Chiang Mai Shopping Guide

Chiang Mai is a shopping paradise because there is such a wide range of unusual goods at affordable prices. The quality may be variable, but the value for money is undeniable and most leave with much fuller luggage than when they arrived. When visiting Thailand it’s advisable to leave your shopping for Chiang Mai as it is considered one of the cheapest places in the country and getting about town is easy.

Chiang Mai is one of the handicraft centres of Asia and, not surprisingly, many of the market traders from overseas come here to source their goods. Silk, silver, clothing, rattan, ceramics, interior decor, antiques, Buddhist art, lacquer and neilloware – the list of options is endless for shopping in Chiang Mai. Several markets and centres specialise in locally produced goods, but two good shopping centres (and more on the horizon) also offer a more sophisticated experience that is cheaper than back home. In this section we’ve got the A to Z of Shopping in Chiang Mai covered.

Night Market

Chiang Mai comes alive by night as a cornucopia of colourful handicrafts, clothing, souvenirs, and silks and fabrics can be had for unbeatable prices; remember to bargain hard…more 

Handicrafts

Cheap, charming and good take home souvenirs as gifts, Thai handicrafts sell like hotcakes – as a tourist or wholesaler buyer choose, from a large range at the Night Market …more 

Borsang

Located in San khampaeng, this is where the famous umbrellas are made and you’ll find traders selling everything from silk and toys to gems, jewellery and wood carvings…more 

Ban Tawai

One of Asia’s handicraft centres, south of the city, this craftsmen’s village is full of handicrafts fresh from the artisan’s workshop – see them in action and get your items shipped home…more 

Where to shop in Chiang Mai

The centre of shopping is undoubtedly the Night Bazaar (or Night Market), which takes up several blocks every evening along Chang Klan Road, east of the moat. Here you can wander among the countless pavement stalls and arcades admiring the beautifully crafted Northern Thai handicrafts.

Note: To find the best rate hotels near Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, we recommend you look online at Agoda.com. They seem to be the most competitively priced of the hotels sites.

The more serious shopper can head out to the huge handicraft wholesalers at San Kamphaeng., at the same time checking out Borsang village with its colourful umbrellas. Baan Tawai, to the south of the city, is a busy working carving centre with some exquisite pieces on display and the best selection of antiques.

Scattered around the centre of Chiang Mai are plenty of handicraft shops catering to tourist shopping tastes. These are more specialised and slightly more expensive, yet are better quality. There are fabric shops and tailors everywhere, quirky little establishments selling curious hill-tribe products and crafts, shoe shops and boutiques, jewellers and gems dealers, and some very exclusive antique shops. But there are also great opportunities to source high quality artwork online with detailed collections listed at Thai Oil Paintings.

Those interested in more modern international items – gadgets, clothes and multimedia – have the choice of two well-stocked shopping centres, Kad Suan Kaew and Airport Plaza, as well as computer related items from Panthip Plaza near the Night Market. There are individual shops scattered in tourist areas where you can pick up bargains on everyday items which are made in Asia.

Further reading…