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Chiang Mai Saturday Night Walking Market (Wua Lai) 2024 + Photos

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One of the best things to do at night in Chiang Mai, the Saturday Night Walking Market in Wua Lai is one of the biggest weekly markets in the city, with hundreds of stalls and several food courts along a huge outdoor street.

Chiang Mai Saturday Night Walking Market (Wua Lai)

A treasure trove of artisan gifts, street food (and occasional tourist tat), the Wua Lai Saturday Night Walking Market is a wonderful way to wind down your weekend.

From live entertainment to the dazzling silver temple, clothing stalls to crocodile skewers, here is our ultimate guide to the Wua Lai Saturday Night Walking Market in Chiang Mai in 2024:

Bags Chiang Mai Saturday Night Walking Market (Wua Lai)

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What time is the Saturday Night Walking Market in Chiang Mai?

Chiang Mai’s famous Saturday Night Walking market along Wua Lai takes place every Saturday from 5pm to 10pm (approx) although some stalls may set up and / or finish earlier.

Souvenirs at Chiang Mai Saturday Night Walking Market (Wua Lai)

If you don’t like crowds, the best time to visit the Saturday Night Walking Market is when it opens around 5pm as it usually isn’t too busy then. It is nice to see the sunset in the background and you can browse all the stalls in daylight.

That said, the large crowds and full food courts make the atmosphere so if you want the fuller experience, the best time to do the Saturday Night Walking Market in Chiang Mai is around 8pm to 10pm.

Souvenirs at Chiang Mai Saturday Night Walking Market (Wua Lai)

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Saturday Night Walking Market location / how to get there

The colourful Chiang Mai Saturday Walking Market takes place along Wua Lai street. Every Saturday night it is closed off to traffic and only accessible to pedestrians and market stall holders.

It is so busy, even mopeds can’t sneak by (it is traffic free between 5pm and midnight).

Chiang Mai Saturday Night Walking Market (Wua Lai)

The Saturday Night Walking market is a 30 second walk from the Chiang Mai Gate on the south side, next to where the nightly Chiang Mai South Gate Market takes place.

To note the Chiang Mai South Gate market and Saturday Night Walking Market are two separate markets so make sure you get the right one.

Souvenirs at Chiang Mai Saturday Night Walking Market (Wua Lai)

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What to expect at the Saturday Night Walking Market

Definitely one of the two busiest markets in Chiang Mai (along with the Sunday night walking market), both sides of Wua Lai street are lined with hundreds of independent stalls and tables selling everything from elephant pants to perfumes.

Thousands of foreign visitors (and the occasional local) browse the stalls and enjoy Thai and international food from stalls in the street plus several impromptu food-courts that pop up purely on Saturday nights.

Socks at Chiang Mai Saturday Night Walking Market (Wua Lai)

The market can get VERY busy (especially in peak season or during Chiang Mai festivals like Loy Krathong) so if you are not a fan of crowds, the Saturday Night Walking Market may not be for you.

So densely packed in parts, a more accurate title might be the Saturday Night Crawling Market. But to be honest, this all adds to its character and makes this weekly Saturday market a classic Chiang Mai experience.

fruit juice at Chiang Mai Saturday Night Walking Market (Wua Lai)

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Stalls at the Saturday Night Walking Market in Chiang Mai

We’d estimate there are around 500 to 700 stalls each week at the Saturday Night Walking Market on Wua Lai.

The only other bigger market is the Sunday Night Walking Market the next evening (it is about a third more the size and spread out over a wider area).

Souvenirs at Chiang Mai Saturday Night Walking Market (Wua Lai)

A nice mix of traditional Thai crafts, fashion stalls, woodwork and food and drink, prices at the market are pretty reasonable – whilst heavily geared towards tourists, prices at the Chiang Mai markets are generally much cheaper than those you’d pay in Bangkok.

Types of market stalls at the Chiang Saturday Night Walking Market Wua Lai include:

Clothing stalls / shoes and sandals

Yes, before you ask, you can get elephant pants and elephant shirts – expect to pay 90 THB to 130 THB for elephant pants and around 150 THB upwards for elephant shirts.

We also noticed on our most recent visit in February 2024 a lot of new patterns like cat pants for 90THB.

Thailand elephant pants at Chiang Mai Saturday Night Walking Market (Wua Lai)
Souvenirs at Chiang Mai Saturday Night Walking Market (Wua Lai)

Tie dye style clothing stalls (maybe they should rename it ‘Thai dye?) are also very popular as are women’s dresses and Thai silk scarves.

Logo T-shirts also retail from around 100 THB (including knock-off versions of famous fashion brands).

Shoes, sandals and Croc style footwear are available in large supply too (in case you’ve worn out your flip-flops from all that Chiang Mai sightseeing).

Shoes at Chiang Mai Saturday Night Walking Market (Wua Lai)
Silk scarves at Chiang Mai Saturday Night Walking Market (Wua Lai)

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Typical Tourist Souvenirs

You can buy souvenirs like miniature tuk-tuks made from cut-up beer cans for around 150 THB, pin badges from 40 THB upwards, elephant statues and coasters, Chang and Red-bull caps for around 150 THB plus sticker souvenirs for 5 to 10 THB.

lantern lights at Chiang Mai Saturday Night Walking Market (Wua Lai)

Iron on patches for backpacks cost around 35 THB – and yes, we did get a 7-Eleven Thailand patch for our backpack!

Miniature food magnets including sticky mango rice and pad thai magnets are also available from 40THB upwards plus personalised passport covers from 100 THB.

Souvenirs at Chiang Mai Saturday Night Walking Market (Wua Lai)

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Artwork, Prints and Paintings

Yes, you can buy artwork and paintings at Chiang Mai’s Saturday Night Walking Market including elephant prints.

However, if you want more choice, there is a MUCH bigger selection of art stalls at the Sunday Night Walking Market along Zone 3 near the 3 Kings Monument.

Looking for cheap Chiang Mai day-trips, attractions or group/private tours?
 We recommend visiting Viator, GetYourGuide, and Klook!

Jewellery

Necklaces and other nice things are available, including beautiful bracelets at low prices.

jewellery at Chiang Mai Saturday Night Walking Market (Wua Lai)

One of the busiest jewellery stores at the Saturday Night Walking Market has to be the brass ring stall.

It is literally a stall of thousands of different brass rings that large crowds sift through trying to find their perfect piece and bling ring (albeit cut-price) – just watching people go crazy sifting through all these rings is amazing.

One ring costs 160 THB and the more you buy, the less you pay per unit.

rings at Chiang Mai Saturday Night Walking Market (Wua Lai)

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Ceramics, Pottery and homeware

One of the best finds is always the earthenware and pottery stalls – colourful cups and pretty plates at very low prices.

Cutlery and several woodwork stalls can also be found dotted along the Wua Lai walking route on Saturdays. Many stalls will wrap your breakable items in durable packaging to protect on your flight home.

Ceramics at Chiang Mai Saturday Night Walking Market (Wua Lai)

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Massages

One of the most incredible sights at both the Saturday and Sunday Night Walking Markets are the pop-up Thai massage stalls that appear.

An en-masse of masseuses and massage chairs, these impromptu massage parlours are so much cheaper than the massage shops in Chiang Mai old town.

For a massage at Chiang Mai Saturday Night Walking Market, expect to pay just 80 THB for a 30 minute head / neck / shoulder/ back / foot massage or 150 THB for a one hour massage – these prices were available as of February 2024.


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Other Saturday night Market Stalls and potential souvenirs from Chiang Mai include:

  • Engraved silver plaques with Thai artwork (it is fascinating to watch the engraver at work)
  • Mini sewing machines for 99 THB
  • Carved scented soaps that look like flowers
  • Bamboo bowls
  • Bags made from old rice packets and pet food containers (very cool)
  • Thai silk
coconut bowls at Chiang Mai Saturday Night Walking Market (Wua Lai)

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Saturday Night Walking Market Food and Drinks

Essentially, you won’t go hungry at this night market as there are dozens of food stalls dotted along the entire length of the Wua Lai street – plus there are several dedicated food courts along the way.

Fish cakes at Chiang Mai Saturday Night Walking Market (Wua Lai)

Food and drink prices start from as little as 10 THB for two Miang Kham betel leaf wraps or you can go for something more premium like a rack of BBQ ribs with a premium price point.

Example food and drinks include Thai fish cakes, crocodile skewers, okonomiyaki on a stick, mango sticky rice, gyozas, samosas, Pad Thai, Khao soi, fresh fruit juice, smoothies, crispy pork and rice plus much more.

One of our favourite dishes is the flame-grilled jacket potatoes with cheese and corner, blowtorched to perfection – just 80 THB.

For the more adventurous, you can also get scorpions on sticks (they have a bite to them) and fried insects.


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Alcohol at the Saturday Night Walking Market

Visitors to the Saturday Night Walking Market should be aware that alcohol is banned from the main Wua Lai walking street area with the threat of large fines in place for those who do not comply.

Several signs along the way say ‘No Alcohol’ with the possibility of a 10,000 Baht fine for imprisonment of up to 6 months (or both!)

That said, you can drink in the bars and restaurants along the Saturday night walking market or in the food courts along the way.

Our favourite food court is the first main food court on the right if walking down the market from Chiang Mai gate / the south gate market. Beer is available for 100 THB for a big Chang or Leo Beer from a pop-up bar next to the live music stage.


Muay Thai boxing bouts in Chiang MaiGet your Chiang Mai Thaphae Boxing Stadium Tickets here or Kalare Night Bazaar Boxing Stadium tickets here.


Bartering, haggling and fixed prices

Can you haggle at the Saturday Night Walking Market? Well, yes and no. Many of the stalls have fixed price labels and signs – generally if a price is on show, this is the price you are expected to pay.

We have seen and heard some tourists haggling and bartering on prices for higher value goods like artworks and more premium clothing.

However, we have genuinely heard tourists trying to haggle on items that cost less than 40 THB (like £1 / $1 USD) so please don’t be that person – traders have to make a living too.

Souvenirs at Chiang Mai Saturday Night Walking Market (Wua Lai)

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Saturday Night Walking Market vs Sunday Night Walking Market in Chiang Mai – which is better?

A very good question. If you have to be in Chiang Mai the whole weekend, we’d recommend going to both of the walking markets as the experience is a little different for both.

If you can only go one, the Sunday Night Walking Market is bigger than the Saturday Night Market and more spread out – however, if you don’t like crowds, the Saturday night market is marginally less busy.

One other marked difference between the Saturday and Sunday Night Walking Markets, if you like live entertainment (possibly accompanied with beer and alcohol), the Saturday Night Walking Market is for you.

The Sunday night market food courts are all in temple grounds so no music or alcohol is permitted in the food courts.


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Other things to do near the Chiang Mai Saturday Night Walking Market:

Silver Temple AKA Wat Sri Suphan

Whilst visiting the Saturday Night Walking Market in WuaLai, be sure to make the 2 minute diversion to the famous Silver Temple, one of the best things to do in Chiang Mai at night.

Wat Sri Suphan (or the ‘silver temple’) is one of the most dazzling temples in Chiang Mai, that shimmers and sparkles in the evening.

Between 6pm and 9pm every Saturday night to coincide with the market, the temple holds a ‘Wat Sri Suphan Unplugged’ session where performers and chants echo around the temple grounds.

The original Sri Suphan dates back to the 16th century but was replaced with a ‘silver’ temple (well, silver and aluminium in the 2010s) when the old temple became run down.

This Chiang Mai silver temple is incredible both inside and out. Note that the main temple at Sri Suphan is deemed as ‘for men only’ (we know, we know!).

As of 2024, there is now a small admission fee for foreigners (50 THB) to visit Wat Sri Suphan.


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Chiang Mai South Gate Market (Nightly)

A nightly market (not just Saturday), this is one of the best night markets to get a late night fix of food.

The South Gate market is food focused and has lots of good looking (and sweet smelling stalls) all closely packed in together, with the historic south gate as a stunning back-drop.

Popular with locals and tourists alike, the South Gate food market has a wide variety of food with lots of budget and cheap eats.


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Khlong Mae Kah Canal Village

Before you head to Wua Lai for the Saturday evening market, spend the early evening in nearby Khlong Mae Kha Canal Village, a short 15 minute walk from the start of the market.

Chiang Mai’s newest ‘tourist attraction’, Khlong Mae Kha is a waterside village that has recently been transformed to a new night market area that is themed like a Japanese town.

A 1 km stretch of the Khlong Mae Khas has now been cleaned up, with colourful plants and flowers planted and two new Japanese bridges (with lanterns) installed.

Free to visit and a fun thing to do in Chiang Mai, read our guide to visiting Khlong Mae Kah Canal Village here >


Address

Saturday Night Walking Market, Wua Lai Road, Haiya Sub-district, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100



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