The Chiang Mai Night Bazaar

There are markets, and there are night markets. And then, there’s the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar. Bargain hunters and shopaholics visiting Thailand will always be out for the best deals in town, and nothing quite compares to the kinds of items, bargains, and unique finds that tourists can discover in this shopper’s paradise.

Chiang Mai is affectionately called the “Rose of the North” and is home not only to a variety of cultural attractions and historical landmarks, but to the kind of diversification that can only develop when modern sensibilities mesh with ancient traditions, especially those that represent Thailand’s old world culture. The market itself is conveniently located at the heart of the city itself on Chang Khlan Road, near the eastern side of the old walled city. As the name of the place suggests, the bazaar is most vibrant and captivating during nighttime hours, when visitors are not only treated to an overwhelming variety of market goods, but also to the unique ambience made possible by the spectacular shower of multi-colored lighting displays that bathe buyers, vendors, and casual strollers alike from all directions.

The best offerings from Thailand’s artisans are always showcased in the night bazaar. Whatever arts and crafts are available elsewhere in the country can usually be found within the night market, too, so shoppers are always assured of finding a rich selection of handicrafts, hand-woven fabrics made of silk and cotton, woodcarvings, hill tribe crafts, jewelry, silverware, and much more. Apart from the usual offerings, independently created souvenir items and other unique products are also available from the vendors that line the almost kilometer-long stretch that plays host to a multitude of stalls and establishments within the bazaar. Of course, as any seasoned bargain hunter would advise the uninitiated, the best way to enjoy these kinds of markets is to haggle with vendors. Prices may already look quite affordable to the casual tourist, but with a little bit of effort put into negotiating, better prices can usually be had (for as much as 20% - 30% off the vendor’s asking price in some cases!)

Getting to Thailand should be easy enough for seasoned travelers and beginning explorers alike as there is no shortage of flights that can take one direct to Chiang Mai. As always, preparing appropriate travel and booking arrangements will contribute a lot to making one’s trip a pleasurable experience. So, whether you’re going to Thailand to enjoy its beautiful resorts, immerse yourself in its rich cultural and historical offerings, or simply hunt for the best bargain buys in Asia, it’s likely that Chiang Mai will have more than you will ever need to bargain for.