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Chiang Mai's night market is a premier spot to buy original art, handicraft and souvenirs.  <img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click for full image
Travel Guide > Asia > Thailand > Northern > Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Money & Shopping

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Chiang Mai has great shopping and an internationally renowned night bazaar. There are also vendor booths that line other streets after dark, selling all types of merchandise including antiques, silks, silver, art, electronics, and knock-off and copycat merchandise, such as watches, handbags, and designer label clothing, all at very negotiable prices.

Animal Souvenirs: Rare and endangered species are often sold at markets for pets in Thailand, and many other animal products are sold as luxury items. Avoid buying rare pets, leather, ivory, talons, dried sea creatures (starfish, etc.), fur, feathers, teeth, wool, and other products, as they are most likely the result of illegal poaching, and contributes greatly to animal endangerment and abuse.

There are two large shopping malls, Central Plaza Chiang Mai Airport and Kad Suan Keaw. Both have shops found in large cities in most countries.

Central Plaza Chiang Mai Airport

Central Plaza Chiang Mai Airport appears the more modern of the two, is about half a mile from the airport. It is a somewhat adventurous walk from the terminal. It has several floors, with a food court, banks/ATMs (including Aeon ATM on 3rd floor, which doesn't charge foreigners a 150 baht fee), and multi-screen theater. It also has a "Cultural Center" attached where many crafts can be seen/bought, as well as a large food market and an extensive selection of Thai ready-to-eat stalls in the basement.

Kad Suan Keaw

Kad Suan Keaw is much closer to downtown, and has many decent shops, restaurants and banks/ATMs.

Night Bazaar 

Night Bazaar is a huge market covering a long outdoor stretch of Chang Khlan Road between Tha Phae Road and Si Donchai Road, with the centre of the maelstrom in the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar Building, three stories of shopping under a Thai temple-style roof. The bazaar area ACTUALLY straddles both sides of the street, with a gauntlet of street vendors along both sidewalks at night. It opens at about 5 PM, but many vendors open about 7 PM until 11 or so. It's not just a place to shop, but possibly Chiang Mai's largest tourist attraction, with products from Northern Thailand and neighboring countries, especially those associated with Thailand's hill tribes - but take all claims with a grain of salt and bargain hard for good prices.

Sunday Walking Market 

The Sunday Walking Market starts around 14:00 and lasts until 22:00, (during the rainy season it doesn't start until 17:00 hrs) with local craftpersons operating stalls along Rajdumnern Road on the inner-east side of the moat near Tapae Gate. The street is blocked off from traffic so there is plenty of room to walk. Unlike the sellers on Chang Khlan Road, who peddle many fake designer goods, excellent hand made items are displayed and sold. At the 5 temples on this road you can enjoy real Northern Thai food and snacks.

Saturday Walking Market 

The Saturday Walking Market on Wualai Road (the street that shoots off at an angle just outside the Chiang Mai gate on the south side of the old city) officially starts at 17:00, but don't come till around after 18:00 as can be very hot, most months of the year and vendors arrive later, although the road will be closed to cars from about 16:00 onwards; it's pretty much over by 23:00. It's the old silver working district, and some shops stay open late on this day. It is more popular with locals and the also called the Wualai Walking Street is a must see. Like the better-known and more tourist oriented Sunday Market, there's lots of food and local crafts.

Warorot Market (Kad Luang)

The Warorot Market is situated north of Nawarat Bridge and west of the Ping River between Thapae Roads and Chang Moi Road. This sprawling outdoor market is where the locals shop, and is well worth a visit for those who enjoy shopping for fabrics, clothes, herbs and spices and hard to find items. It also includes a beautiful flower market and fruit, and out-of-this-world fireworks stands.

Ware Factories

Ware Factories sit along route 1006 on Charoen Muang Rd. Just past the Superhighway (route 11), East of Chiang Mai center, there are various factories which offer short tours on how the wares are made and showrooms where pieces may be purchased. Silverware, silk, furniture, brass and more can be found here. Each factory and the ware produced there are housed in individual buildings along the busy route, so it's best to have a car, driver or tour bus to make the visits easier. The prices are generally high, but the tours are worth the visit if you enjoy learning how things are made. They are generally open during typical day time hours.

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