In daylight, Thailand is known for its beautiful beaches and towering skyscrapers. At night, however, the city comes alive as hundreds of vendors pitch rainbow-coloured tents to form the country’s famous night markets (an example of which is pictured above).
Night markets in Thailand are renowned for their carnival-like spectacle, with dozens of stalls selling locally crafted items, delicious street food, cheap clothes, fresh fruit, and vintage goods. In some night markets, guests are also treated to live music while shopping.
With such a diverse mixture of night markets in Thailand, it can be overwhelming to choose where to go. We created this article to help you decide which night market to visit and what to expect in each location.
Home to over 8,000 stalls and covering an area of 35 acres, Chatuchak Weekend Market is perhaps the most open-air market in Thailand. Chatuchak Market hosts stalls selling furniture, handmade wares, fabrics, and trinkets that are nearly impossible to find anywhere else in the world, which means you are unlikely to leave the market empty-handed.
Chatuchak Weekend Market is divided into 30 sections. If you’re buying clothing items and bags, the best sections are 2, 3, 4, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24, and 30. Meanwhile, the best food stalls and drinks are found in sections 2, 3, 4, 23, 24, 26, and 27. Here’s a map for reference.
One of the most popular buys at Chatuchak Weekend Market is Coco Ice Cream from the stall Coco JJ. Every bite is sweet, coconutty, and cool, making it the perfect treat while exploring everything the market has to offer. Do note that the ice cream is extremely popular, so expect the stall to be jam-packed with customers.
Other popular food options in Chatuchak Weekend Market include Mango Sticky Rice, Thai Tea Caramel, Grilled Fish and River Shrimp, and Curry Rice with Fried Chicken.
It is best to visit Chatuchak Weekend Market on Wednesday to Thursday from 5 AM to 6 PM for plants; for wholesale items; Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 5 AM to 7 PM when all stalls are open.
Rot Fai Market, also called Train Night Market, seems lowkey at first glance, but it is one of the most famous markets in Bangkok, especially among young locals and tourists. In fact, the collection of items and products at Rot Fair Market can definitely give other street markets, including Chatuchak Market, heavy competition.
The Rot Fai Market is divided into three sections: Market Zone, Warehouse Zone, and Rod’s Antiques. The Market Zone has over 2,000 stalls selling anything from hippie clothing to fried ice cream. Much like Chatuchak Weekend Market, it’s almost impossible to leave the Train Night Market without buying anything from the Market Zone.
What sets Rod Fai Market from other markets in markets in central Bangkok and downtown Bangkok is its huge collection of rare and vintage finds in the Warehouse Zone and Rod’s Antiques. Some of its rare collectibles include 1950s Cadillac, vintage leather jackets, action figures from Japan, old-school cameras, and vintage cars.
The Rot Fai Market is open from Thursday to Sunday, 5 PM to 1 AM. The market is closed from Monday to Wednesday. Rot Fai Market is found behind Seacon Square Shopping Mall.
The One Ratchada Train Market is one of the newest night markets in Thailand. The One Ratchada opened at the end of September 2022 in the place of the famous Ratchada Train Night Market, which was closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gone are the colourful tents in exchange for larger, more spacious stalls to allow vendors to sell in better conditions.
There are two sides to One Ratchada: a side where vendors sell gadgets and fashion pieces, and another where guests are invited to indulge in a huge array of food sold at reasonable prices, including grilled skewers, curry noodles, and grilled fish. There are few stalls that offer private dining areas for their patrons. However, there are seating spaces spread across the night market, although not all come with tables.
The One Ratchada Market is open daily from 4 PM to midnight. That being said, each individual stall operator has the discretion to decide their operating days and hours.
Saturday Walking Street is an excellent place to visit if you’re looking for hand-made souvenirs, jewellery, t-shirts, and unique decorations for the home. Much like other night markets in Thailand, Saturday Walking Street is also home to a wide array of food stalls selling anything from authentic Thai food to a fusion of Thai and Western flavours.
One of the best snacks to get at Saturday Walking Street is the colourful noodle salad, which features rice noodles of different hues mixed with some green, dried fish, and Thai spices. Other food options also include BBQ skewers, curries, and even crocodile meat—the last of which is unique to this market.
For many visitors, however, the most interesting part of Saturday Walking Street is the variety of handicrafts made by members of the region’s hill tribes, including hats, wallets, clothing, and decorations.
The Saturday Walking Street is open on Saturdays, 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM.
Cicada Market in Hua Hin is an unusual night market that, we daresay, is more of a bazaar than a market. Located in a park in the Khao Takiab district, Cicada Market is a combination of an art & craft fair and a high-class flee market.
Cicada Market is divided into four sections: Art a la Mode, Art Indoors, Art of Act and Art of Eating. Most of the market’s space is taken up by the Art a la Mode section, which houses vendors selling clothing and handmade accessories.
Art Indoors is a space where vendors sell works of art, including paintings and sculptures.
Art of Eating involves food of all kinds, including salads, pasta, and BBQs—all sold at a reasonable price. If you’re not into BBQ, the market is also home to “King Arthur Pizza,” which sells pizza slices topped with copious amounts of cheese, ham, and arugula. The same stall also sells extra-large portions of grilled pork ribs, which is honestly super satisfying.
Lastly, the Amphitheater is a place where locals hold various performances for free. Typically, the audience can be part of the performances if they ask to join.
The Cicada Market is closed from Monday to Thursday and open from Friday to Sunday, 4 PM to 11 PM.
Chillva Market is one of the most visited markets in Phuket, especially among Thai teenagers due to its young and fun vibe. This boho-style night market is a spot known for its popular street food stalls, including shabu-shabu, som tum, and soft rolls stuffed with chocolate, pandan sauce, and fresh butter.
One of the most popular, and incredibly unique, treats at Chillva Market is fried insects. You can have a bite of grasshopper, silkworm, and cricket. If you’re feeling a bit more daring, you can also try out plump silk pupa.
There is a small area in the centre where guests can sit back and enjoy their street food on one of the many chairs and tables provided. Besides the eating space is also a mini secret garden that looks like it was something taken out of Studio Ghibli.
Phuket’s Chillva Market is open Monday to Saturday, 5 PM to 11 PM.
Asiatique – A night market in Bangkok home to 1,500 boutiques selling a mish-mash of items. The night market is a bazaar that feels quite similar to a shopping mall.
Khao San Road – The brightly-lit streets of Khao San Road are filled with stores selling secondhand books and tacky souvenirs. The street is also filled with internet cafes.
Chang Chui Plane Market – Chang Chui Plane Market is an unusual destination set inside (and around) a giant Tristar airliner. The place is catered to artsy folks looking to buy or sell trendy clothes and specialized drinks in an area that features live music and theatre performances.