Do as the locals do.
Eat where the locals eat.
As a person who identifies as a ‘foodie’, I’m always searching for authentic food in destinations AND at home. It can be tough to identify truly authentic Thai food in the US. I found Thai Select (think Michelin star rating but for authentic Thai food) that helps with that!
I love an incredible meal, and appreciate it even more when it’s straight off a cart on the street knowing I’m supporting a local small business.
When visiting Chiang Mai, you should never go to the night market alone.
Reason? There are too many mouthwatering tastes to share! Grab a group of three or more food-venturous friends and experience the culinary delights.
The Chiang Mai Fresh Market, located right next to the Chiang Mai Market, is the perfect place to get lost. Mainly used by locals and spanning from the west bank of the Ping River almost to the Tha Pae Gate, this large market offers many hidden treasures. With so much to taste and smell there, I’ve rounded up the must-try’s of the Chiang Mai Night Market.
Gra Por Pla: Soup made with fish maw, or the stomach of the fish, chicken blood, bamboo shoots, mushroom, quail egg, soy sauce, black sauce, pepper, cilantro, and cilantro roots. This soup is like nothing you’ve tried before.
Sai Krok E-Sarn: If the spiciness of the Sai Ua throws you off, try the North Eastern Sausage, Sai Krok E-Sarn, which is a fermented sausage made with pork and rice, served with bird’s eye chilis, raw cabbage and sliced ginger.
Ma Muang with Nam Pla Waan: A simple and refreshing dish made of tart green mangoes sliced thinly to make it easy to scoop the chunky dipping sauce, made of shrimp paste, fish sauce, and dried shrimp. This market taste will solve any sweet and salty cravings.
Khanom Khai Nok Krata (Thai Fried Sweet Potato Balls): A twist on a familiar favorite, Khanom Khai Nom Krata has fabulous flavor.
Banana Roti : Treat your sweet tooth to something new with a treat made out of condensed milk, white sugar, and banana.
Durian Ice-cream: Made from the spiky King of Fruit, this ice cream is custardy and sweet.
Kanom Krok: Kanom krok, or Thai Crispy Coconut Pudding, is golden brown and crispy on the outside, and soft and sweet on the inside. Kanom Krok places a light, tropical touch on your tastebuds ending a day of indulgence.
After you’ve stuffed yourself with all of the delicious offerings, cap off the night with a 30 minute massage for 100 TBT ($3.50 US) for real, and really inexpensive, relaxation. If you still haven’t had enough of the Chiang Mai Night Market, explore the clothing and handicrafts that locals are selling in the main building or explore the city’s China Town contained within the market.
What’s the most interesting taste you’ve come across at a night market? Share with us below!