Photo: Plenty to buy.


Our rating:

Pai is home to several markets worth a browse, particularly for those who enjoy sampling the delicious and varied local food found in these parts.

The town’s best known market as far as visitors go is the daily Walking Street, which sets up along Chaisongkran and the northern end of Rungsiyanon Road. It’s primarily an evening market operating from late afternoon till around 23:00, depending upon weather and business, though several of the stands do run all day. Most stalls sell food, offering delectable Thai market standards such as noodles, pancakes, rotis, kebabs and fresh juices plus there are also plenty of clothes, jewellery and handicraft stands to peruse. The market is lined by Chaisongkran’s regular cafes, bars and shops too, so this is a lively and bustling scene which can get very busy during high season.

Evening at the Walking Street. Photo taken in or around Markets, Pai, Thailand by Mark Ord.

Evening at the Walking Street. Photo: Mark Ord

Pai’s permanent municipal market—officially known as Talart Saeng Thong—is located on the main through road, Route 1095, just down from the post office. It’s a typical small town, covered market, slightly dingy and displaying what for visitors would be a rather mundane collection of household goods and cheap clothes. The clutch of food vendors out front makes for a good spot to pick up some cheap local food.

Just around the corner, down the western continuation of Raddamrong, is the more interesting Talart Don Bai, or Afternoon Market. There’s a roofed main market building though the fruit and veg stalls overflow onto adjacent footpaths and streets. Busy with vendors and shoppers from the surrounding farms and villages, you’ll see Lisu and perhaps Karen women here too, and there’s a selection of snack stalls. Located in front of the town hall it runs every afternoon from around 14:00 until sundown.

Browsing the Monday Market. Photo taken in or around Markets, Pai, Thailand by Mark Ord.

Browsing the Monday Market. Photo: Mark Ord

Pai also has a couple of interesting weekly markets including a huge Wednesday Market and the smaller, edge-of-town Monday market. If you’re coming from the centre turn left immediately before the police station and follow the road down towards Reverie Siam and you’ll hit the sprawling Wednesday Market. This is the same market that appears in Mae Hong Son on a Sunday and Soppong (Pang Mapha) on Tuesday. You’ll find some unusual Shan/Burmese foodstuffs on sale that you don’t see in many other places and plenty of Lisu and Shan villagers. Stalls include fresh produce, clothes, household goods and assorted bric-a-brac, so there’s not really a lot of potential purchases to tempt the average visitor, but it’s a fascinating and photogenic spot for a wander, with virtually zero tourists around to bomb your traditional market shots.

The Monday Market is just a short hop out of town on the right-hand side of the Mae Hong Son highway. Situated in a field aside a huge mango tree (some say the country’s largest!), it’s a similar set up to the Wednesday version, though slightly smaller. Both start early and wind down by late morning.

Afternoon Market: Off Raddamrong Rd, outside the Town Hall, Wiang Tai; open Mo–Su: 14:00-18:00.
Monday Market: Route 1095, around 1 km northwest of town; open Mo: 06:00-12:00.
Saeng Thong Municipal Market: Route 1095, Wiang Tai; open Mo–Su: 07:00-17:00 with food stalls continuing into the evening.
Walking Street: Chaisongkran and Rungsiyanon Rds, Wiang Tai; open daily early morning to late evening, though most stands operate evening times from 17:00 onwards.
Wednesday Market: Along the unnamed street running between the Police Station and Reverie De Siam, Wiang Tai; open We: dawn to around midday.

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Location map for Markets

Popular attractions in Pai

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Pai.

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A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Pai.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Pai.
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