Photo: Pretty valleys around Mae Salong.


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Although only a small town, Mae Salong is popular with visitors as well as being the principal market town for surrounding villages, so there are several markets to take in.

Photo of Markets

Firstly, the permanent morning market sets up from around 06:00 behind Shin Sane in the centre of town and winds down late morning. It exists mainly for locals to do their fresh food and grocery shopping. This is quite a lively affair, with plenty of Akha and locals from surrounding villages coming in to trade. Plonk yourself down at one of the noodle and tea stands to watch the goings on. Some unusual products on display include foodstuffs from over the border.

A second morning market sets up on Saturdays at the top of the hill on the west side of town – opposite the hilltribe market. This is another lively affair, with stalls setting up in a roadside carpark and spreading along the sides of Route 1234. Again aimed at locals rather than tourists, we saw people from the Lisu and Lahu hilltribes, as well as Akha, and offerings include clothes, hardware and household items in addition to food. It also runs from around 06:00 until midday and is worth catching if you’re in town on the right day.

In the same part of town but daily, and all day, are two more small markets aimed more at visitors. Both set up roadside around the T-junction at the western end of town. South side of the road is a string of stalls selling hill-tribe souvenirs such as hats, sarongs, scarves, jewellery and so on, while on the opposite side of the road, with their produce laid out on mats on the floor, sit Akha women selling fruit, veg, herbs and spices, as well as some forest gatherings such as herbal medicines, mushrooms and wild orchids. Vendors do get very dressed up so the deal seems to be: buy my Akha carrots and take a photo!

This is a bustling part of town and there are also plenty of souvenir shops, tea houses and Chinese noodle cafes along the side of the road too. This runs all day until late afternoon.

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Mae Salong.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Mae Salong.
 Check out our listings of other things to do in and around Mae Salong.
 Read up on how to get to Mae Salong, or book your transport online with 12Go Asia.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Mae Salong? Please read this.
 Browse tours in Thailand with Tourradar.

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