Best Night Markets in South East Asia

I love a good night market. There are something about them that brings me joy. It could be that the sun has gone down and it is a lot cooler, or that I get to put my bargaining skills to the test. The best night markets have a lot to offer, its not just shopping for trinkets and clothing. They are also a great opportunity to try street food, some even have entertainment. My favourite night markets in South East Asia were found in Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. I rank them on the range of items they sell (some places you go have the same thing at every stall), the street food that is on offer, whether there is any entertainment, and also the atmosphere of the markets. These are my top picks:

 

Vientianne, Laos

The night markets in Vientianne are one of my top picks purely because of the amazing chocolate and banana pancake that was made for me on the side of the road. Seriously delicious! The markets themselves are quite good also, with a large selection of clothing, bags and jewellery – typical market stuff. For me these markets stood out as the day time in the city was quiet, and almost sleepy, given that it was Chinese New Year when I visited and a lot of places were closed.

I would rate this 3 out of 5 pancakes. Its definitley worth a visit for that pancake!

wpid-p1030055-01.jpegPaintings for sale in Vientianne

Chiang Mai, Thailand

The Chiang Mai Night Bazaar is huge and without a doubt, one of the top night time attractions in this city. These night markets are found on Th Chang Khlan near the old city and run from 7pm-midnight. Stalls run along both sides of the street so take your time and wander around and soak up the busy atmosphere. Its also a great opportunity to stock up on some of those classic souvineers and unique handicrafts.

I would rate this 4 out of 5 wooden elephants.

 

Siem Reap, Cambodia

I loved the Angkor Night Market. I went there every night because there was so much to do. As you have probably guessed this far into my blog post that I enjoy a wander around a market. Its relaxing after a long hot day sightseeing! Needless to say I was in night market heaven when I found out just how big the markets are here and how much there is to do. You could peruse the endless amount of Cambodian silk, silver, and handicrafts on offer. You could ponder over (or in my case buy) the bags and wallets made from recycled rice and coffee sacks. You could get your feet nibbled on by fish or sit and have a foot massage while you watch a drag queen lip-syncing contest. You could eat and drink in the markets or in any of the surrounding streets. The markets and surrounds are buzzing as it isΒ  a popular way for visitors to unwind after a full day of exploring the nearby temples. and definitley worth a visit if you’re nearby.Β  a popular way for visitors to unwind after a full day of exploring the nearby temples. These markets are located near Sivatha St and run from 4pm – midnight.

I would rate this 4.5 out of 5 Cambodian silk scarves.

wpid-p1020665-01.jpegA busy Pub Street in Siem Reap near the Angkor Night Market.

Luang Prabang, Laos

The Handicraft Night Market in Luang Prabang is enchanting. Located on Th Sisavanvong, this market comes to life around 5.30pm when this busy road by day is transformed into a seemingly endless passage of market stalls and street food vendors at night. These markets stand out because they offer such an extensive amount of handicrafts, souvineers and textiles that are different from markets in other countries. The array of street food available for consumption is a another reason this market ranks high on my list. If you haven’t experimented with street food so far on your trip then Luang Prabang is the place to try with a huge selection of all the barbequed food, cooked noodles, pancakes, coconuts and fruit juices you could dream of.

I would rate this 4.5 out of 5 street-cooked noodles.

wpid-20140206_173431-01.jpeg

Noodles galore in Luang Prabang.

Have I forgotten any? Have you been to one of these night markets? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below!

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I love to travel as often as I can and I'm always in the pursuit of a new adventure. I hope to inspire through my passion and show you how small trips can leave big impressions.

14 thoughts on “Best Night Markets in South East Asia

      1. Haha yeah that was just unlucky but it was definitely an experience to remember. My patience and ability to stay calm under stress were tested but it made me appreciate the good experiences so much more. Chances of that happening to anyone at all are so uncommon haha πŸ™‚

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      2. When you go to book a bus it doesn’t have to be one of those big 50 seater ones where your luggage is underneath. All of our buses except one were mini buses. They were a bit more expensive at around US$10-15 a trip but I liked being able to have my eyes on my bag and a small amount of people on board. I’m 5’8″ and found the seats a little bit cramped at times but I managed and wasn’t uncomfortable for too long. You do stop frequently along the way especially on long trips so pleanty of opportunity to stretch your legs if you need to. I found the sleeper train in Thailand to be fairly good too I actually had a decent snooze on there πŸ™‚

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      3. I’m a couple of inches shorter than you and my girlfriend is a few shorter than me, hopefully our lack of height will benefit us! We’re gonna have to get our clothing choices right, nervous!

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      4. You’ll be fine then with transport then πŸ™‚ My advice with clothes is pack light and light fabrics like cotton because it’s definitely hotter than England haha. It’s not the heat that gets you but the humidity so you want something light. I went in ‘winter’ and a lot of places were still 30℃ haha. You’re going to have a great time!

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      5. Or you could pick up some very baggy pants for cheap in one of the markets if you need to haha. No worries feel free to contact me if you have any other questions. Hope you have a great trip! πŸ™‚

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      6. Oh well take away my fun with a practical suggestion why don’t you? No skirts then haha, the baggy pants do look comfortable. Thanks again!

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