Kad Tung Fah Bod
For over half a century, merchants have gathered to buy and sell cattle and other goods at this rustic market at the centre of Sanpatong district. Farmers and traders debate prices in the rear of the market as cattle stand ruefully about, tied to posts as they await their fates. Only metres away hunks of barbecue beef cook on smoking grills. In other section of this busy market, second-hand motorcycles and cars are lined up, their owners loitering nearby. Almost any good can be purchased at Kad Tung Fah Bod: Antiques, chickens, piles of local food, ceramics, clothing, tractors. Special foods and desserts will be sold during the upcoming three-day Songkran festival. The market opens at 4 a.m. and closes at 11 a.m., so visitors are encouraged to get up early before making the 22 kilometre drive from Chiang Mai City. Be prepared to shell out some money for a parking space if you come by car (20 baht) or motorcycle (10 baht).
Kad Chin Haw
Only open early (think dawn) on Friday mornings, this market can be found across from the mosque near the Night Bazaar. The atmosphere of Kad Chin Haw is one of a cultural and linguistic mash-up, with some customers and venders wearing dark-coloured hijabs and communicating only in Chinese as they buy and sell chicken, seafood, fermented bean curd, fried tofu, and pickled vegetables, among a variety of other interesting foods. This market is a great place to try the traditional breakfast of the Burmese Tai Yai people, a slightly bland but culturally-rich noodle mix.
Kad Baan Ton Du
This market is located 30 kilometres out of the city near the border of Sankhampang and Saraphee districts, and is best reached by going down New Chiang Mai – Sankamphang Road. Starting at 6 a.m. and until around 11 a.m., local vendors set up shop along a kilometre stretch of street, watching over selections of silverware, food, and clothes. It is best known for its many shops selling local honey, some of which squeeze it fresh from the comb while you watch. Racks of second-hand clothes are set up for perusal, as well as a small selection of used motorcycles and cars. The market’s historical role as a cattle market has been replaced by a focus on other local goods, but Kad Baan Ton Du still makes for an interesting Thursday morning.