Out and About in Thailand’s Night Markets
Like in many parts of Asia, night markets or night bazaars are a popular part of Thai culture. Often operating late into the night, or into the wee hours of the morning, night markets are typically open-air street markets dedicated to shopping, entertainment and of course, eating.
Below are some examples of night markets and bazaars in different regions of Thailand that provide visitors with a colourful glimpse of local nightlife:
New Sukhothai, known locally as Sukhothai Thani, is the capital of Sukhothai Province which lies just over 400 km north of Bangkok on the Yom River. The city is 12 km east of Sukhothai Historical Park, a popular tourist attraction that is home to the ancient ruins of Sukhothai, the 13th century capital of the Sukhothai Kingdom, which predates modern Thailand. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thousands of visitors descend on the Historical Park every year to see the ancient ruins.
Many visitors planning a trip to the ruins stay in New Sukhothai which boasts the Sukhothai Night Market, a small local market located just south of Wat Ratchanee temple, where local street vendors gather along the footpaths to sell a variety of delicious local dishes, including curries; soups; Chinese-Thai stir-fried vegetables; traditional pad Thai; noodle dishes, called kuay-tiao; and chicken rice, known as khao man gai – to name just a few! Like many night markets you can also sit down for a beer or two and there’s even a stage where local dancing and musical performances are held.
Petchabun town lies in Thailand’s north between the east and west ranges of the Petchabun mountains about 340 km from Bangkok and is thought to have been part of the Sukhothai Kingdom. The picturesque town is often the first location people visit in Petchabun Province, before heading off to see a wide variety of regional attractions, including waterfalls, ancient ruins, temples and unusual sites, like the stunning mountain monastery Wat Pha Sorn Kaew in the north of the province.
If you’re in town, then it’s also a great opportunity to visit the small, but colourful, night market just off Chan-Chit Yee Road, which offers a variety of local food and popular Thai dishes. It’s a great place to sit and enjoy the mountain scenery of this province, which is also known as the Thai Alps or ‘Little Switzerland’ because of its cool, northern climate. After your meal you can head to some of the popular local bars along Klang Muerng Phattana Road to relax and enjoy a cool beer.
Khon Kaen is one of four major cities located in the northeast of Thailand, a region known as Isaan. It’s a large city and has several night markets, the most popular of which, are Ton Tann and Khon Kaen City Night Market, also known by locals as the Fairy Plaza night market, because of its location close to the Fairy Plaza Shopping Centre.
Ton Tann is the larger of the two and is quite modern-looking with permanent booth structures. There’s also an indoor market area; a huge food court with an extraordinary variety of Thai food; a live music stage for local music and dance shows, and even a Ferris wheel. Many boutique shops and booths selling clothes, shoes and other accessories can also be found at the market.
Khon Kaen City Night Market is a smaller and more traditional night market that is popular with students, especially those from Khon Kaen University. Like its counterpart, it also has a huge variety of food choices, including local Isaan dishes and popular Thai eats.
NAKHON RATCHASIMA (KORAT)
Nakhon Ratchasima, more commonly known by locals as Korat, is also one of four major cities in the northeast of Thailand. It is the capital of Nakhon Ratchasima province and is considered the gateway to the Isaan region. The city boasts several night markets, the most popular of which is the New Maegimheng Market, located in the center of town between Poh Klang and Suranaree roads. Besides a large area dedicated to food stalls, the market also sells offerings for temples, flowers, and has a selection of boutique shops selling clothes and other accessories. Food shops and vendors are concentrated in the central market area, but on the east side of the market there’s also a more permanent food court.
Very different is the much smaller Night Bazaar Wat Boone on Chomphon Road, near the Eastern city gate. This market specialises in takeaway food. Less crowded and with plenty of choices, it’s popular with locals looking for a quick snack, or for those who don’t have time to cook at home.
Last, but not least, is Korat’s biggest Save One Night Market located along Mitraparp Road. This is basically the Isaan version of Bangkok’s famous Weekend Market, also known as Chatuchak Market. The only difference is that this market is open seven days a week! Like Chatuchak, you can find almost anything here, including handicrafts, food, clothes, fashion accessories, and even potted plants!
Night markets can be easily incorporated into Khiri Travel Thailand’s programs, please contact us for more details.