Checking Out Chiang Mai's Night Market
Although I have been to Chiang Mai, Thailand several times in the past for work reasons, an October trip last year was a first one for me with my hubby. We were there for a conference and there was a lot of work we had to do. But hey, we made sure that we also had time to also explore the city together. And one of the things we enjoyed while we were in Chiang Mai is checking out its night market. Night markets are a common fare in Thailand where you get to buy quality goods at very good prices.
Getting There. The night market we went to while we were in Chiang Mai was just one tuktuk ride (tricycle or motorized ride) away from the hotel where we stayed: Lanna Palace 2004 Hotel in Chang Klan road. You might also choose to walk your way to the market to have maximum experience of the city. It is relatively safe walking along the main streets of Chiang Mai even at night time. You will get to see a lot of foreigners walking their way to the market, street shops or local Thai restaurants. To know the exact location of the night market, you can ask from any of the locals. For better communication and for your safety, you can also ask from the staff of the hotel or inn you are staying in. There are regular night markets (nightly) and there are also Friday night markets in Chiang Mai. But I have observed that the Friday night markets not only have more goods to choose from but they are also of better quality. Just a tip: Work out your fare with the tuktuk driver first before you hop into his vehicle. Do not get a ride with him and then ask him later how much the fare is. You can also ask the hotel or inn staff the usual fare to the place where you are going, that way you have a reference rate as you negotiate your fare.
What can you buy in a night market? Gorgeous handmade products straight from Chiang Mai, for one. And that’s why you will get it at such a good price since you are buying it direct from the people who make it! Silk items are available. A silk shawl can cost you only 100 baht (only about 3 USD) in Chiang Mai. Small items which you can buy as souvenirs for your office mates, friends, or families back home like coin purses, key chains, bookmarks can be bought as low as 10 to 15 baht each (less than a dollar). The pieces, by the way, are well crafted and uniquely Thai. There is also an abundance of clothes at very reasonable prices. You can buy shirts with Chiang Mai or Thailand prints or with Thai characters for 100-200 baht (3-5 USD) Household items like place mats, table cloth are also available. My hubby and I also got a beautiful hand painting which cost us only 100 baht (again, about 3 USD). One more tip: if you buy several items with one seller or vendor, you also get to have special rates.
So when you are in Chiang Mai, don’t forget to check out their nightly or Friday night markets. I think you will end up saying that you had such a good buy 🙂
Note: Thanks to Alenna for taking the photo. This post is also linked with Thursday Brownies, Red Hot Thursday, Color Connection, Tuesday Travels