Photo: Shops and markets in Mae Sot.

Shops and markets in Mae Sot

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Mae Sot’s bustling markets attract traders from Burma, Thailand and beyond.

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Photo of Shops and markets in Mae Sot

Burmese jade, teakwood furniture and a wide range of clothing and textiles are among the most popular products, but have a poke around and you’ll find some unusual souvenirs as well. Also don’t miss a pair of non-profit shops where your purchases help to empower local refugees, migrants and ethnic minority groups.

Borderline Handicraft Shop
Centrally located in front of the same-named cafe on Intarakiree Road, the Borderline Shop is probably Mae Sot’s best option for picking up handmade gifts and souvenirs crafted by refugees and migrants, including a couple of women’s organisations. Part of the Borderline Collective, it offers beautiful cotton wears, scarves, stuffed toys and bags made with natural dyes, plus a selection of jewellery and books about the refugee situation and Burma in general. The upstairs art gallery features rotating exhibitions by local artists.

WEAVE Fair Trade Shop
Across the street and a smidge east of Borderline on Intarakiree, the Women’s Education for Advancement and Empowerment (WEAVE) organisation runs a large shop displaying hand-woven cotton and silk products, including some adorable dolls and stuffed toys that would fit nicely into a backpack. All proceeds go towards empowering refugee women who can earn real incomes while keeping their traditional crafts alive. WEAVE also has shops in Mae Hong Son and Chiang Mai.

Municipal Market
The downtown Municipal Market area is a colourful conglomeration of different roofed markets and tightly woven alleys that will leave you invigorated. Along with an eye-popping array of fresh and prepared foods you’ll find whole blocks of stalls displaying bright Burmese-style clothes along with all sorts of imported goods -- from books to Buddha images -- that help the local Burmese community feel at home. The markets sprawl between Prasatwithi Road and Bun Rung Road in the heart of the city.

Rim Moei Market
Set under a large pavilion beside the Moei River in the shadow of the Friendship Bridge, Talad Rim Moei is the official Thai/Burmese border market. The well-organised stalls display jewellery made with Burmese jade and other gems; old military uniforms; “Super Pop Fashion Girl” lollipops; Burmese-style Buddha statues; Northern Thai tea; hill-tribe wears and plenty of odd knick knacks. Don’t be afraid to haggle with the mostly Thai vendors. After browsing the stalls you might take a walk alongside the river and wave to Burma.

Saturday Night Market
Occupying the length of a long street next to a Chinese temple and just east of the police station off Intarakiree, this is where Mae Sot comes to eat, shop and socialise on Saturday nights. Choose from a huge spread of finger foods as you browse the T-shirts, cheap electronics and local art, among many other items, that are generally geared towards local Thais rather than travellers. Live music keeps the atmosphere energised.

All of the above are fun options for an hour or two of shopping; if you’re mainly interested in food you should also check out the everyday night market and Baan Neua Market -- see the Eat section for details.

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Mae Sot.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Mae Sot.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Mae Sot.
 Read up on how to get to Mae Sot, 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 Sot? Please read this.
 Buy a SIM card for Thailand—pick it up at the airport when you arrive.
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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Mae Sot? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

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