Tradition in Chiang Mai: Warorot Market, Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is often referred to as the cultural capital of the north. It’s adorned by temples, handcrafted souvenirs and many museums. The traditional Hmong culture is still thriving in the north of Thailand and Warorot market specialises in all things Hmong.
What to Expect from Warorot Market
This is Chiang Mai’s main market area. There are endless different traditional fabrics to choose from. Some already stitched into handicrafts, others come in their raw form ready to be transformed. Alongside these traditional textiles you can find, well, just about everything you can imagine.
The market is set within two larger buildings, Warorot and Ton Lamyai. Around these two there are hundreds of shopfronts and stalls that stretch into China Town. From here the market feel extends for miles around. There is limitless exploring to be had here. Whilst China Town really gets going in the evenings, the more traditional Warorot is worth an early rise on the weekends. This is when you’ll find it at its busiest and thronged with locals. Crowds not your thing? Head down on a weekday lunch time. Wednesdays are especially cool to visit as the fresh fruit and flower deliveries begin to flood in.
The Many Faces of Warorot Market, Chiang Mai
The market is spread wide and far. The best bet is simply to explore and see what you find, relax and shop.
The ground floor of the main Warorot building is a carpet of fabrics and gold. You’ll stroll under a sky of covered walkways and explore the textile and jewellery stalls. There are still plenty of spots to grab a snack or breakfast, the dim sum is incredible. When you find Area 4 you’ll notice traditional, local produce such as bamboo kitchen utensils and offerings for the temples.
The lower section that has a subterranean food court mixes food with traditional Hmong clothing. There are some beautiful and intricately sewn clothes here.
The main market floor is a typical Thai food market. Expect dried fish, spices, hell-born chili paste and small sweets that will make your teeth ache. We highly recommend trying the traditional Lanna snacks, rich crackers, tamarind sweets etc.
Exploring Everything that Warorot Market Has to Offer
Once you get going, it’s hard to stop. This market seems endless. There are levels within levels, shops within shops and products of every colour under the sun. We highly recommend searching out some of the locally grown Arabica coffee. It is phenomenally good, if you’re lucky some might get brewed up for you right there and then.
We’ve suggested some times to visit above but realistically this place is all but open 24/7. Turn up at any time of the day and you’re bound to find something going on.
The Thai Market Experience is Essential
Explore, wander and relax. This is a local’s market at the very best. Even if you’re not shopping for something in particular then just enjoy the experience. In terms of souvenirs, a market such as this works best when you don’t go in with a particular item in mind. Walk around until something grabs your eye, barter and there you go!