Chiang Mai Night Bazaar

After a long day of elephant trekking through the Chiang Mai countryside, you are probably going to want to return to your hotel to change out of those muddy dungarees, perhaps even take in a little siesta.  Just make sure you do not sleep through the night as Chiang Mai comes alive at dusk with a number of dining and beverage possibilities.  Luckily for us, we did not have to wander very far to find a virtual epicenter of activity, the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar.  A couple steps inside and it was clearly time to get our shopping groove on!

The Chiang Mai Night Bazaar features oodles upon oodles of souvenir stalls selling everything from Thai silk scarves to those ubiquitous wooden frog guiro toys.  Perhaps the most satisfying shopping can be found on the 3rd floor of the market.  Here, merchants sell an artsy mixture of authentic Thai religious iconography amidst designer lighting fixtures and modern furniture.  We spent a good 20 minutes watching the local artisans at work on a series of impressive wood carvings before realizing we still hadn't completed our mission of finding ourselves an umbrella!  Oddly, this task proved quite challenging, so instead, we chose a Thai Massage to give us refuge during the storm.  At the many massage stalls you can get anywhere from a 10-minute to a two-hour massage for surprising nominal fees.  Have no fears, these are not "sexy massages" - just straight forward therapy for your neck, back, feet and hands in an open environment.  Pure bliss.  (See "essentials" for more information on Thai massage.)

The Chiang Mai Night Bazaar also features a few cafes that were quite crowded each time we passed through.  (Fresh lobster and shrimp Thai dishes seemed to be the order of the day.)  Whether your in the market for an authentic embroidered "hill-tribe" headdress or not, the bargains of the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar will keep you occupied for at least a couple hours!  The vast market opens daily at dusk and most shops remain open all the way until midnight.

Chiang Mai Night Bazaar - at the junction of Thanon Chang Klan   and Thanon Loi Khro, Chiang Mai

Care to shop from the safety of your own home?  The Chiang Mai Night Bazaar now has their own web-store.