Night Shopping in Chiang Rai, more than the shopping street
Chiang Rai the northernmost province of Thailand where the place is more than beautiful natural attraction and exquisite culture. The way of life of the people here which is such a simple lifestyle as typical northern local. No any hustle and bustle to irk you like urban life. Chiang Rai, although some amount of the place to hang out at the night time, it’s not common activity among the residents of this region.
However, a thing that stimulates the people here to enjoy the nighttime instead is “the walking street” and “the night market.” Every week on Saturday and Sunday when the sun is set, the city of Chiang Rai is vibrant and lively with lots of local people included the outsider come out from their place to enjoy the shopping. Food, supply, clothes, accessory, domestic product, or even the OTOP of Chiang Rai are available for everyone to purchase. Plus, the night market in Chiang Rai is one of the best spots to find something delicious to taste, as well.
And here with this article, we will introduce you to know more about the pleasant life after the sunset in the Lanna way that is not less in its charm. As well as, the location for the gastronomes to seek for the delectable foods. So, do not waste your time, let’s start our night out in Chiang Rai then.
1Chiang Rai Night Bazaar
Handmade, Handicraft, Souvenir:
The famous night flea market in Chiang Rai with its big fame among the tourists. The site offers lots of products for the tourists to shop including fashion, accessories, the various design of bag – trendy design, local style, and hill tribe product. More than that, there are decoration and furniture, wood product, handicraft, local gift, curtain, embroider handmade by the hill tribe people.
The market also presents the entertainment stage with the native performance show and lived music with the beer garden for the visitors to take a seat and relax after shopping. Talking to the food here, Chiang Rai Night Bazaar is where the hub of delicious food that is the various style for you to enjoy, including Thai, local food, international food, and seafood.
Nevertheless, there is a famous food stall that we would like to introduce for the tourist to try which are the Thai dessert shop named “Bua Loi Pa Auan” (Thai sticky rice dumpling in coconut milk). The stall is at the front of the market as the famous one and claimed to serve on the dining table of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn several times. So, this could be a good guarantee of its taste, definitely. The dessert shop is another wish-list of the tourist who visits Chiang Rai Night Bazaar both local and from the overseas in particular the Chinese tourist.
The dessert menu served here is distinctive with the tiny ball of sticky rice dumpling that we can see it boiled in a large brass pan. It is served with the fragrant coconut milk and sprinkled with the roasted sesame together with the variety of toppings to add in which is young coconut meat, Sa Rim (sweet vermicelli), salted egg yolk, sweet potato in syrup, and palm seed in syrup. The price is just only THB25 per serving.
Chiang Rai Night Bazaar opens daily between 6.30pm – 11.00pm. The location is between Chiang Rai Transport Terminal (Old) and Paholyothin Road in the city town district.
2Chiang Rai Walking Street
Also called “Kard Jiang Hai Rum Luek” (Chiang Rai in Memory Market). The notable night attraction of Chiang Rai features the vintage ambiance of the marketplace that taking you to flash back to the old day of Lanna. Also, Chiang Rai Walking Street concerns to manage the location to be friendly with the environment, as well.
The shops here offer various products focus on local product, art, decoration item, gift and souvenir, herbs, and OTOP goods. The food and beverages sold at the walking street packed in the natural and biodegradable container, such as banana leaf bowl, bamboo basket, paper bag, etc. And the highlight of this walking street that is very unique and exciting for the tourist which is the ground allowing for the visitors to entertain with the Thai folk dance.
Typically, the picture of lots of old people enjoy on the dance floor along with the folk songs and applause from the audience is such a lovely scene that we don’t see it often in the present. Chiang Rai Walking Street opens weekly on Saturday from 4.00pm through midnight. The location is on Thanalai Road in the city of Chiang Rai. The area covers from the junction nearby Tobacco Authority of Thailand, Chiang Rai Office throughout the intersection next to the Government Saving Bank. Chiang Rai Walking Street allocated into 3 zones which are;
Zone 1: Begins at the junction nearby the Government Saving Bank, Chiang Rai Branch to the intersection at Chiang Rai Provincial Court. This is a center of the leading OTOP products of Chiang Rai, Royal Project products, and the productivity of the hill tribe people.
Zone 2: Starts from the intersection at Chiang Rai Provincial Court to Tung and Lantern Garden Intersection of Chiang Rai. The area offers the broad array of handmade products by the local youth and resident of the region. And at the front of Tung and Lantern Garden is the activity plaza named “Khuang Phaya” (which means the land of wisdom). The plaza serves as the center to demonstrate the native intelligence of Chiang Rai that is rare to witness presently. For example, Mor Mueang (the folk medicine man), Fon Jerng (Lanna martial art dance), and Traditional Thai Drum Show. And at the space next to Tung garden in the west is an area reserved for spa, traditional Thai massage, and Thai herbal treatment service.
Zone 3: Begins at Tung and Lantern Garden of Chiang Rai to the junction of Tobacco Authority of Thailand, Chiang Rai Office. This area features the exhibitions of the government and private sections that are interesting to see. Moreover, the odds and ends products and creative decoration items and furniture are available within this area, too.
The environment and decoration of Chiang Rai Walking Street are so magnificent for the tourist to be the delight. All over the area furnished with the beautiful Lanna style Tung (flag) and lanterns that present the traditional character of the exotic and exquisite culture of the north very well and beautifully. So, it is effortless for the visitors to indulge in this spectacular and elegant presentation of this Walking Street.
3Sankhong Happy Street
Well-known among the locals as “Thanon Khon Muan Chiang Rai.” The place is the best way to the traveler who misses the Walking Street on Saturday night. Sankhong Happy Street opens weekly on Sunday between 4.00pm – 11.00pm. The shops here offer goods such as fashion, outfits, shoes, accessories, gift and souvenir, the local product, decoration items, and fruit and vegetable.
Apart from that, there are food shops and restaurants for the visitors to fulfill your hunger and also the message shops that you can relax and get the treatment, too. And of course, anyone who yearns for the thing to entertain so this night market also offers you the folk-dance session, as well.
Sankhong Happy Street located in the town of Chiang Rai at the area in front of Bandit Sueksa School through the front of Wat Chetuphon.
4Chiang Rai Clock Tower
The artistic clock tower which reminds you to the famous ‘White Temple,’ Wat Rong Khun is one of the remarkable landmarks in Chiang Rai. The structure is changeable in color is so-called the significant artistic architecture concealing the Buddhist ideal perfectly. The Clock Tower of Chiang Rai is the valuable property of the province that was constructed to honor HM Queen Sirikit of King Rama IX. The structure considered ‘the most magnificent clock tower’ in Thailand was design by the celebrated national artist “Chalermchai Kositpipat,” the designer and builder of Wat Rong Khun.
The clock tower started the building since 2005 presents the time hourly and particularly at 7.00an, 8.00am, and 9.00pm every day, the decorative lighting inside the structure has changed the color along with the melody of the song “Chiang Rai in Love” or other melody play resoundingly from the center of Chiang Rai town. The merrily sound and amazingly light from the clock tower delights the tourists and passer-by while they are strolling around the city at the nightfall.
Inner the area of Chiang Rai Municipal is 2 clock towers. First, it is an old clock tower that was relocated to set up at the municipal’s fresh market adjacent to the pawnshop junction. About 800 meters distant from the new clock tower, the original clock tower of Chiang Rai city had operated for ages until the city decided to build the new one. The city of Chiang Rai considers those clock towers in both locations as the symbolic landmark of the town.
Golden Clock Tower Area:
Another is the new one which situated in the heart of Chiang Rai town, Banpaprakarn Road. Prominently in its design which inspired by the White Temple or Wat Rong Khun, The Clock Tower of Chiang Rai designed by Master Chalermchai Kositpipat, and it had prepared and constructed for over 5 years. The tower was opened officially on August 12, 2008, to celebrate on the occasion of HM Queen Sirikit’s Birthday Aniversary.
Additionally, there is the evening market in the city of Chiang Rai which is a local style fresh market at the same location of the morning market. Also, the marketplace is not too far from the new clock tower providing the homegrown goods, by the way, the market in the morning session is more bustle than the evening one. The afternoon market is good for someone who seeks for ready-to-eat food, while the fresh ingredient for cooking is available in the morning.
Kard Luang or Kard Thesabarn (The municipal market) is the largest fresh market in Chiang Rai. The marketplace opens every day all day and night offering the broad array of food – the raw material for cooking, fresh ingredient, ready-to-eat food, dessert and snack, local fruit and vegetable. Moreover, the products like household appliances, clothes, and agricultural productivity from the hill tribe region.
The must-not-miss to do for the tourist is waking up in the morning to touch the simple way of life of Chiang Rai people. Start the day ordinarily with a bowl of warm congee, freshly made soy drink, and Pa Tong Go (Chinese fried churros) that are so delicious and cheap. And then, wandering in the market to purchase the local products and food which is a good idea gift for your family and loved one, for example Nam Prik Num (Northern Thai Green Chili Dip), Nam Prik Kha (Galangal Chili Dip), Nam Prik Ong (Thai Northern Style Pork and Tomato Relish). And do not miss the native dish of northern territory ‘Jin Nueng’ or Steamed Beef and eat with steamed sticky rice and chili dip. And for anyone doesn’t eat beef, the pork, duck, and chicken are optional for you to taste, as well.
Kard Luang located at Mueang district, Chiang Rai between Uttarakij Road and Thanalai Road. The site is not far from Chiang Rai Kindergarten School and the District Office.
The rural lifestyle and the people actively stroll around at each location of the night markets in Chiang Rai are all charming and entertained the travelers, indeed. Besides, the vast number of products to buy, also the exotic and fascinating native show is something we might not regularly experience in other places, illustrated in Thai Drum Show, Northern Thai Dance, and Classic Folk Dance. So, it could say that this is an ordinary beautiful way of life that would impress lots of tourists and keep it as a good memory for the trip in this lovely province, the northernmost of Siam “Chiang Rai.”