Chiang Mai Night Walking Markets

Living outside the main tourist area of Chiang Mai, we sometimes forget just how many visitors there are in town.

The Saturday and Sunday night walking markets are a very big reminder that Chiang Mai is a tourist town. The night walking markets are always crowded, with the worst crush at the entrances.

The markets are one of those must-do Chiang Mai experiences, so it’s worth braving the crowds. You can even try to avoid the crowds by circling around and approaching the market from the “other” end. You need to check your map to do this, though.

We never buy much at the night walking markets but I love looking at the stalls. Eating at the night markets is an entirely different matter. It is street food heaven!

Chiang Mai night walking markets

The Saturday and Sunday markets are held in different areas of the old city. The streets are closed to traffic at about 4pm for the stall holders to begin setting up.

An amazing array of goods are offered for sale…

Chiang Mai night walking markets

… clothes …

… trinkets …

… keyrings …

… wind chimes …

… jewelery …


… silver …

… shoes …

… lamps …

And then there’s the food. Ahh… the food …

… so hard to choose what to eat …

… meatballs …

… sticky sweets …

… we settled on this dish, Nam Kaow or Nam Khao, or just rice ball salad with fermented pork.

We were recommended a particular Nam Khao stall at the Saturday market. I loved the theatrics of this Nam Khao guy so much that I made a little video for you.

I hope you enjoy it (and the Chiang Mai night walking market ambiance).


* This post was brought to you by Budget car rental

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Don’t forget to check out the International Street Food Festival on The Dropout Diaries, beginning Monday, March 12!

10 years ago

By: Barbara

A career girl who dropped out, traveled, found love, and never got around to going home again. Now wrangling a cross-cultural relationship and two third culture kids.


  1. Amy says:

    I am loving your photography.
    Amy recently posted..Photo Friday – Family Fun

  2. Jarrad says:

    I really want to go to Chiang Mai because I really feel like I’m missig out on something by not having visited.
    Jarrad recently posted..Perlubie Beach

  3. Sunday Walking Market was our favorite because of the abundance of street food, but it just got so packed! We developed a routine where we got a massage most Sunday afternoons at one of the massage places near there, then finished around 5pm to walk around the market. Not too crowded yet, but just in time for an early dinner! =)
    Christy @ Technosyncratic recently posted..Photo of the Week: Buddhist Ghanta Bells

  4. I normally try to avoid crowds when I travel, but this one seems worth it, especially for the food!
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Foto of the Week from … Curiñaco – A Short Bus Ride to Paradise

    • Barbara says:

      Oh, most definitely worth it. The variety of food is amazing. I really need to pause long enough to take a photo of mango and sticky rice. I’m starting to think it’s not actually possible, though. It’s just so good.

  5. oh my GOSH. worth braving the crowds for – what fun!! and delicious!
    wandering educators recently posted..Music of Ireland: new ideas, old traditions

  6. flipnomad says:

    the night market of Chiang Mai (and other places in Thailand too) never ceases to amaze me… and of course the glorious Thai food… 🙂 this post made me miss Chiang Mai

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