Night markets are quintessential to understanding and enjoying Asia; and it is an experience not to be missed. Most are open every night and the action goes on till the wee hours. Learn about the local culture through the myriad of local crafts, bargaining, and local snacks at affordable prices.
Here’s a list of the best night markets around Asia where you can wriggle your way through the gridlock of tasty food and bargainable buys.
1. Kenting Night Market, Pingtung county, Taiwan
Kenting, at the most southern tip of Taiwan, is sunny all year round with its azure waters crashing on the sandy beaches. On top of its natural endowment, there is an endless street of good eats; offering a complete selection of food from European, local, to Japanese.
Featuring one of the freshest seafood, don’t forget to grab a beer with some fresh oysters as you squeeze through the lively crowd.
2. Feng Chia Night Market, Situn District, Taichung
Hailed as the biggest night market in Taiwan, you cannot expect anything less than thousand over stalls with latest music and innovative snacks. FengChia Night Market is a must visit in Taichung, and no trip is completed until you’ve been here. The number of shoppers can justify its attractiveness.
3. Maeklong Railway Market, Samut Songkhram, Thailand
Populous Bangkok has always overshadowed old-school markets that exudes traditional Thai charm. Though Thailand has been rapidly caving in to modernisation, Maeklong Railway Market has proven their adaptability and retained its charm – an active market in the middle of a functioning train track.
That’s right! Here, you can feel the adrenaline as you scramble to find a spot among the owners under the lower shelter of their stalls while avoiding the oncoming train.
4. Chiang Mai Sunday Night Bazaar, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Located in the heart of Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Night Market is an attraction not to be missed. The night market is approximately 1 kilometres long and is crowned as the best night market in Thailand. The sleepy street transforms into a labyrinth of small eats and cheap buys as the sun retires; thronged with big crowds of tourists and locals.
5. Sukhumvit Soi 38 Street Food Market, Bangkok, Thailand
Sukhumvit Soi 38 is a great place to indulge in Thai street food or just to kickstart your exploration of Thai food. This is one of the most famous food street in Bangkok and opens every day around 5pm with variety of food carts set up along both sides of this small lane.
You’ll be so tempted to stop by every stall just to savour every dish on the menu. Don’t miss out of mango stick rice!
6. Jalan Alor Food Street, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The whole character of the city changes when you enter this food street. The modern shopping malls are no longer the focus and you’ll be overwhelmed by Kuala Lumpur’s biggest collection of roadside eateries.
From Chinese to Malay and even Thai food, this is one of tourists and locals favourite hangout location; eating to their hearts’ content.
7. Petaling Street Market, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
More commonly known as the Chinatown of Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Market transforms from a normal shopping street in the day to a massive ‘Pasar Malam’ at night, giving a nostalgic ambience to its shopper.
Labelled as the shoppers’ haven, Petaling Market is one of the most happening night market in the city. For those who love a good bargain, this is the place for you.
8. Luang Prabang Night Market, Luang Prabang, Laos
The diversity of the night market is not something you can expect at this little quaint town of mellow Laos.
Walking through the low-canvas tent can be quite a challenge but an unforgettable experience as you admire the intricate handicrafts sold at different stalls. You’ll be enthralled by the little souvenirs you can bring home.
For foodies, don’t forget to stop by the $1 buffet stall located in the middle of the night market!
9. Kuta Night Market, Bali, Indonesia
Kuta Night Market offers a unique shopping and dining experience for patrons after the sun goes down. With backpackers as one of its main customers, you can expect a wide range of local cuisine at affordable prices. Also expect traditional Balinese souvenirs at really affordable prices.
10. Angkor Night Market, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Though Angkor archaeology complex is always associated with Siem Reap, in the middle of the town lies one of the busiest night markets; with smaller sections such as pub street. It is a popular shopping scene in Siem Reap and is packed with boutique stalls selling different Khmer goods. It is definitely a must-have experience to dine, explore and grab a beer here!