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:
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!
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 is 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. 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.
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.
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!