Old traditional Lanna culture, mixed with Chinese influences
Wararot market (or Kad Luang) is not only one of the oldest markets in Chiang Mai, it is probably the most original too with its mixture of history and a very large range of products. The Wararot market was founded by members of the Royal Lanna family back in the early 1900’s. Be it as a reminder of Chinese influence, in a few streets traffic drives on the right side compared to left anywhere else in Thailand, which makes it a bit confusing for first-time-in-Chiang-Mai travelers alike to comprehend the situation. After the typical Chinese style gate, a very interesting world opens up. Not only can you find really cheap clothing and electronics here, you’d be surprised about what more you can discover. On Wararot market you enter a part of the old traditional Lanna culture, mixed with Chinese influences from ancient times.
Assorted Fresh Fruits and flowers at the lowest prices
From the sweetest mango’s, oranges, banana’s and pineapples as we know them from import in our own countries, up to special fruits like rambutan, longan and durian. People who like it all fresh and cheap, this is your perfect late afternoon activity. You can go in the morning too, but make sure you start early or the sun will soon change your trip to sauna temperatures! Best times are from 7-9 Am and 4-7 Pm.
Don’t forget to walk a little further, because nearby the Ping river there are stairs leading to a platform crossing the street with very lovely views on Chiang Mai city. After that, you will enjoy looking around at the flower market as you descend back into the market scene. You can buy the world famous Thai orchids or select a real bouquet even if it’s just to perfume your room for a few days. It’s so cheap and colorful that you don’t want to miss on that pleasure! If you are getting hungry for some real Chiang Mai local food, try one of the stalls around the market. They have various delicious things to offer from barbecued meat and squid, Lanna sausages and spring rolls. Or try a noodle shop in one of the small side streets, as most of them still prepare their noodles according to old family recipes. Most Thai noodle shops will try not to make the soup too spicy when ordered by a tourist, but you better have fresh water and ice (free) by hand. Some Thai dishes are just spicy from the herbs without adding any chili. Try it first and take the time to get used to all the flavors.
Traditional Chinese medicines and the finest local Thai spice herbs
Local spice herbs are the necessary ingredients to make Thai dishes. Inside of Wararot market it has three floors, although only the first 2 will be interesting. This is where you can find dried goods, local herbs and spices, butchery products and a lot more. Buy some herbs to take back home when you want to practice your Asian cooking skills. You will experience there’s nothing better than using the authentic spices in your meals! Lots of imported products from China add to all the flavors available. You can visit a traditional Chinese doctor too and watch them prepare anything from recovering herbal tea and homeopathic creams up to the more serious approach to medical conditions. There are so many different products available that we can’t all describe them, as there are so many more shops and wholesalers to find in the area.
Wararot market headlines
- Daily open from 04.00 – 19.00 but the food stalls around the market are open from 07.00 – Midnight.
- Get there the easiest way by Tuk-Tuk or songtaew, keep right when you drive a motorbike.
- Plenty of fruit, food, flowers, herbs, clothing, electronics, souvenirs, kitchenware,…