The Top 8 Places to Shop in Chiang Mai

Bo Sang Umbrella Painting
Bo Sang Umbrella Painting.

Dallas and John Heaton / Getty Images

When you visit Chiang Mai, you’ll find yourself closer to the source of Northern Thailand's native Lanna handicrafts. Silverware, carved wood, mulberry paper, and ceramics can all be found in and around the city.

Beyond traditional Thai crafts, Chiang Mai’s street markets, wet markets, and shopping malls offer a broad range of delicious snacks and experiences. One moment you're enjoying local street food and foot massages at a weekend night market in the Old City; next, you're watching mulberry paper umbrellas being made in one of Chiang Mai’s villages.

For the full Chiang Mai shopping experience, mix and match from the outlets we’ve selected below.

01 of 08

Chiang Mai Night Bazaar

Chiang Mai Night Bazaar

Gonzalo Azumendi / Getty Images 

Changklan Rd, Tambon Chang Moi, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand

This is the O.G. night market in Chiang Mai. It's centered around its namesake building on Chang Klan Road, but the surrounding neighborhood extends the shopping experience through street-side stalls and the Anusarn and Kalare markets.

The stalls inside the main building offer a combination of traditional (jade jewelry, Northern Thai costumes), touristy (elephant pants, triangle pillows), and modern (souvenir shirts, cell phone accessories). It takes some digging to find the higher-quality stuff, like silk shawls and wood carvings. Beyond the main Bazaar building, visit Anusarn Market for a wider selection of hill-tribe goods, or Kalare Market's food court for its broad selection of local eats.

The Night Bazaar opens every evening from 6 p.m to 11 p.m., but you should visit after 7 p.m. when all the shops are open. To avoid the crowds, come on the weekends when most tourists are at the walking markets in the Old City.

02 of 08

Central Festival Mall

Central Festival Mall, Chiang Mai

nuttapong / Getty Images

99, 99/1,99/2 หมู่ที่ 4 ถ. ซุปเปอร์ไฮเวย์ เชียงใหม่-ลำปาง Tambon Fa Ham, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand
Phone +66 53 998 999

To get your fill of the modern mall experience in Chiang Mai, visit this complex along the Superhighway, about 2 miles northeast of the Old City. With the equivalent of 60 acres of floor space across five floors, "Fest" has more than 300 stores representing the world’s top brands, an IMAX theater, and even an ice skating rink! This is perhaps the best place to get up-to-date electronics in Chiang Mai, with lots of the major Japanese, Korean, and increasingly Chinese tech brands represented in the stores.

03 of 08

Bor Sang Village

Bor Sang Village

 Kevin Morris / Getty Images

Q37J+XPG, 1014, Tambon Ton Pao, Amphoe San Kamphaeng, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50130, Thailand
Phone +66 53 338 941

Representing the ancient art of making paper out of mulberry bark, the village of Bor Sang lies along the famous “Handicraft Highway” (Route 1006) in Sankamphaeng District, about 5 miles east of the Old City.

Start your Bor Sang visit at the Umbrella Making Center, where you’ll find local artists demonstrating each step of the umbrella creation process. While mulberry-paper umbrellas are Bor Sang’s most famous product, if you’re worried about luggage limits, you can buy mulberry-paper notebooks, stationery, and paper cards with pressed flowers instead.

04 of 08

Old City’s Weekend Night Markets

Wua Lai Walking Market, Chiang Mai

laphon pinta / 500px / Getty Images

Over the weekend, you get not one, but two night markets to enjoy: the Saturday night market on Wua Lai Road south of Old City, and the Sunday night market at Tha Pae Gate. Both open in the late afternoon and close shop by 11 p.m.

The Saturday Wua Lai market offers a heavier presence of traditional handicrafts, sold by costumed tribespeople. There’s also a wider food selection available on Saturdays, so you can have your fill of som tam, pad Thai, and coconut-based desserts.

The Sunday market is the busier one, unfolding as it does right on the Old City’s “front door.” Beyond the usual street stalls selling souvenirs, traditional crafts, and soaps, you’ll find two temples along the route doing double-time as food markets (Wat Phan On and Wat Sum Pow), as well as tents offering cheap foot massages (great after hours of browsing through the market).

Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08

Ban Tawai Village

Ban Tawai workshop, Chiang Mai

 John Elk / Getty Images

Ban Tawai, Khun Khong, Hang Dong District, Chiang Mai 50230, Thailand

The village Ban Tawai is the pride of the Thai Government’s “One Tambon, One Product” (OTOP) program, where communities benefit from official incentives to nurture local handicrafts. Here, it's all about hand-carved, wooden crafts, with artisans drawing from both traditional and modern inspirations to create gorgeous artwork from teakwood.

Many of the products produced in Ban Tawai find their way to Thai craft stores throughout the country and the rest of the world. By buying here, though, you cut out the middleman, ensuring you get the real thing straight from the source! Warning: Look all you like, but do not photograph the goods on display!

06 of 08

MAYA Lifestyle Shopping Center

Maya Lifestyle Shopping Center

 Stockinasia / Getty Images

55 หมู่ที่ 5 Huay Kaew Rd, Tambon Chang Phueak, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand
Phone +66 52 081 555

An interesting combination of Western and Thai brands awaits at Maya Lifestyle Shopping Center in the Nimman Road area. Browse Maya's health and beauty brands, jewelry, clothing stores, and electronics as you work your way up all six floors. Rooftop bars, a movie theater, and several restaurants round out the mall.

Outside Maya, you'll find a few night market options. NightOut Market is a small, slightly upscale/boutique flea market that operates every Wednesday evening. Or, check out the more downmarket Kad Rin Come Market, with its student-friendly mix of clothes, electronic accessories, and street food.

07 of 08

Warorot Market

Warorot Market, Chiang Mai

 Brostock / Getty Images

Wichayanon Rd, Tambon Chang Moi, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand

For a more local shopping experience, visit this market in Chiang Mai’s Chinatown, east of Old City. From 4 a.m. to 6 p.m., Warorot Market caters to the city's residents with three floors of cheap produce, homewares, and home-style food. Even visitors can appreciate the range and low cost of the stuff on offer: spices and packaged foods on the ground floor, and clothing, personal products, and hill-tribe handicrafts on the upper floors.

The neighboring Ton Lam Yai wet market is where locals get their fresh meats and vegetables; meanwhile, the flower market next to Praisanai Road runs 24 hours a day. The rest of the area features traditional Chinese drug stores, fresh fruit stalls, and Confucian temples.

08 of 08

JingJai Market

Jingjai Market, Chiang Mai

surachetsh/Getty Images

45 Thanon Atsadathon, Tambon Pa Tan, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand
Phone +66 53 231 520

Far removed from Chiang Mai's usual crowded markets is JingJai Market, a 15-acre, open-air bazaar boasting more than 500 shops, stalls, and stores. The complex is open daily, but on Saturday and Sunday, you'll find a Farmers Market, where you can get organic fresh produce, and a Rustic Market, which boasts the city's largest collection of handmade items (think art, clothing, and accessories).

JIngJai Market can be found on Atsadathon Road, less than a mile north of the Old City moat. Though the weekend markets are open by 6 a.m., come by after 10 a.m., when the more tourist-oriented shops start to open. Bring a canvas tote bag, as the market discourages the use of plastic bags.

Back to List

The Top 8 Places to Shop in Chiang Mai