A very traditional little shopping spot, Somphet market is just off Moonmuang Road, right in the heart of Chiang Mai’s Guesthouse-land . In fact we can only assume that most customers in the market these days are guesthouse cooks, since there really aren’t many private houses in this part of town anymore. Now there’s not a lot there that your average visitor would actually want to purchase, (the cook’s already got the chicken and green curry paste), but it is an interesting place to wander around and it is excellent for a morning coffee or fresh fruit juice, or for that matter, a late night noodle soup when everything else is shut.
The market itself is mostly fruit and veg, plus some fly-blown meat, but it is surrounded by plenty of cheapo coffee and juice stalls.
You can also grab a bite to eat in one of the adjacent cafes and noodle stalls spilling out along the edge of Moonmuang Road.
So grab a juice and watch the Chiang Mai locals in a traditional market while you can — it’ll probably all be turned into the Somphet Boutique Lodge in a couple of years!
By Mark Ord.
The Travelfish newsletter is sent out every Monday and is jammed full of free advice for travel in Southeast Asia. You can see past issues here.