Chiang Mai, Thailand is such a wonderful place. It is a medium sized city with dozens of splendid local spots. Thailand, in general, has great markets. Chiang Mai has a whole lot of them, below are my top three.
Wararot Market or Kad Luang
Kad Luang is not to miss! It's incredibly colourful and diverse. It has a flower section, spices, fruits, clothes, and fabrics. Everything is sold at great prices. It is where the locals go to grocery shop. There are not the classic souvenirs here, but you could buy some classic thai rubber flip flops, or some jarred chilly paste for your friends back home!
Sunday Walking Street
This market has lots of lovely handmade things, souvenirs, and yummy snacks. In the past 10 years it has become quite popular. I would advise going early in the evening (around 4:30 or 5pm) or late (11pm) to avoid crowds.
Na Macho Market (Market across from CMU)
This market is for the hip young things (which I still consider myself). They have cute clothes (if you're thai size), trendy accessories, and some nice second hand shops. This is where all the uni students shop for their short skirts and coloured contact lenses. Very interesting place.
Other blogs such as Thai Visa and Paper Planes have great market guides to check out before visiting Chiang Mai. I just wanted to mention the three I had to see in my short visit.
Chiang Mai'ers which markets are your favourites?