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Sunday Walking Street night market, Chiang Mai – 2022 guide

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Chiang Mai kinda market! The region’s biggest and best night market, the Sunday sunset shopping experience in Chiang Mai Sunday night market is one helluva retail experience you’ll actually relish. With hundreds of stalls dotted along the main (and side) roads, the Sunday Walking Street night market offers some of the best crafts, arts and food that the Northern Thailand region has to offer.

Sunday Walking night market in Chiang Mai guide blog post

Sunday Walking Street night market in Chiang Mai

After the ennui of some of Bangkok’s not-so-hot markets, you’d be forgiven for thinking this isn’t worth your time. However if you are in Chiang Mai and your trip coincides with a weekend, we’d urge you to visit the Sunday Walking Market. Vendors warmly welcome and greet you with smiles – it feels very different from the likes of say Chatuchak weekend market in Thailand’s capital.

Sunday Walking night market in Chiang Mai guide blog post

As well as hundreds of stalls, you’ll also see (and hear!) dozens of street-performers, musicians and bands playing – combine this with delicious and tasty Thai dishes that you can buy very cheaply and you have a whole evening of entertainment for just a basic amount of Baht.

The crafts and wares on offer at the Chiang Mai Sunday night market tend to be more hand-crafted and unique gifts, as opposed to the usual tourist trinkets and cliches (although you can still find your 100 Baht Chang T-shirt here if you’re so inclined).

Other popular items on sale include hand-carved soap, personalised necklaces and key rings, coconut bowls plus lots of painted wood-carved elephants.

thailand night market souvenirs - ball fairy light lanterns
Fairy lights
painted thai elephants at a market
Painted wood-carved elephants
souvenirs at Sunday Walking night market in Chiang Mai paper wooden lanterns
Chiang Mai paper wooden lanterns
souvenirs at Sunday Walking night market in Chiang Mai  t shirts and coconut bowls
Chiang Mai t-shirts and coconut bowls
souvenirs made from pepsi and coca cola soft drink cans at Sunday Walking night market in Chiang Mai
souvenirs at Sunday Walking night market in Chiang Mai guide blog post -  t shirts

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If buying souvenirs and gifts are not your thing, then treat yourself instead to a Thai massage (lots of pop-up massage parlours line the streets here) or a fish pedicure.

Food at Sunday Walking Street night market in Chiang Mai

There are plenty of food stalls here selling delicious snacks, desserts and drinks. Indulge in seafood and meat skewers, papaya salads, noodles, dim sum, mango sticky rice, fresh fruit smoothies and more! And if it is a particularly hot night, ice-cold beers can be purchased from several 7 Elevens, handily located on the sides of the market route.

papaya salad at Chiang Mai Sunday walking street night market
Papaya salad (som tam)
noodles and wontons and BBQ pork street food at Chiang Mai Sunday walking street night market
Noodles with wontons and BBQ pork
seafood biscuits street food at Chiang Mai Sunday walking street night market
street food at Chiang Mai Sunday walking street night market
salted fish street food at Chiang Mai Sunday walking street night market
Grilled salted fish
street food on a stick at Chiang Mai Sunday walking street night market

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The Sunday Walking Street Market generally begins around 4pm running along Ratchadamnoen Road from the ThaPae Gate, finishing at around midnight. The road is also closed to traffic (although the occasional pesky moped still seems to sneak in).

We were really fortunate as we were staying at the 99 the Heritage Hotel (highly recommended!) on our last trip to Chiang Mai, which was literally 10 seconds away from the start of the walking market, meaning we could visit the market several times in one evening, and escape for a quick break when the crowds got too busy.

If you aren’t a fan of plenty of people in a small-ish space, it is best to avoid the peak 7pm to 10pm hours.

Sunday Walking night market in Chiang Mai guide blog post
souvenirs at Sunday Walking night market in Chiang Mai guide blog post

After visiting Chiang Mai’s charming Sunday Walking Market, there really is only one quandary – will you have enough space in your backpack / suitcase to fit all your new purchases? If not, the best solution we can offer is to just buy another bag from the market (you’re welcome!)

Hotels near to the Chiang Mai Sunday night market

Here are some accommodation options within walking distance of the night market for all budgets:

99 The Heritage Hotel ($$$)
Gorgeous boutique hotel set in a colonial building with outdoor pool. Check out prices and availability for 99 The Heritage

99 The Gallery Hotel ($$)
Cheaper sister hotel of 99 The Heritage with outdoor pool. Check out prices and availability for 99 The Gallery

Hostel Lullaby ($)
Highly rated clean and comfortable hostel with private rooms and dorms, and free WIFI. Check out prices and availability for Hostel Lullaby


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