Mai.

    • Tash backpackerswanderlust.com August 16, 2017 at 9:03 pm - Reply

      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

  28. yishyene August 12, 2017 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    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!

  29. Meg August 12, 2017 at 9:25 pm - Reply

    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.

  30. Molly Sears-Piccavey August 12, 2017 at 9:17 pm - Reply

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

  31. HuesofDelahaye August 12, 2017 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    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

  32. Probearoundthe Globe August 12, 2017 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    What a vibrant market! Great way to spend your evenings for sure.

  33. Janine Beynon August 12, 2017 at 8:29 pm - Reply

    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!

  34. Suzannah Smith August 12, 2017 at 8:25 pm - Reply

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

  35. Weekend Haven August 12, 2017 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    I love thailand and night markets. Perfect for shopping and gastronomic treats <3

  36. Sarah @ Endless Distances August 12, 2017 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    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 ?

  37. Sabine @ The Travelling Chilli August 12, 2017 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    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.

  38. Carlinn August 12, 2017 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    It looks insane! I would so love to explore and try out some yummy food. ????

  39. Elaine J Masters August 12, 2017 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    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.

  40. Kelly August 12, 2017 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    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!

    • Tash backpackerswanderlust.com August 14, 2017 at 8:36 am - Reply

      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.

  41. Exploring Berry August 12, 2017 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    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! 🙂

  42. Andrea Cvitanovic Mayfield August 12, 2017 at 3:56 pm - Reply

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

  43. Suvarna Gangai August 12, 2017 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    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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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.