Back to Basic, shop locally at Warorot Market, Chiang Mai
Warorot Market is another location where you can touch the rustic way of life of Chiang Mai locally. The 3-level building stands next to the riverside and noticeable at the end of Chang Moi Road, in the east of the city moat and the north of Night Bazar.
Warorot Market or better known locally as “Kad Luang” is a large scale of the marketplace that is familiar to everyone in Chiang Mai. Day by day, the site welcomes a vast number of the visitors that come to shop the local food and product to bring back after the trip in Chiang Mai, in particular, the domestic tourist from other parts in Thailand.
On the other hand, tourists from the overseas mainly come to the market to by clothes and grab some fresh fruits and yummy traditional snacks to eat while they are enjoying the shopping and atmosphere at the Warorot Market. Everything but the kitchen sink would be the best description to the place, at Warorot market you can find anything including fresh flowers, food, snack, dessert, traditional food, dried and preserved products, gift box set and hamper, fresh fruits and vegetables, trendy fashion, student uniform, cosmetic, DIY and handicraft kits & tools, and so on. Unsurprisingly, this is definitely the most famous shopping place in Chiang Mai city.
Background of Warorot Market
Formerly, Warorot Market was the venue of crematorium (or Khung Maru in Lanna) and the mausoleum to store the ashes of the member of royal family of Chiang Mai. However, after Princess Dara Rasmi, the princess of Lanna and the consort of King Chulalongkorn (Rama IV of Siam) visited the city. The princess commanded to relocate all the ashes to store at Wat Suan Dok, instead.
And also, the princess donated her private fund together with one from Chao InthaWarorot, the former ruler of Chiang Mai at the time to build the market over the area which used to be the crematorium and named “Warorot Market” followed to the name of Chao InthaWarorot. Nevertheless, the people in Chiang Mai mostly call the place as “Kad Luang” which probably means a big market or the royal market.
Chiang Mai Panich Company Limited
After Princess Dara Rasmi passed away in 1933, Chao Kaew Nawarat, the ruler of Chiang Mai founded the company to manage the business of Warorot Market with the title “Chiang Mai Panich Company Limited”, and the firm has been under the ownership of Na Chiang Mai family since then. Until the World War II, some of the shareholders traded their stock to Registered Ordinary Partnership Anusarn Chiang Mai to support in the development and modernize the administration of the company.
And when the war was ended the shareholders assigned “An Nimmarnhaemin,” a professor at the Faculty of Architect, Chulalongkorn University and the design company from the overseas to research and design the market as fully functioned and modern marketplace. The project was developed together with Talad Ton Lamyai, a nearby market in 1949. Consequently, both of them became the most famous market and spread their reputation rapidly.
Anusran Company Limited
Unluckily, on February 13, 1963, the big conflagration damaged both markets, and that is the end of the first era of Warorot Market. From then on, the member of Na Chiang Mai family did not get interesting to run the business in the market, then they traded all shares to Registered Ordinary Partnership Anusarn Chiang Mai and Anusran Company Limited. With that, the company assigned Professor An Nimmarnhaemin to take care of the design of the new market. The brand-new market is a vertical marketplace in order to get the most benefit from the property.
During the design process, Professor An went abroad on a tour of investigation in many countries including Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong. With the material from the inspection inspired him to design the market to be the open-space in the center with the serrated roof structure to fully expose the daylight, also the building was installed with the ventilation system. It could say that, Warorot Market well-known as the most beautiful design and modern in Chiang Mai and the northern territory.
Moreover, it was the only market with the escalator in the middle of the building, although it is no longer used in the present. The new Warorot market was opened officially dated March 19, 1972, and became the most famous shopping spot of the citizen of Chiang Mai and the visitors from all directions from that time on.
Inside Warorot Market
The location of Warorot Market is on Witchayanon Road, Chang Moi sub-district, Muaeng district, Chiang Mai which is a very possible venue. The market in the north adjacent to Chang Moi Road, the south closes to Lao Chow Alley, the East connects to Witchayanon Road, and the west closes to Kuang Meru Road.
The building style market is 3 levels included basement and mezzanine with more than 500 vendor stands.
- Basement: The food and beverage shops and the highlight are the northern style rice vermicelli with various kinds of curry that there are lots of shops.
- First Floor: The gift and souvenir products including the local food and snack such as Nam Prik Num (Northern Thai Green Chili Dip), Kaeb Moo (Pork Crackling), Moo Yor (Northern Thai Sausage), Sai Oua (Northern Thai Spicy Sausage), fresh winter fruits and vegetables, etc.
- Mezzanine 1 ½: There are a part of pork butcher and the clothes, shoes, and bedding at the front section.
- Second Floor: The shops of ready-to-wear cloth, shoes, bag, cosmetic, and tailor service.
- Mezzanine 2 ½: The location of tradition cloth and trendy shoes. Plus, the promotion area in the central space of this floor for any on-sale items.
- Third Floor: The traditional costume and ready-to-wear cloth, bag, food zone which offers made-to-order food and beverages, and a library for the kids.
Remark: The property of Warorot Market excluded the flower market operated by the municipal city and Ton Lam Yai Market in the opposite side.
The Famous Shops in Kad Luang (Warorot Market)
- Damrong Shop: the shop nestles in the middle of the Warorot Market providing the various delicious northern Thai foods such as fried and sun-dried pork, Sai Oua (Northern Thai Spicy Sausage), Nam Prik Noom (Northern Thai Green Chili Dip), Pork Crackling, etc. The famous items of the shop are fried pork, fried northern Thai sour sausage (Naem Tod), and Sai Oua. This is the favorite shop for the Bangkokian that make the trip to Chiang Mai to shop the northern food on the way back. However, you have to be patient to buy at this place since it always crowded with the customers.
- Mengrai Shop: The outstanding item is Sai Oua (Northern Thai Spicy Sausage).
- Boonsri Shop: It closes to Damrong Shop which the highlighted item is Nam Prik Noom with the savory taste, and it doesn’t have the long eggplant as the ingredient (some shops mix the long eggplant to minimize the cost by using only northern Thai green chili), and the taste is not too sour.
Warorot Market operating time is;
Indoor: The indoor market opens between 6.00am – 7.00pm daily.
Outside the building (behind the commercial building): The shops located around the market area open from 7.00am – midnight every day.
Warorot Market, the central of local food in Chiang Mai
Besides the large variety of local meals and snacks that are famous for the tourists who are taking the tour in Chiang Mai city. Warorot Market also the location for the gourmet to find some exciting menu to taste, too.
When talking about “Pa Tong Go” or Chinese fried churros, you might think it’s so simple. But Pa Tong Go at Warorot is spectacular enough to attract the gourmet to try. Pa Tong Go “Go Neng” is the place we would like to introduce here with its unusual shape of the dough which is distinctive from elsewhere.
Pa Tong Go “Go Neng” is a cart style stand that sells at Warorot Market in the morning between 6.00 – 11.00am estimate. The shop is in the alley next to Thanachart Bank.
Pa Tong Go “Go Neng”
The signature of Pa Tong Go here, of course, the different bizarre shapes of the dough that Go Neng delicate creates the piece by piece. The highlights are dragon and dinosaur with the price between THB20-30 per piece. And for one that prefers the original Pa Tong Go, the shop also have with the amount is THB2 per piece only!
So, you can enjoy Pa Tong Go by its own or eat with the dipping – Pandanus Custard or Sweet Condensed Milk which is only THB10. Moreover, the shop offers the typical beverage that can order to drink with the warm and crispy Pa Tong Go with the price between THB5 – THB20 per serve including iced cocoa, iced coffee, hot milk, soy milk, for example.
Then, we will jump to the evening time, Kad Luang or Warorot Market turns to be the eating out area that any tourist who comes to Chiang Mai City should not miss, especially the street food fan. The broad array of local street food; various cooked menu, fresh cook menus, fresh fruits, traditional northern style food, seafood, and grilled dishes, slushies and smoothies, snack, sweet are available here to fill up your belly.
Khanom Sen Kad Luang (Rice Vermicelli with Soup)
Nevertheless, one of the highlight menus at Warorot Market is Khanom Sen Kad Luang (Rice Vermicelli with Soup) that lasts together with the market for more than the decades when the price was just only THB7 per serving until it’s THB15 per serve nowadays. The menu which is also known in the central region of Thailand as “Khanom Cheen” is served with different kinds of soup and curry – Nam Ya Pla (Fish Curry Sauce), Nam Ngiao (Northern Thai Spicy Soup), Green Curry, and Red Curry. Also, the sided dish which is the hard-boiled egg (THB5 per egg), pork crackling (THB2 per pack), and the free unlimited serve of fresh vegetable and drinking water with pandanus.
There are about 4-5 Khanom Sen shops inside Warorot Market area that the visitors can choose as your pleasure. Most of them open from 6.00pm until midnight.
Warorot Market is an appealing place for shopping in Chiang Mai with its unique style that the tourist would enjoy to experience the simple way of life and local market, indeed. So, for one who plans to take the trip to the city of Chiang Mai or you miss the place from the previous trip. We recommend you to visit this market that we guarantee that it would be another vibrant shopping location that you fall for.
How to Get to Warorot Market
From Chiang Mai town, there are optional routes to go to Warorot Market which are by Witchayanon Road or Chang Moi Road. The parking is at the municipal office building at the Flower Market next to Warorot Market. Alternatively, you can park at the Postal Museum with THB20 of the fee with unlimited time.
By Public Transportation:
The most convenient transportation for the tourist especially the foreigners is the red pick-up truck service that you can get from anywhere in the city of Chiang Mai. And the price is around THB20-THB30 per trip/person.
Otherwise, you can travel to Warorot Market by the public bus number R1, R2, R3 (go around Chiang Mai town) and exit at the bus stop number 30 Warorot Market. The fee is THB20 per trip/person for all destinations. And it accepts only cash without any changes, so please prepare exact payment. Also, you can pay with the Rabbit Card (the rechargeable value smart card in Thailand).