Shopping and Food Walking Tour (Self Guided), Chiang Mai

One of the reasons tourists visit Chiang Mai is shopping. Indeed, this city is fit to captivate anyone with its shopping opportunities, especially when it comes to diverse and unique goods such as silk, silver, clothing, ceramics, antiques, Buddhist art, lacquer and neilloware, of consistently good value and quality and at affordable prices. Chiang Mai is one of the cheapest places to shop in Thailand.

The local shopping is also more handicraft-oriented than anywhere else in the country. It is quite different from that in Bangkok; Chiang Mai is relatively modest in terms of luxury malls, but offers an impressive choice of open-air day and night markets – busy and crowded affairs.

One such hotspot is Tha Pae Road in the eastern part of the Old City. It is recommended to start your spree at Tha Pae Gate and simply follow the crowds to enjoy some of the best night shopping in Chiang Mai.

Setting off from Tha Phae Road in the southward direction, the Night Bazaar takes place every night and is probably the most popular of all night markets in the city. The endless rows of beautifully lit street-side stalls here sell mostly clothing and handicrafts, plus some more unique crafts and jewelry found in a host of shopping plazas. Strolling through the streets of the bazaar, one also shouldn't miss out on the great – but more expensive – food market near Tha Pae Road.

If you are curious and adventurous enough to find something unique, to see how the Thai people do their everyday shopping and perhaps take some memorable photos, and then try the freshly prepared local food – do embark on this exiting, self-guided walking tour of Chiang Mai!
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Shopping and Food Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Shopping and Food Walking Tour
Guide Location: Thailand » Chiang Mai (See other walking tours in Chiang Mai)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 4
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles
Author: vickyc
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Tha Pae Road
  • Night Bazaar
  • Ploen Ruedee Night Market
  • Warorot Market
1
Tha Pae Road

1) Tha Pae Road

The shopping street between Chiang Mai's Narawat Bridge and Tha Pae Gate is filled with exciting and unique finds. You'll find rare antiques, gorgeous textiles, and traditional clothing. Orchids and flowers add to the vibrancy of this shopping street.

Tha Pae Road closes to street traffic at 4:00 pm every Sunday. The street transforms into a busy night market. You'll find hundreds of stalls offering street food, souvenirs, textiles, clothes, and trinkets. Search for your favorite handicraft; friendly bargaining is acceptable. You might find the perfect silk scarf, spice collection, wooden carving, or gold Buddha image.

The temples along the road become delectable food courts. Try everything from deep-fried crickets to pancakes on sticks, to mango sticky rice, to fresh juice.

Artists can draw a street portrait or caricature for a unique souvenir. Stages are set up, and locals partake in dance recitals and performance arts while musicians entertain along the way.

When you're feet get tired, it's time to take a break and refresh yourself with a fresh juice and a foot massage.

While the shopping is fantastic, you'll also love the immersive cultural experience as locals and tourists come together to enjoy shopping, haggling, and tasty treats.
2
Night Bazaar

2) Night Bazaar (must see)

A three-block stretch of shops along the Chang Klan Road, the Night Bazaar is Chiang Mai’s shopper’s paradise with shops selling a range of products at pocket-friendly prices and upmarket goods for the more discerning. The Chinese, mostly immigrants from the province of Yunnan, celebrate the New Year here. Lacquered duck, spring rolls, fried noodles, ice cream and surprise cakes are everywhere; this place has a variety that makes your mouth water and it's all very cheap.

This is the cheapest place for purchasing a range of products and tourist souvenirs in Thailand. One can buy antiques, Thai silk, (fake) Rolex watches, cheap luggage, video games and cheap CDs and DVDs in the small shops that are found everywhere. It is also popular with tourists for the many establishments that offer services like camera shops, mobile phone shops, travel agents, internet cafes and tailoring. One can choose and purchase Thai silk and get a custom-made suit stitched in one day. One can also get a portrait painted at the bazaar in traditional Thai attire. Most tourist souvenirs and handicrafts are mass-produced but one can spot a unique object among them.

Notable buildings along the market are the Ven Ping Night Bazaar with two floors of shops selling authentic antiques, clothing, and crafts. The Kalare Center building has a selection of restaurants serving traditional Thai and international cuisines. The Chang Klan Plaza is an indoor shopping center with high-end stores and the Anusarn Market has eateries serving a variety of seafood dishes.

Tip:
Be prepared to shop around and barter to get the best prices. If items are not priced, it's best to keep walking. If you go inside the large interior Anusarn area, prices are much more reasonable.

Operation Hours:
Daily: 7pm until midnight
3
Ploen Ruedee Night Market

3) Ploen Ruedee Night Market

Ploen Ruedee Night Market opens at sunset. Taste your way through the night while enjoying various street food, Thai food, and international cuisine. The food stalls are all set up on the outside of the market; visitors can browse and wander before committing. The inside of the market is filled with different seating options, from hay bales to tables and chairs.

Food options include standard Western fares such as pizzas, burgers, and gyros. There are plenty of local Thai stalls. Try the satay or pad Thai. International fare includes Korean and Chinese options. You'll also find snacks such as pancakes and amazing desserts such as ice cream.

Order from the bar and enjoy the live music and entertainment. Enjoy traditional Lanna music and dance performances. Popular contemporary bands also play nightly.

While the focus is on the food, you can also shop for souvenirs, handicrafts, and jewelry.
4
Warorot Market

4) Warorot Market (must see)

Warorot Market is the oldest and largest market in northern Thailand. This market is located by the Mae Ping River. Traditionally, most produce was delivered by boats traversing the river.

Today, you can find all the northern spices and foods that are hard to find elsewhere. You can find northern Thai sausage, northern Thai green chili paste, and dried fruit. Shoppers will be delighted by the variety of clothes, souvenirs, and handicrafts. Find yards of colorful fabric, buy fresh flowers, candy, nuts, or stock up on ingredients for dinner.

While tourists love this vibrant market, it's an essential shopping destination for locals. Vendors sell household goods such as woks, tiny statues, pickled tea leaves, and rice steamers. Peruse local fruit vendors and take your pick of lychees, mangosteens, longans, and rambutans.

You'll find lots of street food stalls to keep you going. Try the mouth-watering Khao Soi soup or fried pork. If you're still in the shopping mood, you can wander over to the Talat Ton Lam Yai flower market.

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