Where to shop in Chiangmai

Taxi Chiangmai and Private Tour by Patrick 081 617 2116 Oversea Call +66 81 617 2116 E-mail:  neomart@gmail.ocm

 Shoppers are spoilt for choice in Chiang Mai; a virtual labyrinth of spectacular shops. Chiang Mai has everything from beautiful handmade products and art and traditional cottage crafts to international labels and fake imitation brands. You won't need big bucks to come and shop here, there are shopping opportunities for the largest or smallest of budgets. From modern malls to chic boutiques this city has it all. Markets play a central role in Thai society and culture, in Chiang Mai you can explore some of the country's most stunning markets adorned with exotic fruits, vegetables and flowers. And even if you aren't a big spender taking a browse around colourful and full of life markets in Chiang Mai is a great tourist experience, so don't forget your camera.

Night Bazaar   

If it's your first time in Thailand a night bazaar is a rudimentary check point, though after one or two visits you may have just about had your fill. Apart from the touts, crowded walk ways and repetitive products there are some good bargains to be had, so it's worth going at least once. Over the past four decades trends have been set (and copied) by innovative and smart Night Bazaar shop owners. The products and trends available at the Night Bazaar change constantly so it's still an exciting place for locals to occasionally shop, as well as for tourists looking for souvenirs. Open daily between sunset and midnight, the Night Bazaar is the place to go for souvenirs, handicrafts, fake goods, textiles, dried foods and other knickknacks. This area may be a good place to get a suit or dress made as there are various tailor's shops. There are also many restaurants selling seafood and international cuisine, fast-food chains, pubs, drinks and snacks for sale to replenish you whilst shopping, so the area can entertain you for an evening. Oh, and don't forget a little bargaining is expected, but don't fight over tuppence.

Along the Sangkampaeng road you will find crafts a-plenty. Sangkampaeng is one of the main bloodlines of Chiang Mai's famous arts and crafts scene. Along this road you will find a huge variety of products including lacquer-ware, celadon, silk and textiles, woodcarving, silverware, umbrellas and a whole range of hill tribe arts and crafts. This area makes for a nice jaunt out of the city with interesting busy areas of creativity and production and some nice coffee shops and restaurants. There are many workshops which are open for visitors to view crafts men and women at work. Although this road can get pretty full of tourist buses, it is still a decent place to see local traditional arts. Thirteen kilometres east of Chiang Mai.

When Chiang Mai people think of Borsang they are most likely to simultaneously visualise one or more brightly coloured paper umbrellas. Umbrellas are inextricably associated with Borsang where villagers have been engaged in their manufacture for at least 200 years. This small town is home to artists and craftsmen who produce exquisite parasols, flowers, fans, lanterns and other handicrafts made from hand-painted saa paper (manufactured from the bark of the mulberry tree) silk, cotton and bamboo. All materials are produced or found locally. If you happen to be in Chiang Mai around the 20th of January you can catch the annual Borsang festival. During which locals parade their most beautiful creations for all to see. Visitors to Borsang will see literally hundreds of styles and sizes of umbrellas ranging from the miniature to the gigantic, decorated with traditional northern scripture to more funky modern tie-dyed designs.
Baan Tawai   

Woodcarving is a traditional northern Thai art form and can be spotted all over; in the fretwork of traditional wooden houses to the shutters of the region's numerous temples. In more recent times it has been increasingly used to embellish furniture-screens, chairs, tables, beds, indeed anything bearing a wooden surface, large enough to be carved-as well as in carved elephants, figurines, tableware and other popular items. Baan Tawai village in Hang Dong district is hub of furniture production, which is distributed throughout the country. In this area whole streets are dedicated to the production and selling of wooden furniture. Visitors can find anything from high quality traditionally styled furniture to contemporary cutting-edge designs. Bespoke furniture is also common place and can be made at very reasonable costs. The principal materials used include teak, rosewood and rattan. The development of Hang Dong has been a Chiang Mai success story. Not many years ago Hang Dong consisted of a couple of shop-fronts and factories stretching as far as the eye could see, but now showrooms as sophisticated as any in Europe line the street. Hang Dong is an importer's heaven. Eleven kilometers south of Chiang Mai. 
Walking Streets   

Walking Streets: At walking street markets you can get a feel for daily life and culture in Chiang Mai. Enjoy local life's simple pleasures; strolling with friends, grabbing a refreshing drink or tasty snack and buying a few inexpensive items to take home. Roads are closed to traffic and with the colourful stalls, creative products, entertainment on offer and food and drinks for sale there is a festive vibe, making them places to not only buy things but fun events for shopping, eating, drinking and hanging out.

Kad Sum Murd (Midnight Market)
Kad Sum Murd, which means Midnight Market, takes place in front of Kad Suan Keaw department store on every Thursday to Saturday from 6 p.m.-11 p.m., it is lit up by candles creating a surreal shopping experience with a variety of cheap and cheerful products such as T-shirts, accessories and shoes. Around the market, apart from the large mall, there are beauty and massage parlours, international food chains, coffee shops and other restaurants.

The Wisdom of Lanna Arts & Craftsmen Walking Street
This market showcases art from 21 villages, including the Yong, a popular group from the north. The Yong are known for their unique handicraft techniques. They are famous for their elephant wood carvings, bamboo products, souvenirs, for drawing pictures on cloth, creating dolls made from cloth, and more. This fair is at Buak Kang, Sankampaeng District, every Saturday from 4 p.m.-11 p.m., the fair covers a distance of four kilometres, offering a wonderful variety of ethnic products and exhibitions on these peoples ways of life.

Wualai Walking Street
At Wualai Road every Saturday from 5 p.m.- late. The famed old silver street sells souvenirs, silver products, home decor and more. At the market you can get a Thai massage or foot massage in between shopping. There are also a number of musicians on a makeshift stage.

Ratchadamnoen Walking Street
At Tha Pae Gate and along Ratchdamnoen Road and through the heart of the Old City, every Sunday from 5 p.m.- midnight. This has become one of the main attractions in Chiang Mai, but, unlike other tourist shopping areas, hasn't become jaded. The products are mainly homemade local crafts, but you will find literally all sorts of stuff and we doubt anyone will go home empty handed. This is a popular spot for locals as well, which keeps the prices down and the atmosphere fresh. The perfect place to spend a Sunday evening, shopping, drinking, eating, watching the crowd go by, enjoying buskers, sales, artists, etc. It can become quite crowded, however the buzz at the market is so good it's something not to miss in Chiang Mai.

Nimmanhaemin is an ultra cool part of town and a place you must visit if you like to be in vogue. This area has not only the most hip little boutique stores, but also trendy places to get a coffee with latte art, designer ice cream and state-of-the-art cocktails. Soi 1 has some adorable art-galleries-come-boutique-shops which provide many photo opportunities. As you explore the main road and minor streets you will come across many independent and chain retailers, restaurants serving Thai and international cuisine, pubs and wine bars. Nimmanhaemin is a place to see and be seen. Not the cheapest area, but its more exclusive feel makes it very popular. West side of town, towards Chiang Mai University. 
Tha Pae Area   

Around the public square area next to Tha Pae Gate in central Chiang Mai there are many shops to explore. This location is home to some of Chiang Mai's most prestigious brands. There are shops selling second-hand books, home furnishings, jewellery, clothes and souvenirs. There are also many coffee shops, restaurants, bars, massages places, tour and trip agencies and places to hire bikes and cars. Although this is the main tourist area, it still makes for a convenient meeting place and if you explore down nearby streets you will most definitely come across some more unique and independent businesses.
Shopping Malls   

Kad Suan Kaew and Central Airport Plaza are both massive shopping malls. Malls are popular with Thais for their convenience and cool air-conditioned atmospheres.

Kad Suan Kaew is more central on Huay Kaew Road, it has a bit of an 80s feel, which can be endearing. Here you can find most essentials such as bathroom products, clothes, food and assorted appliances. There is a main department store where branded and more high quality goods can be bought, such as lingerie, perfume, make-up, sports equipment, clothes, shoes watches, sunglasses and bags. There are also lots of individual shops, international chain stores and fast food retailers. On the ground floor there are many shops selling mobile phones and also places to get photos printed, passport photos taken and CDs burnt. Throughout the mall there are telecommunication network centres, an Apple store and repair centre, banks and places to exchange currency. There is a supermarket in the basement and a cinema upstairs.

Central Airport Plaza is a little out of the city centre, near the airport, but shouldn't cost much to reach by red car. This place has a similar set up to Kad Suan Kaew, but is a more modern and swish version. Most locals also prefer the more state of the art cinemas here too. Like Kad Suan Kaew, Central Airport Plaza, also referred to as simply Airport, has two large food hall areas, where visitors can buy coupons and select from a large range of delicious inexpensive foods from the resident proprietors. 
JJ Market   

JJ market was intended as a gathering place of Chiang Mai's finest arts, craft products, clothing, accessories for garden or house, luxurious and unique home décor and souvenirs, sadly it hasn't quite managed to gather the crowds as expected. However, if you are looking for quality arts and crafts or second hand and retro furniture it can be worth a visit. Located on Atsadathorn Road, considered as the most modern public utility road with all of the power lines embedded underground, this 15- rai Kad or Open Market is only 200 metres from the Super Highway. There are a few coffee chains, restaurants and pubs in the area. The market place is also often used as venue hosting numerous types of events.
Riverside Area   

Turn left after crossing the Nawarat Bridge on to Charoenrat Road. This area is a popular nightlife spot for locals and tourists. However, during the daytime it is a nice place to take a stroll around and look at the shops, many of which are situated in architecturally beautiful buildings, both colonial and oriental styles. On this street parallel to the Ping River you will find shops selling antiques, saa paper and home-decor. There are also some small art galleries, quaint coffee shops and tea rooms and some trendy restaurants and bars.
Second Hand Market near Prince Royal's College   

The market runs every Saturday and Sunday from late morning until afternoon around 3-4 p.m. You can access the market through Rattanakosin Road or Kaew Nawarat Road. The majority of goods on sale are second hand or retro style and are sold directly from passionate collectors. You will find anything from old TVs, phones, radios, electric appliances and spares to CDs, gramophones records, old tapes and video cassettes, used furniture, books, Buddha images, camera, clothes, toys, posters and much more. 
Nar Mor Market   

This bright and playful market is situated across the road from Chiang Mai University's front gates. It's main patrons are young people and students. At the market you can purchase imitation perfumes, funky fashion from individual designers and unique snacks created by stall holders. There are small shops doing nail and hair extensions. There are also lots of good cheap restaurants. A fun place to observe Thai student life. 
Lang Mor   

On the road up to the back entrance of Chiang Mai University there are many stalls set up every evening, where students and locals come to buy food, clothes and nickknacks. The prices are low. The street also has various shops, restaurants and businesses that may be useful, such as internet cafes, a dentist and photocopy shops.
Rincome Market   

Rincome Market is on the the Huay Kaew side of the Rincome Intersection. This market does offbeat and quirky fashion, household wares and accessories. There are a few second hand shops selling vintage clothing and bags, tattoo parlours, a bar and a few cafes. The market has a bit of a grungy, punk and alternative style, you will also notice this is a hangout place for people following these trends.
Warorot Market (Kad Luang)    

This is Chiang Mai's main central market and is located next to the Ping River. There is one main indoor market and many outside stalls covering a large area of nearby streets and pavements. At this market you can buy almost everything from food and fruit to clothes, fabric and household items. There are many permanent shops in the area selling gold jewellery, domestic appliances, cosmetics, toiletries and more. The flower market quarter is near to the river, visitors are sure to be amazed at the amount and range of dazzling flora and fauna which is sold very cheaply. This is an important place to see the real Thailand, where the market is at the pulse of Thai society and culture. Another spot of interest in this area is the Chinese temple near the riverside.
Ton Payom Market and Suthep Road   

The market is situated on the Irrigation Canal Road at the Suthep Road Intersection (behind Tesco Express). This fresh market displays a wealth of colourful local agricultural produce, flowers- usually bought to make religious offerings, pre-cooked foods and northern Thai delicacies. This market is also a good place to stock up on cheap household items such as crockery, cooking equipment, mats and towels.

Across the road from the market on the opposite side of the intersection is the Royal Project Shop and Cafe. This stylish building sells produce from the Thai King's Doi Kham food project. On offer is a range of high quality fruit and vegetables, nuts, Thai coffee and tea, honey, jam and other goodies.

On the section of Suthep Road in between Wat Suan Dok and the intersection there are many popular restaurants and stalls selling Thai, Chinese and vegetarian foods and snacks. Popular dishes on this street include khao tom (rice soup) sold with a range of tasty sides, noodle shops, jok (congee), sarapao (steamed dumplings) and plaa tong goo (deep fried Chinese doughnuts).

Opposite Wat Suan Dok Hostpital there are many places to buy Thai sweets, snacks and fruits. There are a number of large pharmacies selling medical equipment and drugs, and also fresh flower shops, beautiful bouquets can be bought at very reasonable prices. 
San Pa Koi Market   

Located on the San Pa Koi Intersection on Charoen Road. This is a fresh market selling fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, rice and other dry ingredients. It also sells pre-made food and is a popular place with locals for pre-cooked breakfast, dinner or lunch items. If you fancy sampling an authentic Chiang Mai breakfast eaten by northern Thai families you can buy all the components at San Pak Koi including; Chiang Mai sausage, nam prik num chilli paste, fried chicken, sticky rice and kaep moo (pork crackling.)
Big C, Tesco and Makro   

There are a few branches of Big C, Tesco and Makro located in different parts of Chiang Mai. Tesco and Big C are super-come-hypermarkets selling everything from food and drinks to household items, electronic goods and clothes. Makro is a cash and carry type retailer selling large quantities of products for discounted prices, including food, household products and electrical goods. Big C Extra on the Chiang Mai-Lampang Road has a market which opens Thursdays-Saturdays and has many stalls selling foods, clothes, cosmetics and more.
Pantip Plaza    

Pantip Plaza is at the end of the Night Bazaar on Chang Klan Road. Pantip specialises in computers, cameras, technology and gadgets. In the mall you can also come across pirate copies of computer programs, DVDs and CDs.
Mee Chok Plaza   

Mee Chok Plaza has a large selection of independent and chain shops and restaurants, there is also a large Rimping supermarket and evening market stalls on a Monday and Tuesday night. This is a one-stop-shop shopping area, where you can have your nails done, get a massage, do your weekly food shop and even get a MacDonalds or Chinese duck to take home for dinner.
Season Fashion Mall    

A daily market located near Poi Luang Intersection. Here you can shop for trendy clothes, cool nickknacks and yummy snacks. 

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