Mar 30 2012

Chiang Rai Night Bazaar

Published by at 5:32 am under Chiang Rai


A fraction of the size of Chiang Mai’s more famous night bazaar, the mini version in downtown Chiang Rai is still a pleasant place for an evening stroll and an excellent option for snacks and a beer or dinner.

Entrance to the small night bazaar

Entrance to the small night bazaar in Chiang Rai.

The offerings are similar, though much reduced in choice, to the Chiang Mai version: hill-tribe handicrafts, pirated DVDs, T-shirts, carved soap candles and so on — though how many Hmong shoulder bags can one possibly need?

Same same but not different

Same same, but not different.

What we do like at the Chiang Rai market and we feel make it a worthwhile evening destination are the excellent eating and drinking areas — a nice alternative to Chiang Rai’s other eating spots.

Crickets, beetles, worms or ants?

Crickets, beetles, worms or ants?

There are two adjacent sections, one comprised of nice wooden furniture and waitstaff wearing north Thai costumes, and another more aimed at locals with aluminium chairs and staff in jeans and T-shirts. The former has all the usual Thai and north Thai dishes and a very tasteful traditional Lanna dance show (though you may have to put up with a guitarist singing Hotel California between dances), while the latter has live Thai rock and country bands, cheap draught beer and lots of fried insects and snack food.

Beer snacks for sale

Beer snacks for sale

Both areas are reasonably priced and fun and personally we like to have a couple of pre-dinner drinks and snacks in the local area, move to the nearby “tourist” section for dinner then perhaps head back over the soi to catch a local band or game on the big screen TV.

North Thai traditional dance

North Thai traditional dance.

The night bazaar’s open daily from dusk until midnight-ish, and is located off the main drag, Phaholyothin Road (see map).

Scratch my back and I'll scratch yours?

Scratch my back and I'll scratch yours?

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2 Responses to “Chiang Rai Night Bazaar” ...

  1. BenasPlentason 30 Mar 2012 at 5:53 am

    I have just re vturned after two month trip to SEA and one of the places I’ve visited was Ciang Rai. It has two more night bazars that are alive only on satuday an sunday (these are on different streets). I have been in both of these and what I can tell is that it’s much more calm than Bangkok or even Ciang Mai bazars, but the choice is big and the prices are lower. If you want to try deep fried insects so you have to go to Chiang Rai as it is far less expensive then in Bangkok: in capital they charge you ~20B for 2-3 spoons of crickets (and similar for others) and in Chiang Rai they charge 10B for a small glass that is much more than couple of spoons. Also I would recomend these bazars because of the atmosphere – it’s much more relaxed than in bigger cities.

  2. [...] very tasteful and fun dance we saw recently was the free show laid on by the Chiang Rai night bazaar. Takes place in the open eating area of the bazaar, no entrance fee, you can come and go as you [...]

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