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Shopping is one of the premier activities in Chiang Mai, where nearly every souvenir product found elsewhere in
Thailand is available for sale. The advantage of shopping in Chiang Mai is that visitors may learn about handicrafts
production by watching artisans making the products firsthand. Both in the city itself and in several outlying villages,
particularly along the Bo Sang-San Kamphaeng road, there are establishments where visitors can purchase
handicrafts and works of art directly from the people who produced them. In addition to other goods, Chiang Mai
produces parasols, silk and cotton textiles, jewelry, woodcarvings, silverware, celadon, and lacquerware.
For the more casual shopper, the Chiang Mai night market features numerous street stalls and shops, the Sunday
Market offers more unique, independently created souvenirs and products, and the indoor, air conditioned Central
department store shopping complex on Huay Kaeo Road sells international brand name products.
Airport Plaza is located on the corner of Mahidol and Hang Dong Road close to Chiang Mai airport. There are good
parking facilities and a range of public transport options. Set over 4 floors in a giant L-shape, Airport Plaza offers a
complete western style shopping experience.
The largest store in Airport Plaza is the substantial Robinsons department store selling the usual wide variety of goods
including cosmetics, clothing, household goods, appliances and so on.
At the other end of the mall is Northern Village, a collection of boutique shops selling a wide variety of northern craft
products. These are generally of a higher quality than that found in the local markets but they also have a
correspondingly higher price tag.
On the ground floor is Tops supermarket and some small local clothing boutique style shops as well as a Watsons
Pharmacy and a number of eateries.
The First and second floors have a very wide range of modern shops including clothing, jewellery shops, hairdressers,
opticians, sports shops and so on.
The third floor of Airport Plaza is dominated by IT, audio visual and camera shops. Many of the big manufacturers have
their own shops selling their merchandise including Sony, Apple, Samsung, Hewlett Packard and LG. There are also
more generals shops such as IT City a computer and peripherals retailer.
The fourth floor is home to the Major Cineplex which is the best multi screen cinema in Chiang Mai showing films in
both Thai and English. Outside the cinema is a Thai style food court with a wide range of stalls selling one-dish local
There are many other eating options in Airport Plaza including a Sizzler Steakhouse, Fuji and Zen Japanese
Restaurants and ice cream parlours.
If western style shopping is what you want then Airport Plaza is your best option.
Kad Suan Kaew (Central)
Kad Suan Kaew, commonly known as Central, is the largest shopping centre in Chiang Mai. It is a huge and
sometimes confusing complex housing among others a hotel, mini bowling alley, a department store, supermarket,
food court, restaurants and cinema.
Kad Suan Kaew has plenty of parking but it can be difficult to find a spot at busy times.
Central Department Store is at the heart of the centre and has the ususal large rane of products. Kad Suan Kaew also
plays host to Chiang Mai's only branch of British retailer Marks and Spencer and many specialist and general
Kad Suan Kaew is also home to the largest of cinemas in the Vista chain and shows films in Thai and English.
Big C is a large Thai owned superstore that stocks and caters largely for the Thai market but it also offers excellent
value and a wide product selection.
It is located just off the Superhighway between the Charoen Muang and Mahidol road turnings and an underpass
makes for easy access from either side of the highway.
The supermarket is on the first floor the complex with a Thai style food court while on the ground floor is a range of
smaller shops and a good shoe shop.
Big C stock the usual range of electrical appliances at good prices, clothing and many household goods. There is a
good range of fruit and veg and a particularly good in-house bakery. The fresh seafood section is particularly
impressive in terms of both variety and value for money.
As is common with outlets in the company's home country of France, the Chiang Mai branch of Carrefour is a
superstore offering a huge range of goods and services. The store is located on the Superhighway to the north of the
Carrefour dominates a large shopping complex and shares the first floor with the large upmarket DIY/Home Products
store Homepro, a Boots chemist and Bata shoe store. The ground floor is home to a number of restaurants, small
shops and stalls. There is also a large food court selling a wide variety of Thai one plate/bowl meals as well as a
McDonalds and KFC.
Carrefour sells a wide range of household items from big appliances (TVs, refrigerators, cooking equipment), books
and stationary, gardening equipment, clothing and a large range of groceries.
There is a variety of fresh fruit and veg, fresh meats and a small selection of frozen imported meats. Particularly worthy
of note is the fresh seafood selection which is very good and the in-house bakery.
Carrefour also has a good range of ready fresh cooked meals including roast chicken, pork knuckle, curries, rice
dishes and a salad bar.
Tesco, the giant British supermarket chain along with their local partner Lotus, have invested heavily in Thailand and
now have over 350 store throughout the country.
Their Chiang Mai operation is led by two hypermarkets, one on the Superhighway at Kamtiang Market and the other at
the beginning of the Hang Dong Road. Both Superstores dominate a shopping complex with smaller specialised
shops, fast food outlets and restaurants. There are acres of parking places to cope with high volume trade.
The hypermarkets sell a wide range of fresh produce including fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood, an in-house
bakery, as well as other groceries and household goods. They also have a vast range of electrical items, sporting
goods, clothing etc similar to the range of goods you would expect in a western superstore which makes for easy one
Tesco Lotus in Chiang Mai also have an ever growing number of Express stores located largely in petrol stations.
These are dotted around town and make for very handy grocery shopping.
The Rim Ping Group is a locally owned chain and has four stores in Chiang Mai.
Rim Ping stocks a wide variety of high quality fresh produce with an excellent selection of fruits and vegetables, fish
and seafood and every store has a butchers counter serving local and imported meats. There is also a good selection
of imported cheeses and other delicatessen products.
Rim Ping has perhaps the widest variety of imported products in Chiang Mai and is usually the best place to locate
difficult to find items although because of the rarity value expect to pay a higher price.
The stores offer an excellent free delivery service and have a rewards scheme for regular customers.
Located on the corner of Chang Klan and Sri Donchai Road, Pantip is the smaller version of the mega computer mall
of the same name in Bangkok. Pantip Plaza is the largest IT store in northern Thailand and is a good place to start if
you are serious about finding purchasing computer equipment in Chiang Mai.
Many of the big names in computers have their own dedicated stores at Pantip Plaza including Sony, Hewlett Packard
and Acer. These sell the very latest in PCs, notebooks and other AV equipment, There are also a number of shops
selling components that can either build you a machine to spec or upgrade an existing machine. A numer of shops
sell peripherals - cables, usb ports, card readers etc
For repair there is a very good shop on in the back, right hand corner on the second floor and a man who seems to be
able too fix all kinds of computer related equipment.
There are shops selling genuine software but these are outnumbered by the number of pirate retailers seemingly
selling every programme ever made. Purchasing pirate software is, of course, illegal and may contain virus threats
which could harm your computer.
Computer Plaza is a smaller IT mall located in the outside of the north wall of the Old City on Mani Noppharat Road.
Computer Plaza is in the middle of three similar centres along this road and is the best.
Although small, there are a number of good shops here and particularly recommended is Goodspeed an official dealer
for NEC and Toshiba but also selling other products. Goodspeed has a good maintenance team and are very useful if
you have a problems with your computer.
Night Bazaar Chaing Mai
The Night Bazaar is the most famous of all Chiang Mai's markets due to the vast numbers of foreign visitors it attracts.
Located at the northern end of Chang Klan road, the Night Market consists of hundreds of stalls and a number of large
shopping arcades packed with small shops.
Virtually all visitors to the city tour this market at least once during their stay. The impact of high volume foot traffic
has resulted in area becoming one of the city's liveliest; throbbing with street stalls, bars, restaurants and coffee
The Night Bazaar offers the whole range of northern Thai and hilltribe handicraft products including carvings, artwork,
clothes, fabrics, jewellery and much more. Some of the artistic innovations from vendors in the Night Bazaar have
been copied worldwide.
There is also a range of more modern goods including clothing, watches, CDs, DVDs, software and computer games.
Well worth a visit!
Borsang Umbrella Village
Borsang is known throughout Thailand as the 'Umbrella Village'. The village is situated north of Chiang Mai along the
Sankhampaeng Road where it meets the Doi Saket Road about 10kms out of town.
Borsang is famed for handmade parasols made from bamboo and rice paper. The village has made umbrellas for
generations and the art has been handed down through a small number of families that live here and is said to have
originated from a Thai Buddhist monk who learned the practice on a pilgrimage to Burma.
The true beauty of the umbrellas is in the exquisite pictures and designs that decorate them. Delicately hand painted,
some are works of art and they make wonderful keepsakes and gifts.
The Chiang Mai-Sankhampaeng Road runs for 13kms out of the city to the north and is lined with factories and
showrooms selling craft goods of all descriptions. Sankanpaeng is the most popular area for tourists to do their
souvenir shopping and is very busy with tour buses throughout the year. The large numbers of tourists generally leads
to locals to avoiding the area for fear of high prices but with knowledge of comparable goods elsewhere it is possible to
negotiate reasonable prices.
There are an enormous variety of craft goods on offer. Each factory specialises in one craft and in many it is possible
to see demonstrations of artisans and craftsmen at work. Some silk factories for example show the whole process
from the rearing of silkworms to the fine finishing of the final product. Similarly, jewellery shops have demonstrations of
gem cutting, setting and polishing.
Factories on the Sankhampaeng Road specialise in silk, cotton, jewellery, silver, ceramics, lacquerware, leather,
woodwork, furniture, reproduction and a few genuine antiques.
Sunday Market Chaing Mai
Every Sunday, from 4pm until midnight, one of Chiang Mai's great weekly events takes place. Walking Street Market
starts at Thapae Gate and runs along the length of Ratchadamnoen Road through the heart of the Old City and has
become a Chiang Mai institution. The street, which is closed entirely to traffic, is a focal point for local people to meet,
browse, socialise, haggle and enjoy. There numbers are considerably swelled by both Thai and foreign visitors to
Chiang Mai and the whole area buzzes with the kind of excitement that can only be generated by a large number of
people at leisure.
Walking Street Market is also known as the Weekend or Sunday market and is a real showcase of the art and
craftsmanship of Northern Thailand. Many of the stallholders have personally made the items they sell and the many
hand crafted objects are a testimony to the skills and inventiveness of local people.
The goods available are made from an incredible array of materials including: wood, metals, ceramics, fabrics, paper,
coconuts and much more besides. The products are truly authentic and original and are the perfect place to find gifts
or beautiful things to decorate your home. If you are purchasing, don't forget to bargain. Any item that is not marked
with a fixed price is open for negotiation and is all part of the fun. The stall holders, many of whom have other jobs and
only trade at the market, love banter and as long as you smile and barter in a good natured way you will have a great
Food and drink is also available in glorious abundance at the Sunday Market. There are a number of temples along
Rachadamnoen Road and their grounds are open to vendors, many of whom sells fabulous local treats fresh cooked
before your eyes.
The Sunday Market is the best place in Chiang Mai to see genuine Thai style street entertainment. Right along the
length of the Ratchadamoen Road are pavement artists of all descriptions, traditional musicians, Thai dancers, living
statues, puppet shows and rock bands. This all adds to the festive nature of the market and makes it an unmissable
Shopping in Chiang Mai
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