Chiang Mai may not have the same reputation for shopping as other major cities in Thailand, such as Bangkok, but the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar is nothing to scoff at. Sharpen up on your bargaining skills because there are lots of terrific deals to be had on anything from shirts to handicrafts to toys – a little something for everybody.
Southeast Asia is renowned for its inexpensive wares and this night market is no different with t-shirts that cost no more than a few dollars and knock-off handbags and DVDs for the same price. Although the goods here have somewhat questionable (if not outright poor) quality, they all make for lovely little gifts and better yet, great bargains.
A few words to the wise: no matter what the seller tells you, none of the brand goods in the market are real, so do not get roped into paying real prices. A pretty common negotiating tactic is to take the starting asking price and chop it in half.
Aside from the cheap shopping, the night market is known for two other things: its food and its extremely low-cost massages. Don’t be surprised to spot tons of folks enjoying quality foot reflexology in lounge chairs and chowing down on some decent, and fast, Thai food.
Getting to the night market is no sweat and there are many great, modern accommodations within walking distance. Simply make your way to the center of town toward Phaholyothin Road nearby the local bus station.