With its wooden tables, thatched roof and mud floor, the organic farmers’ produce market in Chiang Mai is very much an old-style, traditional village market conveniently set up in downtown Chiang Mai city. Some of the produce does even originate from the city, since the market takes place adjacent to the Chiang Mai University agricultural research land off trendy Nimmanhemin Road where a variety of organic and experimental crops are grown. Other produce comes from surrounding villages and valleys.
A wide range of vegetables, fruit, herbs, free-range eggs and meat and fish that vendors say come from antibiotic- and hormone-free animals are for sale, along with prepared food which is all made with organic ingredients and is free of MSG.
While plenty of organic and free range products are now available in most standard Chiang Mai supermarkets, the farmers’ market sells at prices equivalent to, or only slightly above, regular local market prices. They do also sell some of the more exotic-for-Thailand vegetables such as celery, courgettes and radishes, which are usually only found elsewhere as expensive imports.
This is an interesting, friendly market to wander around — even if you don’t want to buy a kilo of carrots with a bunch of morning glory. There’s plenty of sweet and savoury snacks to be found as well as prepared curries and soups to take away. (There’s no seating available so you can’t eat on site.)
At the far end of the market is a very popular organic coffee stand. The coffee is grown in Mae Wang district and is very carefully and gracefully prepared at the stand by what seems to be one of the market’s stars — at least if his regular gaggle of giggling Japanese customers/fans are anything to go by?
The market is currently only open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 07:00 to 14:00, but due to its popularity we’d expect it to expand in both size and opening times in the near future. Note that if you are actually doing your veggie shopping, most of the best produce disappears pretty early.
The market is located on Chiang Rai 2 road/soi between Nimmanhemin and the Canal Road, next to the CMU Agricultural Project land.
How to get there
The market is located on Chiang Rai Soi 2 between Nimmanhemin and the Canal Road, next to the CMU Agricultural Project land.
By Mark Ord.