Got some spare Baht and a Sunday evening free? Then get ready for a shopping spree which, won’t cost you as much as you think!
The markets kick off into full swing around 4pm and I would highly recommend starting early! Come 9pm and you will barely be able to walk more than 10 metres a minute, never mind being able to mooch around the stalls. It seems the whole of Chiang Mai comes out on a Sunday night to either sell local crafts or wander the streets along side the hundreds of holiday makers.
The markets aren’t small. Believe me. Stalls are spread as far as the eye can see with side streets crammed full of Thai delicacies and hand made gifts which makes for a perfect location to let loose with those Thai Baht which have been weighing you down.
Whether you are looking into investing in another sarong or a hand crafted tin tuk-tuk souvenir; make sure you haggle! Once you find out the price, just half it and start from there. If you come to a stand off, try the old “walk away” technique. If they want to make the sale, they will call you back in an instant!
One of the coolest parts of that evening was noticing how many foot massages were on offer. After a couple of hours, we fully understood their presence and headed straight to one of the tents and exchanged our 70 baht! 30 minutes of rubbing and relaxation for just over a pound. You beauty!
Another thing which surprised me was the fact that there wasn’t a lot of repetition. A lot of markets have a trend of selling the exact same items just on different tables, which can put you off and send you home early. The Chiang Mai markets were not like this. Sure there were a few repeats, but there were even more unique stalls and quirky items to look at!
You also can’t get hungry whilst you are perusing the stalls. Because every 3 stalls, there is a food vendor. Selling either freshly blended juices or steaming bowls of pad thai, you are spoilt for choice!
By sunset the markets are in full swing and like I said, it’s pretty hard to really enjoy the stalls but the atmosphere is incredible! Down the far end of the street, there is a tourist help point which is there in case you got your bag stolen for example. We found it pretty weird to see a big stage giving advice to foreign visitors, but also maybe a little comforting in case you got something snatched! I think we ended up spending around $50 between us but we did splurge on leather wallets, skirts, tops, food, drinks etc.
So if you happen to be in Chiang Mai on a Sunday, you have to check out the Walking Street Markets and grab yourself some bargains and some tasty Thai treats!
Have you already been? What has been your best bargain?
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