Shopping in Chiang Mai is a fun experience, even for travelers who don’t like to shop! At each of the city’s bazaars and markets, sightseers get a feel for local life, local products and even local food. Chiang Mai malls offer some great shopping and cultural experiences as well. Malls like Central Kad Suan Kaew feature local art galleries, handicrafts and souvenirs shops, not to mention cheap food courts that specialize in delicious Thai food.
1. Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
Located in Chiang Mai’s more modern areas and just a short walk from scenic Ping River, Chiang Mai Night Bazaar is a culmination of everything travelers are looking for during a trip to Thailand. The bazaar’s main shopping area is a quaint covered market situated between Changklan and Thapae roads, but hundreds of shops and stalls spill out into both streets offering shoppers a dizzying array of clothing, accessories, electronics, cosmetics and whatever other souvenirs tourists might want.
Hours: 5 p.m. to midnight daily
2. Weekend Night Markets
Guests lucky enough to visit Chiang Mai on a weekend will want to catch one of the city’s “walking street” markets. These markets get going about the time the sun goes down and offer everything from antiques and handmade soaps to foot massages and street food!
- Wua Lai Walking Street – this Saturday market starts before sunset and lasts until about 10:30 p.m. The market is on Wua Lai Road on the south side of Chiang Mai Old City Moat.
- Tha Pae Sunday Walking Street – the most popular shopping experience by far in Chiang Mai, Sunday Night Walking Street at Tha Pae Gate on the east side of Chiang Mai Old City Moat starts at 4 p.m. and last until midnight. Visitors who want to avoid massive crowds should go early because when this market gets rolling, people flow through it like a river!
3. Warorot Market
Warorot Market is a one-stop shopping spot that is so large and contains so many shops visitors can hire a tour guide to get through it! The market is a hotspot for locals and local business owners as it features complete sections of cheap fabrics, fresh produce, household goods, flowers, tailors and seamstresses, cosmetics and of course, Thai street food! Visitors should allow at least two or three hours to explore Warorot Market. Tourists can venture in on their own or look for a local tour guide. These guides not only give guests a thorough walk through the market and surrounding Chinatown shops and stalls, but they also tell stories about the history of the area and how the market serves the community.
4. Bo-Sang Handicrafts Centre & Umbrella Making Centre
Locally known as San Kamphaeng Handicraft Village and even the “Handicrafts Highway” because of its location along the road in eastern San Kamphaeng District, Bo-Sang Handicrafts Centre is a charming market that features handmade pottery, Thai silk goods and the famous brightly colored paper umbrellas of Northern Thailand. Guests can join hands-on workshops and visit the nearby Umbrella Making Centre to learn the history of the unique art of umbrella making.
5. Malls in Chiang Mai
There are a few things to be praised about malls in Thailand: they are air-conditioned; they offer everything under one roof; they always have ridiculously good and cheap Thai food. Chiang Mai malls are no different, and visitors should make it a point to visit at least one of the city’s shopping centers. Each of them offer unique experiences in different places in the city, and most are near other attractions you’ll want to see anyway!
Best shopping malls in Chiang Mai
- Central Festival Chiang Mai – one of the city’s newest malls offers six floors of international shops and restaurants and has a state-of-the-art cinema on the top floor.
- Central Kad Suan Kaew – the oldest mall in Chiang Mai keeps drawing in customers with its local merchandise, art gallery, ground floor supermarket and one of the best-tasting food courts in the city! Guests also can stay in connecting Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel.
- CentralPlaza Chiang Mai Airport – a quick five minutes’ drive from the airpot, CentralPlaza Chiang Mai Airport is one of the city’s largest malls, and shoppers will find huge Baan & Beyond and Power Buy stores near the mall parking lot.
- MAYA Lifestyle Shopping Center – this smaller mall is another can’t-miss shopping street in Chiang Mai because of its great location. Visitors can combine a shopping spree at MAYA with a trip down Nimmanhaemin Road and Chiang Mai University Night Market, two more can’t-missing shopping spots in Chiang Mai!
Where to Stay in Chiang Mai