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Local markets and walking streets are the name of the game in this town for both shopping and nightlife options. Luckily, mid-week visitors are rewarded as equally as weekenders, so there is always something to shop for and explore. Our tip: If you’ve seen one market in Chiang Rai, you’ve pretty much seen them all. Most of the vendors double-down on the market scene and make appearances at the pedestrian-only Saturday Walking Street (4-10pm on Thanalai Road) as well as the Sunday Night Market (6-9pm on Sankhongnoi Road), and the ever-present Night Market (6-11pm), a daily bazaar adjacent to the bus terminal. These markets are a fraction of the size of the mother of all markets—Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market—and are more manageable than Chiang Mai’s Night Bazaar, so browsing the stalls can be done at a leisurely pace. Touristy souvenirs are omnipresent but Hill-tribe handicrafts are also available, though you'll get better deals (and your money will help the local people more) when buying directly from the tribe on a trekking tour. If you're not planning on a tour, then go ahead and stock up here.

About 12km north of Chiang Rai on the road to Mae Sai is a gem of a pottery place called Doy Din Dang Pottery (49 Moo 6; www.dddpottery.com; tel. 05370-5291). Here, the lush grounds of the multi-building showroom are an inspiration to the Thai artists who craft wheel-thrown pieces finished in traditional celadon or contemporary styles. The English-speaking staff can help arrange shipping, and there is a nice coffee shop on the property.

 

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.