Where to Shop
Chiang Mai Shopping | Shopping in Chiang Mai
A major advantage of shopping in Chiang Mai is that the visitor may watch artisans working within the city and in several outlying villages, particularly along the Bor Sang San Kamphaeng road where, in genuine cottage industries, parasols, silk and cotton weaving, jewelry, woodcarving, silverware, celadon and lacquer ware are manufactured, and number among popular purchases.
Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
All handicrafts are available in the Night Bazaar area, where the range of outlets - from humble street stalls to posh air-conditioned boutiques - should please anyone.
The main section of the night bazaar is in an enclosed building with many well established shops, however over the years it has spilled out onto the surrounding streets. Most of the streets around this area are overcrowded but this is one of the best (and largest) bargain shopping areas in town.
The night market can be a good place for silver and hilltribe ware but, when shopping, be wary of rip-off and be sure to give anything you buy a good look over as substandard goods are not uncommon. Bargain hard as the initial price may well be a mark-up of 300% plus and be prepared to walk away.
If you are looking for antique silks and quality weaving and embroidery try the boutiques and small shops along Ratmankha (southeast end) and Loi Kroa Roads (near Sarah Guesthouses). You may pay the little more, but are guaranteed to find very knowledgeable shop owners. The markets are open until around 11.00 p.m.
Kad Suan Kaew (Crystal Park Market)
(Huay Kaew Road. Central Dept. Store. Hours: 10:00 - 21:00 except Friday - Sunday 22:00, Supermarket 10:00 - 22:00). Walk around this mega-mall to see where young people like to go.
Built around a small grassy park, the complex contains the Pang Suan Kaew Lotus Hotel, the Kad Theater, a 2,000 person capacity conference center and four levels of shops, restaurants and entertainment. The east side contains a food center (3rd floor) and a children's play land (2nd floor).
Wororot and Lamyai Markets
The eastern end of Chang Moi Road between Kuang Ma and Praisani Roads is known as Kad Luang (Big Market) - the central market. Two large covered halls contain upper and lower galleries that sell fresh and dry foods, clothing and many other products at local prices.
In the surrounding streets gold shops are numerous and Chinese and Indian merchants do brisk business.
The bustle of business in the narrow passages, the smell of spices and the fragrance of incense create a traditional vision of the east.
Chiang Mai National Museum
For a historical look at handicrafts, go to the Chiang Mai National Museum for the best collection of artifacts. If you have a trade interest and want to see samples (or just buy something), much useful information can come from the government run Northern Industrial Promotion Center (158 Tung Hotel Road, 08:30-12:00, 13:00 - 16:30. Tel: 243494, 245361 Fax: 248315).
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