The Best Shopping Venues In Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is the handicraft capital of Thailand. As such, market stalls, local vendors and street markets play a huge role in the city’s commerce and shopping destinations. However, Chiang Mai also have a number of brick and mortar retail venues like shopping malls, boutiques and regular outlet stores that are quite popular with locals and tourists alike. Here’s a look at the best shopping venues in Chiang Mai.
Riverside Boutique Shops
The Riverside Boutique Shops are a row of century-old wooden shops that deal in high end local arts, crafts and boutique items. The Shops are located near the River Ping on Charoenrat Road and is a very quaint and charming district of the city to visit, even if you don’t plan to do any shopping there.
The House is an exclusive vendor for the Thai housewares line Ginger. As you would expect from the name, The House is, well, a house, turned into a shop and features all sorts of bright, colorful items from the Ginger line. From furnishings, rugs and dishes to Thai-inspired clothing and gifts, Ginger represents a funky eclectic mix of East and West in all they do. Next door to The House, you will find the Ginger Cafe where you can grab a quick bite to eat on their patio or comfortable dining room – which is decorated with only official Ginger items, of course.
OP Place is a large, airy shopping mall that has an artisan focus. Here you will find a wide range of art and decor pieces with a heavy Thai influence. The inventory at OP Place is quite modern so you won’t find any of the traditional Thai handicrafts here. Think of it as a high end craft bazaar/art gallery/mall. That’s the best way to describe it! Just go see it yourself. You won’t be disappointed.
Central Plaza is a five story shopping center located in the Chiang Mai airport. Central Plaza offers a wide range of products and services to shoppers – including international clothing brands from America, Australia and Europe, Thai fashion boutiques, hair and nail salons as well as traditional souvenir shops for buying last minute mementos of your visit. Central Plaza also has a gourmet supermarket, movie theater and a food court featuring both international and Thai cuisine – including famous food brands like McDonald’s.
No visit to Thailand is complete without experiencing locally grown produce and hand-prepared meals. At Warorot Market, you can find all this and more. It’s kind of like a cross between a Western farmer’s market and department store where you can find food and grocery items alongside housewares, clothing, accessories and beauty products. Everything at Warorot Market is very reasonably priced so you are sure to find some great deals when you visit.
Crafitti is a small, but popular jewelry store that specializes in locally designed and handcrafted jewelry pieces that have been inspired by nature. Leaves, flowers and trees are all elements for inspiration that you will find in the pieces at Craffiti. Some of the pieces are crafted from natural materials while others are fashioned out of precious metals like silver and gold. All pieces are unique and add a touch of personality and style you won’t find in mass produced jewelry pieces.
Walking Street Markets
Chiang Mai is known around the world for it’s vibrant street markets and night markets. These are the places where vendors line the streets with colorful displays of handcrafted gifts, traditional Thai clothing and accessories and delicious foods.
Chiang Mai Walking Street is one such street market. This tiny section of Ratchadamneon Street comes to life after dark with arts, crafts, music and food. Aside from all the market stalls, you will also find many food stalls and refreshment stands along either side of the road as well. The crowds will likely be shoulder to shoulder, but no other part of the city offers a more authentic Thai experience than this. The Ratchadamneon Walking Street is only open on Sundays, from about 4pm local time until midnight. Expect crowds when you go. Big ones!
Wualai Walking Street is another outdoor market in Chiang Mai that has just as much good stuff to experience as the Ratchadamneon Road one, but on a smaller, less crowded scale. It’s a good place to go if you want to experience a Thai street market vibe without the hassle of large crowds. The Wualai Walking Street is only open on Saturdays and usually wraps up about 10:30 pm local time.