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Thailand’s markets attack all five senses of those who visit. The sheer number of goods can be overwhelming as vendors are persistent and hassle everyone who passes their stall. But visitors to the Land of Smiles should not miss the opportunity to see the many captivating markets found across the country. Here’s our guide to where to find the best markets in Thailand.
The capital city of Bangkok must accommodate over 8 million residents. One population in which the city never seems to disappoint is its many shopaholics. Equipped with many malls, boutique shops, and more, there are too many ways to splurge baht. The markets in the capital are some of the best in the world, with the biggest and baddest of them all being Chatuchak Weekend Market.
This market is one of the most extensive in all of Asia, covering an area of some 35-acres. The thousands of stalls here are equipped with everything from exotic pets to furniture and more. The market is one of the most overwhelming and intimidating attractions in the city, with many visitors unable to stay much longer than a handful of hours. That being said, those visitors to Bangkok on a weekend must add this particular market to their itineraries. Bargaining is a must, especially for tourists as some vendors will utilize those new to the Land of Smiles and dish out ridiculous prices for otherwise affordable items.
Though not as large or intimidating as its competition, Rod Fai Market is another must-see night bazaar in the capital. It’s sister market, known as the Ratchada Train Market, came after the original. Both are colorful examples of how lively and fun visiting these markets can be. Rod Fai Market is dedicated to antiques, equipped with rows of classic cars and unique finds. Ratchada Train Market is packed with vendors selling some of the most delicious of eats, from insects to fruit shakes bigger than visitor’s heads.
The capital has a market for everyone. Fancy some international dining options? Head to Asiatique The Riverfront. Looking for a market without a single foreigner in sight? Check out the Amulet Market in Thonburi. Are you a self-proclaimed florist? Explore the flower market, or Pak Klong Talad, in the Old City.
The northern city of Chiang Mai is renowned for its adventurous day trips, praised for its delicious eateries, and loved by almost all who visit. With so many things to see and do, there is no reason for tourists traveling to Thailand not to visit this historic city. Sprinkled with hints of the Lanna Kingdom and decorated with temples, the city is surely one of the most stunning in the entire country. The markets here are no exception, with a number of night bazaars found scattered throughout the city on almost any given night.
Those visitors lucky enough to journey to Chiang Mai over the weekend will have the chance to visit the Saturday Walking Street Market or Sunday Walking Street Market. The Sunday Walking Street Market is equipped with more goods and souvenirs than visitors will have room for in their suitcases. The two roads that make up this market are closed to traffic so shoppers can explore to their heart’s desire. Many of the side streets off these two roads are congested with vendors, making it almost impossible to explore the market in its entirety. Vibrant artwork, wooden and handmade handicrafts, and one too many dining options are a few things visitors can expect to find at the Sunday Walking Street Market.
Warorot Market is the ideal market for self-proclaimed foodies. Though the city already has its fair share of unique eats, the majority of them can be devoured at this market in the area dubbed as Chinatown in Chiang Mai. Just adjacent to this market is the Ton Lamyai Market, allowing visitors to kill two birds with one stone by making their way here.
A little over a two-hours’ drive from Bangkok is the beach-ridden town of Hua Hin. The city remains a popular destination for those who do not want to stray far from the capital but demand a beach to relax on. It is teeming with resorts, is home to a stunning vineyard, and has a seedy but decent nightlife. Those looking for a change in nightlife scenery might instead opt to shop at one of the handful of markets found lining Hua Hin’s streets. Those shoppers looking for goods a bit more luxurious may want to start with the Cicada Market. Live music can be heard as visitors meander through otherwise pristine stalls boasting of handmade paintings, jewelry, trinkets, and more. The food is a bit overpriced but delicious all the same.
The quaint yet busy Hua Hin Night Market is the perfect stop off point for first-time visitors to Thailand. No backpacker is complete without having purchased a hideous yet comfortable pair of elephant pants. Every souvenir anyone could ever possibly need can be found here, with vendors at the ready to bargain even with the most rookie of tourist. One perk to visiting this market is the seafood: there are a handful of delicious restaurants equipped with charming outdoor seating and one too many delicious, straight from the sea dishes to choose from. The Hua Hin Night Market is also the perfect place to kick off a night out in the city, being that the restaurants are all equipped with some sort of liquor menu.
Hua Hin Night Market, ซ, Hua Hin 72, Thailand, +66 063 585 2350
Krabi is known for the limestone cliffs protruding from the Andaman Sea. Good for both the views and for things like rock climbing, this coastal city receives its fair share of visitors. That being said, Krabi is equipped with plenty of markets worth investigating, whether visitors are on the lookout for delicious food, drinks, cool souvenirs, or simply a taste of what exotic markets are like in Thailand. The top markets in Krabi include the Ao Nang Market, Krabi Night Market, and the Krabi Maharat Market.