There are no shortages of markets in Chiang Mai, and we’ve checked out the popular, tourist ones – the Night Bazaar, the Saturday Market and the Sunday Market . A lot of the same types of items (scarves, soaps, silver goods, etc.) are found at each of these markets, for varying prices, but the atmosphere, vibe and entertainment at each does vary, so it really is worth going around to see them all.
I think we accidentally came across the Night Bazaar one evening, but what we didn’t realize until a subsequent visit is that there are two other markets – the Kalare Night Bazaar and the Asunarm Market – which are located off the main street, down what looks like a side street. It can get a little overwhelming at times because you’ll be walking down a long street, jam packed on both sides with vendors, just to see an offshoot, side street which is also jam packed with more vendors. Even for me, the hard core shopper, I find myself dizzy with the overwhelming selection of things to look at.
I recently discovered another market during the day, the Warorot Market ,which is where the locals shop.
It’s been a lot of fun for me (not so much for Steve LOL) to go out shopping the markets, even if I’m seeing a lot of the same stuff over and over. I love all the stimuli – the smells of the food, incense, and the sights of all the shiny lights and pretty colourful goods for sale. I have no need for a lot of the stuff they sell, and I really don’t want to make my backpack even heavier, but I can look at the pretty scarves and necklaces and handcrafted shoes and purses for hours! I can’t wait till we get to Bangkok so that I can actually buy a few goodies to bring home.
The hardest part of market shopping for me is NOT touching anything. I love to look at, and hold, and see how things feel in my hands, but I realize that if I start to show any interest at all, I’ll be stuck and feel obligated to play the negotiation game. The vendors are usually really sweet and eager to sell you multiple items, so they tell you they will make a great deal if you buy more than one thing, then they start to hand you more things.
I had a bit of a bad experience one day when I was out doing my usual North American style of shopping. I found some scarves and I was picking them up and trying them on, just for fun to see how they looked and felt, but when I didn’t buy anything, the vendor got really angry and tossed the scarves aside and turned away in a huge huff! I felt like absolute shit! I didn’t mean to lead them on, but there I was being a shopping whore I guess! Lesson learned, now I just eyeball ogle the goodies unless I’m serious about actually getting something.
Here is the most common sight at the popular night markets – LOTS of people!
Here are a few photos from our visits to the markets. We didn’t plan very well, so we don’t have photos from the Sunday Market. But if you look at the Saturday photos, the crowds were pretty much like that – maybe even worse. 🙂 The Sunday Market does surround two really beautiful temples, and at one they have bells and gongs that you are allowed to ring as you walk by. I was going to get some photos with the gongs, but there was a line up and we were getting ready to move on. I did take a couple pictures of the temples at night – so pretty!
Night Bazaar (Kalare Night Market & Anusarn Night Market)
Saturday Night Market (Wua Lai)