The Chiang Mai Sunday night market runs from 4 PM to midnight every single Sunday, with the vendors taking over the length of the Ratchadamnoen Road, where no vehicles are allowed during those hours. It is an incredible experience, and the Chiang Mai Walking Street Market is a major draw for both locals and tourists, alike. The market quickly buzzes to life once it opens at 4 PM, and it has become something of an informal meeting place for people looking to shop, eat, or just get caught up in the sights, sounds, and smells that the bustling market generates.
There are all kinds of things available for sale at the market, and it is most certainly the place to go if you are looking for an authentic piece of Northern Thailand craftsmanship. Many of the vendors who set up shop there create their own products, giving visitors a chance to see just how skilled the people in this area are with their hands. The market also give visitors the opportunity to test put their bargaining skills, as haggling over the price is very much part and parcel of the experience when shopping in Chiang Mai.
The gifts that are available at the market are very often one of a kind, and they are made from materials as diverse as wood, ceramics, and metals. Many of the vendors who operate at the market only sell on a part-time basis, and have other jobs that they go to during the week. They create products and sell them out of a passion for their craft more than anything else, which is why they are more than happy to have a good-natured discussion about the price. Smile, have a little fun, and remain courteous, and you may just walk away with a fantastic piece at a bargain basement price.
Shopping and walking have a way of making a person hungry, and the good news here is that street food is available at every turn. This is perhaps the best place to sample the local cuisine, as you are sure to find many items that just aren’t sold in restaurants. A big part of the fun of the Chiang Mail Sunday market is watching your delicious treat being made fresh, right before your eyes. The market has the feel of a big open air party, and that is further by the street artists and musicians who entertain the crowds. It all adds up to an unforgettable experience that you simply cannot miss.