The best night markets in Thailand are mostly concentrated in Bangkok and Phuket but there are a few in other cities as well. Thailand can get pretty hot and sweaty during the day, which is why shopping in the night makes so much sense! Also, night markets in Thailand are not just about retail therapy – they also feature food stalls and sometimes even live music to keep you well-fed and entertained. What more could a traveller want?
So what can you typically find at a night market in Thailand? These open-air shopping venues are not as much about big brands as they are about local goods and handicrafts. So if you want to take home truly authentic Thai souvenirs, look no further than the night markets. At times, you might even encounter items from elsewhere in the world. Do we have your interest? Then let’s take a look at the best night markets in Thailand.
Best Night Markets in Bangkok
Where: Kamphaeng Phet 2 Rd
When: Fridays, 6pm-midnight
Not everyone realizes this but Chatuchak, the famous weekend market in Bangkok, is open until midnight on Fridays. In fact, heading there in the night is a clever way to browse through the market at leisure, without dealing with the crazy crowds that frequent it during the daytime. Chatuchak is as organized as night markets in Thailand can get and you can find great clothing, accessories, and antiques. Also don’t forget to dig into the ice-cream sticks, fish balls, and various other street foods.
Rod Fai Train Market
Where: Ratchada Road
When: Thu-Sun, 6pm-1am
Let the name not confuse you – Rod Fai night market sets up shop near Thailand Cultural Center MRT. However, it was earlier located just outside Bangkok along a railway track. The new location is good news for shoppers as it is easy to reach. The market is lined with stalls topped by colorful tents, making it look like a rainbow of sorts! So Rod Fai is not only great for shoppers but also for photographers. Expect to get great deals of stylish clothing, more food than you could possibly have room for, and chic bars for a tipple or two.
Asiatique the Riverfront
Where: 2194 Charoen Krung Road
When: Daily, 5pm-midnight
If you’re looking for a night market with a difference, Asiatique the Riverfront won’t disappoint. As the name suggests, the market is located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. The glorious sunset views and the glamorous location make this market seem a bit more luxurious than its counterparts. Luxury shoppers can choose from more upscale brands at Asiatique the Riverfront. The market is also home to wonderful river-view bars and restaurants.
Saphan Phut Night Market
Where: Next to Memorial Bridge
When: Daily, 8pm-midnight
If you want to beat the crowds, head to Saphan Phut Night Market beside the Memorial Bridge. It’s not as touristy as the other night markets in Bangkok and still offers a good selection of youthful clothing (mainly T-shirts and tops), shoes for men and women, and lots of handbags and purses. The best part is that it’s right next to the Flower Market (Pak Khlong Talat). So you can feast your eyes on the myriad blooms in at the flower market until 8 PM and then head to Saphan Phut Night Market.
Also don’t miss Indy Night Market outside Platinum Mall for its wide array of affordable products and local food stalls. If you’re willing to leave the confines of Bangkok, the massive Talad Nud Liab Duan Ramintra is definitely worth a visit. Then there’s ChangChui, a modernistic night market that art lovers might appreciate, and On Nut Night Market, which is popular among expats in Bangkok.
Best Night Markets in Phuket
Where: Ratsada, Mueang Phuket District
When: All days except Sunday, 4pm-10pm
This market on Yaowarat Road sets up shop in front of Baan Samkong School. Chillva Market offers a good mix of permanent stores and temporary stalls in the open air. Like most markets in Thailand, the vendors sell food items, clothes, and handicrafts. However, there are some unique features to the market. Often, you will encounter live musicians and local artists regaling visitors with their singing and dancing skills.
Phuket Sunday Street Market (Lard Yai)
Where: Thalang Road, Phuket Town
When: Sunday 5pm-9pm
This walking street is open only on Sundays so make sure you plan in advance! Known as ‘Lard Yai’ among the locals, Phuket Sunday Street Market is situated in the historic area of Phuket. There weren’t too many markets in this neighbourhood earlier but now that has changed. If you’re someone who lives in jeans and T-shirts, you will find a lot to interest you at this market. Don’t forget to sample the plethora of snacks and sweets either.
Phuket Weekend Market
Where: Chao Fa West Road
When: Weekends 4pm-10pm
Phuket Weekend Market is on a different scale altogether, and the largest of its kind in Phuket. You can easily spend hours wandering among the stalls peddling everything from cuddly toys to gadgets, first copies of branded products, pirated DVDs, and even pet animals. If you don’t feel confident about shelling out money for souvenirs, you can always eat to your heart’s content. Don’t forget to try the beer and the fried insects if you can stomach them!
Phuket Indy Night Market
Where: Limelight Avenue
When: Thursday & Friday, 4pm-10pm
With its attractive array of goods and services, Phuket Indy Night Market is guaranteed to convert even the most reluctant shopper! Apart from the usual wares like clothes, shoes, handbags, and accessories, you can find a lot of creative products at the market. For instance, you can get a rice grain etched with your name which you can wear as a pendant. You can also get yourself sketched by local artists and buy personalized rings. The market is also known for its live music performances and delicious food.
Malin Plaza Patong
Where: Patong, Kathu District
When: Daily, 2pm-1am
Did you think that Phuket’s chicest neighbourhood wouldn’t have its own night market? Malin Plaza is set up under a metal roof, with stalls selling everything that you could possibly need at the beach. If you find that you haven’t packed enough of beach dresses, hats, and flip flops, you’ll find them all here. Many report the quality of goods at Malin Plaza as being superior to other night markets in Phuket. Don’t forget to load up on the pancakes, crepes, and cheap cocktails either.
Best Night Markets in Chiang Mai
Where: Wichayanon Rd, Tambon Chang Moi
When: Officially until 6pm daily, unofficially until 11pm
Chiang Mai really comes alive in the night, and one of the best night markets to visit is Warorot Market. This spacious shopping haven is open to visitors until late in the night. It is always buzzing with activity and frequented by both locals and tourists. On a night tour of Chiang Mai, you can shop for flowers at Warorot Market and sample desserts and other delicacies at the food stalls. The market is the best place to find local Thai sweets.
Sunday Night Market
Where: Rachadamnoen Rd, Chang Wat
When: Sunday 4pm-midnight
You can combine a visit to Wat Phra Singh with the Sunday Night Market as it is located right outside the temple. The market is huge and very popular, so be prepared for crowds and endless stalls of goodies that will test your shopping stamina! If you like art, you will find many lovely paintings for your home at this market. There are also handbags and flowers to be bought. But the real highlight is the food – an eye-catching array of fried and grilled delicacies along with sweets and fruits vie for your attention.
Saturday Night Market
Where: Wua Lai Road
When: Saturday 5pm-10pm
You can walk to the Saturday Night Market in Chiang Mai from Tha Pae Gate near the Old City. The market is smallish but that doesn’t stop hordes of shoppers from descending on the stalls and vendors! The market has a nice vibe to it, with lots of music and specialized food stalls like those dedicated to sushi and waffles. If you’re planning to buy a musical instrument, you might find a good selection here. The market is also a good place to purchase fabric and handicrafts.
Chiang Mai is strewn with many other tiny night markets such as Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, Anusarn Market, Kalare Night Bazaar, Suandok Park, and Central Kad Suan Kaew Night Market.
Best Night Markets in Koh Samui
Chaweng Walking Street
Where: Bo Put, Ko Samui District
When: Daily, 1pm-11pm
Koh Samui has a wonderful culture of ‘walking streets’, which are typically streets lined with colourful stalls selling food and other wares. The walking street at Chaweng is picturesque, with festoons criss-crossing the sky. You can get great bargains on summer clothing and beach wear, sandals and flip flops, sunglasses, and little artefacts made of wood. Chaweng Walking Street is also a great place for grabbing a quick dinner.
Fisherman’s Village Walking Street
Where: Bophut Beach Road
When: Friday, 5pm-11pm
On Fridays, once you’ve had enough of the splendours of Bophut Beach, head down to the Fisherman’s Village Walking Street for some shopping and dining. It’s actually not just one street – multiple streets in the area are choc-a-bloc with vendors, buyers, and street performers. You can get great bargains on the usual suspects like beachwear, casual clothing, sunglasses, and artistic souvenirs. There are numerous food stalls as well. The market is also known for its rare memorabilia like handicrafts and Thai herbs.
Lamai Night Plaza
Where: Near Lamai Beach
When: Daily, 5pm-11pm
Most night markets in Koh Samui are smallish, and extensions of the main beaches. Lamai Night Plaza is no different. Located at just a short walk from Lamai Beach, this market makes for an interesting visit after an evening at the beach. There are food stalls but we’d suggest taking time to look at the goods on offer. There’s a wide variety to choose from, including T-shirts with witty slogans, DVDs, handicrafts and souvenirs, flip flops and even Swiss knives which come in handy for all travellers.
Best Night Markets in Krabi
Krabi Town Walking Street
Where: Pak Nam, Mueang Krabi District
When: Fri-Sun 6pm-9:30pm
Krabi Town Walking Street or Thanon Khon Dern is one of the best multi-faceted night markets in Krabi. Colourful stalls set up shop around a stage that hosts local talent, karaoke singers, dancers, and even school children. The market is predominantly food-centric, and the idea is to grab a snack and drink as you watch the performances on stage. Coconut crepes and pancakes, pad thai noodles, and satay are worth trying here. There are stalls selling cocktails and accessories as well. You could also get yourself sketched by an artist!
Ao Nang Night Market
Where: Soy 8, Ban Tambon Ao Nang
When: Wednesday 4pm-7:30pm
Expect to see a lot of visitors at this popular night market in Krabi. Located close to the 7/11 store near the boxing stadium, it is fairly easy to find. Going there on an empty stomach is a good idea because you’ll find lots to gorge on! Choose from grilled meats, Thai fruits, shakes, coolers, and iced teas. Though food is the highlight of this market, you can also shop for clothes, shoes, accessories, and even electronics. If you have kids along, they will enjoy bouncing on the trampoline.
Chao Fah Night Market
Where: Chao Fah Pier, Kong Ka Road
When: Daily 5pm-12:30pm
If eating rather than shopping is your main agenda, make a beeline for Chao Fah Night Market, which is dedicated entirely to food. You will find dishes from every corner of Thailand here and although it’s crowded, there’s ample seating space to ensure that you can savour every bite. Chao Fah is the biggest food market in Krabi and most items are very easy on the pocket. You should definitely try the barbecued seafood and Chinese delicacies. Don’t worry, desserts and drinks are also available.