Like the Sunday one, but better
Located on Wualai Road the Saturday Market, locally known as Wualai Market, is similar to the Sunday one but smaller, more chilled out and a bit less touristy.
Although Chiang Mai’s Saturday Walking Street started up around the same period as the Sunday Walking Market, for some reason it’s never really caught on in the same way. The Sunday one down Ratchadamnoen Road is laid out right through the centre of the old town, within spitting distance of most hotels and guesthouses and connecting two of the town’s focal points, Wat Phra Singh and Tha Pae Gate, but the Saturday one’s not too far either: Starting at the southern moat opposite the old town, the market stretches the length of Wualai Road. It meets up with Thipanet Road, so it’s just a 10-minute walk from Tha Pae Gate.
Wualai is smaller than the Sunday Market, but less busy as well and with a more chilled out feel to it. You’ll find pretty much the same stuff for sale—most vendors do both markets—except here only one or two stalls sell hill-tribe bags, for instance rather than 27 at Ratchadamnoen. You may also be able to pick up items here a bit more cheaply as well.
Wualai Road is a lot less built up than Ratchadamnoen, but there are still a few cafes to take breaks at and you’ll even see some attractive old teak buildings that aren’t done up as coffee shops or boutique guesthouses. Wualai is the old silver-making district of Chiang Mai, and you’ll still find a few traditional silver workshops around, too. As per the Sunday version there’s plenty of tasty street food on offer but Wualai has a little sit-down food market set up around the Soi 3 section, which is a very welcome addition.
Stallholders begin spreading their wares out at around 16:30 and start folding up from 22:00 onwards. While the market’s not usually so crowded—and it is smaller—it can still get pretty busy mid-evening, so is still worth turning up early for.
If we had to choose between the two, we’d go shopping (and eating) at the Saturday Walking Street, but do check out both if you have the time.
Based in Chiang Mai, Mark Ord has been travelling Southeast Asia for over two decades and first crossed paths with Travelfish on Ko Lipe in the early 1990s.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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