The Muang Mai Market is the main wholesale area for fresh produce in Chiang Mai and for anyone interested in food it is a must visit place.
The market is located to the west of Wang Singkam Road (which runs along the west side of the Ping River) to the north of The Warorot Market.
Muang Mai market is a mix of many small stalls, permanent shops and pick up trucks.
Much of the food has come straight from the farm and in some parts of the market the farmers sell their wares direct from the back of their vehicles.
You will be amazed at how much garlic, cabbages or other vegetables can be piled in the back of one of these vehicles.
Most of the vendors specialise in one or two items of produce so buying a basket of food will mean working your way around the market.
The majority of the market is made up of an enormous range of locally grown fruits and vegetables – one stall will sell watermelons, another pineapple, another lettuce and so on. The variety and freshness is astonishing to those used to buying from Western supermarkets.
To the western edge of the market is a section for fresh meat serving mainly pork and chicken but with some beef although used to buying meat cling wrapped on polystyrene plate the standards of hygiene here may be a little off putting!
A little up from the meat section are stalls selling fresh seafood laid on ice. There are not only fish but a huge variety of shellfish, prawns, squid and crab much of it heading for Chiang Mai’s many restaurants.
To the north of the seafood section are a couple of stalls that specialise solely in curry pastes and then some shops selling dry goods.
The market bustles with activity,street-wise sellers and buyers followed by trolley boys that wheel sack trucks fitted with giant baskets to carry your shopping.
The prices at Muang Mai market are CHEAP by any standards and will absolutely astonish Westerners used to paying high prices in supermarkets.
Although Muang Mai is mainly a wholesale market selling in bulk all the stalls will sell smaller amounts and shopping for fresh food will save huge amounts on the weekly budget!.
Please however understand that this IS a very busy working market,visitors are always welcome, but small groups rather than large !!.