Friday fix: colourful markets of Chaing Mai.

This is the sixteenth edition of my bi-weekly series, Friday Fix, a quick burst of inspiration to spur you (and me) on through our final day in the office. The idea of these photos is to give you a glimpse of some of the most incredible places I've ever found in a format you can digest in your coffee break...

Hand carved soap flowers, Chaing Mai, Thailand

Despite travelling in and out of Thailand about five times now, I've never quite got around to writing about it. The whole country, and Chaing Mai particularly, has become a haven for travel bloggers. What more could I possibly add?!


semi-precious stones, Chaing Mai, Thailand
street food, noodles, pad thai, Chaing Mai, Thailand

This particular edition of Friday Fix is simply a tribute to the crazy, kaleidoscope markets which flood the streets in the evening and threaten to spill out as far as the corners of the walled city on Sundays. Despite the abundance of tourists, this Northern city has retained some of its slower pace of life and you'll find the people selling things to be much less pushy than in Bangkok. 

Though many of the knick-knacks are obviously imported, I was particularly struck by the beauty of the hand carved soap flowers above. Using sharp tools, the artists painstakingly create the delicate petals, later adding colour to add vibrance and depth.


Probably more exciting to many of you, is the abundance of street food. Almost entirely prepared and cooked on the road-side, I just couldn't get enough of the 

Insects to eat, Chaing Mai, Thailand

massive variety of noodles! Stereotypical, but tasty never-the-less, my favourite was extra-wide-noodle pad thai with as many crushed peanuts as I could legitimately get away with.


Although runny curries (and anything with chop-sticks) can be difficult to eat on the move, you'll find plenty of interesting sweets, skewers and other interesting snacks to try as you wander around... :)

Sweets, Chaing Mai, Thailand

Write a comment

Comments: 14
  • #1

    Shikha (whywasteannualleave) (Sunday, 11 October 2015 00:40)

    It's been 10 years since I last went to mainland Thailand but Chiang Mai was without a doubt my favourite place that I visited out there and I fell in love with the markets there and actually, even the markets in Bangkok and I think it was the buzz of the Thai markets that got me interested in walking around markets on all my subsequent travels!

  • #2

    Katie Featherstone (Sunday, 11 October 2015 20:11)

    I'm so glad they sucked you in Shikha. :) I would have loved to be there 10 years ago.

  • #3

    Marie @ Marie Away (Monday, 12 October 2015 15:13)

    You totally just brought me back there! I was in Chiang Mai a little over two years ago, and one of my favourite experiences was the Sunday Night Market... and the food in particular!

    But, I did also get a couple of those soap flowers as souvenirs for my mom and aunts. Unfortunately, they don't travel so well, and ended up pretty flaky after traveling with me on multiple planes.

  • #4

    Katie Featherstone (Monday, 12 October 2015 16:25)

    Hahaha! Yes I had the same problem Marie! One of them survived though. :)

  • #5

    Becky Padmore (Sunday, 18 October 2015 19:54)

    I fell in love with Chiang Mai on my trip there 15 years ago, this reminds me I need to make a return trip soon! :-)

  • #6

    Katie Featherstone (Sunday, 18 October 2015 20:12)

    I hope you get there Becky!

  • #7

    Nathan Anderson (Monday, 19 October 2015 09:58)

    This was the perfect post for me today, I'm waiting for my train to Chiang Mai now! Very excited to walk the market streets again and to absolutely stuff my face on a daily basis.

    Those soap flowers are so intricate, I can't even imagine how much time it would take to make just one of those. They look so nice, I'd almost feel guilty using one...

  • #8

    Katie Featherstone (Monday, 19 October 2015 14:13)

    Oh great Nathan! I'm not sure you're really supposed you use the soap. I certainly couldn't bare to! Have fun. :)

  • #9

    Charlie Marchant (Tuesday, 20 October 2015 18:34)

    Haha, you're funny! I love eating with chopsticks - especially curry and rice!! :D

  • #10

    Katie Featherstone (Wednesday, 21 October 2015 00:05)

    On the move it can get tricky though!

  • #11

    Holly (Thursday, 29 October 2015 09:54)

    Those soap flowers are beautiful!

  • #12

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