I was in need of a pair of boxer shorts since we haven’t done our laundry as we were supposed to for a couple of nights running. And since we parked our bikes near the market cum bus terminal area where city’s usual night bazaar runs after our Chiang Rai temple run, we decided to take a peek; I just might score me some muay thai-inspired underwear.
|EARLY CROWD AT THE NIGHT BAZAAR|
|COLORFUL HAND-WOVEN FABRICS|
Like most tourist hubs in Thailand, Chiang Rai also has its own night market which I guess are targeted primarily for visitors. I’ve been to Chiang Mai’s Night Bazaar, Bangkok’s Khao San Road and even Phuket’s Bangla Road. What differentiates this one from those is its level of craziness. This one in Chiang Rai is super tame.
|THE NIGHT BAZAAR CENTRAL SQUARE|
|STALLS SELLING STREET FOOD|
Yes, it has its share of stalls selling pad thais and alcohol, but everything here is super organized; well, compared to those I previously mentioned. There’s actually a whole court with neatly arranged chairs and tables facing a stage for food and beer drinkers to converge on. I didn’t see a single bar along the alleys of local goods and wares though.
|LOCAL STREET FOOD BEING HAWKED AT THE NIGHT BAZAAR|
Seeing so may local dishes on display, we were quite enticed to sit down and have a bottle of beer or two, except that we were a bit worried with our dwindling funds. This was the last of the Thailand leg of our Asean Summer Loop adventure and we really didn’t want to purchase more baht just for beer.
|THE “FAKE” NIGHT BAZAAR|
|LOCAL MUSICIANS AT THE NIGHT BAZAAR RESTAURANT|
There’s actually another night market in the area, which is eponymously named Chiang Rai Night Bazaar, but this isn’t the real deal. It has its own court with set tables, chairs and performers, but this caters to tourists mostly, hence everything is much more expensive.
|CUTE HILL-TRIBE SHOES FOR SALE|
|A TYPICAL ROW OF STALLS AT THE NIGHT BAZAAR|
We did the next best thing though, that is to shop for souvenirs and gifts to bring back home to friends. Chiang Rai’s Night Bazaar is an excellent place for cheap mementos, definitely cheaper than those in Khao San and even Chiang Mai. It can’t beat the prices in Pai though.
|COLORFUL HILL-TRIBE WARES|
They have all the usual touristy stuff being peddled around, t-shirts, singlets, keychains, ref magnets and a few local wares unique to the region. It was overwhelming to see a plethora of colors and shapes as we browsed through hill-tribe inspired wares and even Barbie-like dolls!
|OUR FAVORITE COCONUT ICE CREAM!|
In the end, we were able to purchase a few shirts for pasalubong, a couple of bracelets and a singlet. C was almost ready to buy a dress on one of the make-shift second-hand stall near the back of the market but changed her mind when she saw the next one selling coconut ice cream. Me, I wasn’t able to get that boxer shorts that I so needed, but hey, we’ve got a whole bowl of our favorite Thai ice cream! You definitely won’t hear us complaining.
Chiang Rai Night Bazaar
Address: Prasopsook Road, Phaholyothin Road,
Chiang Rai, Thailand
Contact Number: +66 53 242-838
Open Hours: 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM everyday
GPS Coordinates Map: 19.905438, 99.834504