Chiang Mai is a shopper’s paradise because of the wide array of unusual goods at extremely affordable prices. Quality may be variable but the value for money remains undeniable. Most tourists even leave Chiang Mai double the luggage weight they brought when they arrived! Shopping in Chiang Mai is extremely cheap and it is also convenient to get around the town. Here are some of the places you wouldn’t want to miss:
- Night Bazaar – Located along the northern end of Chang Klan Road, the Night Bazaar is the most popular Chiang Mai market as it attracts hundreds of foreign visitors. This huge shopping arcade is packed with smaller stalls and shops selling northern Thai and hill tribe handicraft items such as carvings, artworks, fabrics, clothes, jewelry and much more. All visitors of Chiang Mai cannot resist paying the Night Bazaar a visit, which resulted to the area becoming one of the city’s liveliest streets filled with restaurants, bars and coffee shops.
- Sunday Market – Open from 4pm until midnight of every Sunday, the walking streets of the Sunday Market start at the Thapae Gate and run along the stretch of the Ratchadamnoen Road through the heart of the old city. The street is entirely closed to traffic and is a main venue for locals to meet, socialize, haggle and enjoy the weekend. Hundreds of locals and tourists alike go to the Sunday Market for a splendid showcase of the art and craftsmanship of the Northern Thailand region. Products sold here range from wooden items, ceramics, metals, fabrics, papers and coconuts all authentically and originally made. Food and drink is also plentiful at the market along with the entertainment of Thai dancers, traditional musicians, living statues, rock bands and puppet shows.
- Baan Tawai – Baan Tawai is home to generations of highly skilled carvers and dozens of wood carving shops and factories. This place is also famous for their furniture manufacturing from rustic to modern styles. There are also many shipping agents around Baan Tawai in case you find something you would like to bring home. Intricately made woodcarvings ranging from small items to massive life-sized statues are available here. Many of the carvings are made by hand, producing unique and ravishing results of artwork.
- Borsang and Sankampang – The Chiang Mai Sankampang Road is lined with dozens of factories and showrooms that sell a wide variety of craft goods. Souvenir shopping here is a blast as tourists get to negotiate their desired prices. Silk factories, jewelry shops and stores that sell ceramic, leather, woodwork and genuine antiques fill the entire stretch of the street.
- Kad Luang – Better known as the Warorot Market to the locals, this busy arena is where tourists will get to taste the real Chiang Mai. Located at the peak of the Chiang Moi Road nearside the Ping River, the Kad Luang Market is filled with food stalls that sell fresh, dried and packaged food. Northern food delicacies such as Chiang Mai sausages, kaep moo (pork rinds) and nam prik (dipping sauce) can be found here along with a variety of herbs and spices.
Bargain shopping, street sighting and food tripping are just some of the exciting activities that Chiang Mai has to offer, but the best thing about shopping in Chiang Mai is getting to experience the city as the locals do, shoulder-to-shoulder with the city’s residents as they hawk and haggle over products.