Wualai Walking Street

Saturday night market in Chiang Mai

Wualai, the Saturday walking street, is a lively and fun night market that takes place in Chiang Mai just a short walk from the old city walls. It starts in the late afternoon and continues until around 22:30. We prefer the atmosphere here to the more famous Sunday night walking street, because even though it’s smaller, there aren’t the same crowds of people, so it makes for a much more leisurely stroll. Not only are there plenty of handicraft items and locally-made products, it’s also a good place to pick up some tasty snacks to provide sustenance as you wander around.

Wualai Road links to Thipanet Road, near the south side of the old city walls, and around a ten to fifteen minute walk from Tha Pae Gate. It’s very easy to get dropped off by a tuk tuk or public van (songtaew) near the far end.

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The Saturday night walking street is growing in popularity, and towards sunset tends to be the busiest time. It’s still easy enough to walk along one side and then back along another, checking out all the different stalls. There is a real variety in the types of stalls at Wualai Market, and it includes not only hill tribe souvenirs and “I love Thailand’ t-shirts, but also some more interesting stands selling clothing and accessories from local designers, original paintings and even an orchid or two, if you think they will survive the journey home! Wualai Road was once more famous for its silverware and lacquer workshops, and there are still a handful of shops open in the evenings. To wander around the market would take around an hour or two, depending on how many stops you take to eat.

Many people come here for the food as much as the shopping. There are local restaurants serving hot Thai food: barbequed fish, som tam, fried rice and pad Thai. There are also plenty of stands selling snacks to eat as you walk, including traditional Thai sweets made from coconut, freshly blended smoothies and satay with fiery peanut dipping sauce. After having some food and a wander you can rest at one of the street side massage booths – there’s no better way to end an evening.

We think this is the best walking street market in Chiang Mai. If you’re good at bargaining, the prices can be cheaper than elsewhere, and the variety of stalls is more interesting. Although it’s bustling, there’s a friendly vibe and it’s a must-do whilst visiting the city.

Wualai Walking Street

  • Opening Hours: Sat 17:00 – 23:00 (approximately)
  • Location: Wualai Road, near the South moat of the old town
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