If you’re like me and you enjoy walking around the street while eating some light bite snacks before you buy another one, chances are, you’ll love Chiang Mai Night Market as much as I do.
I have to admit that I was a little bit sceptical about the night market as it sounds a lot like Bandung Night Market (sorry, pals! It just doesn’t work for my taste). As far as I remembered, Bandung Night Market has too many people inside, too many garbages as well, and not to mention, crappy food. So I thought, Chiang Mai night market would be just as similar. I couldn’t imagine it being any better.
There were indeed a lot of people in there. Some walked in the same direction with us, and some did not. It was a bit chaotic but surprisingly, it didn’t bother me at all.
Perhaps it’s because I was too busy looking at those street vendors selling unique Thai food and stuffs that I didn’t care much about the crowds. Or perhaps it was just me being excited to be in a different country, enjoying what it offers. I can’t really tell.
As far as I remembered, there were so many street vendors selling foods, ranging from lite snack to heavy meal like Pad Thai, Curry Rice, and even grilled seafoods. There’s just too many! Some others were selling something like clothes, thai accessories and more. You can even find a mini sewing machine there. They have ’em all.
Some local Thai snacks
Food in Chiang Mai Night Market are generally soo soooo good. And very cheap too. Or I should rather say, food in Chiang Mai in general?
Sai Krok Isaan or Sour Pork Sausage
So anyway, basically there are a few night markets taking place in different time and place.
One of the most popular one is usually called as the Sunday Night Market, or Sunday Walking Street. There are a few other different market, though. So if you’re around and you think you’ll miss the Sunday one, don’t worry! Chiang Mai does have another market you’ll enjoy visiting, at least once.
Here’s a short list of the greatest night market in Chiang Mai we enjoy so far. Who knows there’ll be more and more night market in the future?
WHEN AND WHERE TO GO?
1. Chiang Mai Gate Night Food Market (ตลาดประตู จอดรถ)
This is where the famous Mrs. Pa Smoothies is. It’s generally small here, compared to the Saturday and Sunday night market. There are just a few stalls selling food and you’ll find absolutely no souvenirs. There are less crowds too. We found that it’s a nice place if you want to find something nice and cheap to eat for dinner.
When? Everyday, from 5pm till noon.
Chiang Mai South Gate. Just at the opposite side of the Chiang Mai Gate.
Rat Chiang Saen road.
2. Chang Puak North Gate Food Market
What’ famous here, is that lady wearing cowgirl hat selling rice with pork leg. But other food here are generally good as well. In fact, I don’t really get what’s special about that cowgirl pork rice. It tasted good, but tasted just like any other pork rice I know. But if you want to experience the crowds and the excitement of finding the lady, do give it a shot! Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed my dinner here, still.
The Famous Cow Girl
Pork legs, pork legs everywhere
This is what it looks like around dinner time. Packed up!
When? Everyday, from 5pm till noon.
Chiang Mai North Gate / Chang Puak Gate.
3. Saturday Night Market
Things are getting more and more exciting. The weekend is here and it means, there are two great night market waiting for us to visit.
If you’re free on Saturday night, you might want to head to Wualai Road just at the opposite of Chiang Mai South Gate. Go there at around 5 pm and you’ll find the street vendors have already lined up along the road selling their things. It’s a smaller version of Sunday night market so if you’re not a fan of the crowds, you might enjoy this one better.
Pad Thai at Saturday Night Market
Stick Waffle (?)
Someone enjoyed his grilled pork so much
When? Every Saturday, 5pm – 11pm.
4. Sunday Night Market / Sunday Walking Street
Taking place at the Ratchadamnoen and Pra Singh Roads, Sunday Night Market (or Sunday Walking Street as some call it) is probably the longest night market Chiang Mai has ever held. It lasted until nearly 12 pm, as long as I remembered. But I like to go early around 5 pm as it turns very very crowded during dinner time (7 pm – 8 pm) and go home at around 8 – 9 pm.
It’s very similar with Saturday Night Market, only there are more food vendors here.
Seriously, buy her Khao Soi if you bumped into her. She’ll be at the ThaPae gate area on Sunday starting from 5 pm until there are no Khao Soi left to sell.
Mango Sticky Rice
When? Every Sunday, 5pm – 11pm.
Starting from Tha Pae gate, along the Rachadamnoen street.
WHAT’S IN THERE?
Food, food, and food. Oh, and other things too. It’s a perfect place to buy some local souvenirs as it’s hard to find it elsewhere.
There’s even this gun shooting game!
It was quite an enjoyable time for us, and fun too. It’s just that I can’t stand being among the crowds for too long. But if you’re okay with it, you’ll love being there! But we ended up coming back for more anyway.
If you head to the market early before 6 pm, you’ll find that at exactly 6 pm (and also 8 am), there’ll be Thailand National Anthem being played. And while it’s being played, people everywhere, including tourists will simply stop moving and stand up still, motionless. It is clearly not illegal to move though. However, it’s a good manner if you follow what others do.