Exploring the Famous Warorot Market (ตลาดวโรรส) in Chiang Mai

By Mark Wiens 22 Comments
Warorot Market (ตลาดวโรรส)
Warorot Market (ตลาดวโรรส), Chiang Mai, Thailand

Among the numerous markets in Chiang Mai, one of the most well known is Warorot Market (ตลาดวโรรส), located right in the center of town.

The market is a historical landmark, a long standing market, known for its variety of speciality Chiang Mai food and products.

Warorot has an old-school Chinese Thai feel to it (the area is known as Chiang Mai’s little Chinatown). The facility is pretty old looking, and that’s partly what makes it such a classic market to visit.

Chiang Mai, Thailand
Main road leading through the market

I would consider Warorot Market to be sort of like the Chiang Mai version of London’s Borough Market, a place where you’ll find artisan preserved meats and speciality snacks, and where you’ll find many tourists walking around and eating.

Two parts of the market

There are actually two parts that make up the market: Warorot Market (ตลาดวโรรส) and Ton Lamyai Market (ตลาดต้นลำใย).

Facing in the direction of this photo (above), which is somewhat facing northwards, Warorot would be on your left hand side, while Ton Lamyai Market is on your right hand side.

They both pretty much look the same, and even inside, they are quite similar. I’m not sure the history, how they are different, or how they have different names, but it’s sort of like two markets in one, separated only by the road.

Warorot Market (ตลาดวโรรส)
Surrounding Warorot Market (ตลาดวโรรส)

Surrounding the market

You could also spend hours walking around the outside surrounding areas of the market – there alls sorts of make-shift vendors, and lots of street action.

Flowers in Chiang Mai
Flowers vendors outside the market

On the east side, you’ll find vendors selling a pandemonium of flowers, sort of like a miniature version of Bangkok’s pak khlong talad flower market.

Oranges in Chiang Mai
30 THB per kilo

It’s on the outside of the market, along the outer edges and along the sidewalk, where you’ll also find much of the fresh produce like fruits and vegetables.

Depending on what season you visit Chiang Mai in will largely determine what fruits are available.

Things to do in Chiang Mai
Produce vendors

On the outside of the market, you can find all sorts of interesting ingredients that you’d need to cook a full Lanna feast.

There’s a variety of different herbs, mushrooms, and ingredients that are not commonly found in Bangkok, but only in the northern areas of Thailand.

มะปรางอ่อน
A lady selling ma prong awn (มะปรางอ่อน)

Ying and I bought a bag of sour ma prong awn (มะปรางอ่อน bouea macrophylla) from this friendly lady as we were walking around the outside of the market.

Ma prong awn (bouea macrophylla, that’s the English scientific name) are one of the most insanely sour things ever, similar to a sour green mango, but more sour.

When you take a bite, your face will shrivel in sourness. You normally dip it into a salty sauce made from shrimp paste and chilies.

Warorot Market
Inside of Warorot Market (ตลาดวโรรส)

Warorot Market (ตลาดวโรรส)

Warorot Market is perhaps more famous than Ton Lamyai, as in, if you just mention you’re heading to this area in Chiang Mai, you’ll say you’re going to Warorot and everyone will understand (even if you’re going just to somewhere in the area).

Pass through the rows of fruit vendors along the sidewalk, and the market opens up into multilevel old-school mall.

The upper floors are filled with mostly clothes, but the bottom floors are dedicated to food.

Thai sausage
Coils of “sai ua” sausage, view from above!

Thai snack culture

Any Thai person from Bangkok who visits Chiang Mai has an unwritten requirement to bring back sai ua (northern Thai sausage ไส้อั่ว), cab moo and nam prik noom (pork rinds and green chili dip แคปหมู  น้ำพริกหนุ่ม), and moo yor (steamed sausage loaf หมูยอ).

sai ua
Chiang Mai is famous for sai ua (northern Thai sausage ไส้อั่ว)

Failure to bring back any of these snacks, and it’s as if you never went to Chiang Mai.

Warorot is filled with an abundance of speciality Chiang Mai snacks, many of the items already packaged and ready for takeaway.

ดำรงค์
Dam Rong (ดำรงค์), famous for their fried pork

Dam Rong (ดำรงค์) – for Fried Pork

One of the most famous food stalls in Warorot Market is Dam Rong (ดำรงค์), a place that specializes in both sausage and fried pork.

They also have a few other items, but I’m guessing 90% of the people that wait in line, go for just these two meats.

No matter what time of the day you go, there’s nearly always a handful of people waiting in line.

After seeing the crowd outside Dam Rong (ดำรงค์), I decided we may as well get in on the action and see for ourselves what was so good about this fried pork stall at Warorot Market.

Sai ua
Sai ua (northern Thai sausage ไส้อั่ว)

I decided I needed to try both of their specialties.

Their sai ua (northern Thai sausage ไส้อั่ว) was steamed and piping hot, but it was on the plainer style, with much less lemongrass and chilies than in other versions that I really like.

It tasted more like a Chinese sausage, really fatty and porky with not a lot of seasoning. It was still good, but not my preference for sai ua.

Warorot Market
Fried pork at Warorot Market (ตลาดวโรรส), Chiang Mai, Thailand

Fried pork (หมูทอด moo tod) is common and available at nearly every other street food stall around Thailand, and it all usually tastes pretty similar (there are a few different styles though).

So when my wife Ying mentioned that the fried pork was really famous at Dam Rong (ดำรงค์), I didn’t get as excited as if it would have been something more complex like khao soi or something like that.

best food in Chiang Mai
Pretty tasty fried pork

Rather than being bite sizes pieces, their fried pork was cooked in a full fillet of meat, battered, which is not common in Thailand with pork, and then deep fried.

Though simple and plain, and not even crispy, it was somehow incredibly delicious.

The meat itself was tender, and the egg batter was just the right saltiness and seasoned with a good hint of black pepper.

If you love pork, it’s not a bad idea to grab a few pieces to eat while you walk around.

Ton Lamyai Market (ตลาดต้นลำใย)
Ton Lamyai Market (ตลาดต้นลำใย)

Ton Lamyai Market (ตลาดต้นลำใย)

After snacking on the sai ua and fried pork we decided make the trip to other side of the street to go check out Ton Lamyai market.

what to do in Chiang Mai
Street side at the markets in Chiang Mai

This side of the market is virtually the same as Warorot, with mountains of Chiang Mai snacks, including everything and more that you could ever want.

At Ton Lamyai there’s also tools, cooking supplies, clothes, and huge random assortment of everything else.

Chiang Mai food
More delicious grilled meat in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Evening at Warorot Market

The main indoor section of the market is open only during the day, and closed at night. But in the evening, there are a number of food vendors that set up along the road, just outside the market.

You’ll find mostly takeaway food, like Thai sausages, pre-made curries and stir fries, and other things like snacks and fruit shakes. Unfortunately there’s not much seating, so it’s not the best place for dinner, but it is a good place for some random stroll snacking.

Warorot Market
In the evening at Warorot Market

Conclusion

Warorot (ตลาดวโรรส) is probably the most well known market in Chiang Mai. You’ll find a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as a huge supply of Chiang Mai specialty snacks and traditional dishes.

When you’re in Chiang Mai, especially if you love local markets, Warorot is a must visit. Also, if you love fried pork, I have to admit, the fried pork is extremely tasty at Dam Rong (ดำรงค์). However, I prefer the sai ua (northern Thai sausage selection) over at Ton Payom market.

For more restaurant recommendations in Chiang Mai, check this out.

Warorot Market, Chiang Mai Thailand

Open hours: 9 am – 6 pm, but there are evening food vendors on the outside from 6 pm – 10 pm or so

How to get there: Warorot is one of major local transportation hubs in Chiang Mai, similar to Victory Monument in Bangkok, so getting there by local public transportation is always easy by rot songthaew (back of truck public transportation). Alternatively, if you’re staying in central Chiang Mai, around the Night Bazaar area, you’ll have no problem walking to the market. For more details, check out my Chiang Mai map.

Have you been to Warorot Market?



22 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Carolin

    5 months ago

    I absolutely looove Warorot Market, so much variety of food to find here! And so true about the snacks 😉 I actually really miss the food in Northern Thailand, hope to return next year sometime and re-explore!

  • Eli Zubiria

    1 year ago

    This is my favorite market in Chiang Mai. I still get lost and enjoy even if is already one year since I moved to Chiang Mai. Besides the food I love the proximity to PIng RIver. Awesome walk especially at sunset 🙂

  • K

    2 years ago

    Love Wararot market and the near by fabric stores are sooo cheap .
    Will try to find that special pork next trip
    Interesting and comfortable walk from my hotel near the railway station
    Next to Sampeng lane Bangkok my favourite. area

  • Aster Or

    2 years ago

    I will never miss to this fried pork whenever I visit chiang mai

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Aster, awesome to hear that, this is some amazing fried pork!

  • Jiaying

    2 years ago

    Went to the markets yesterday, and waited on a short line to get everything from the sausage/fried pork stall. Also got fried pork chunks as well as the red and green chilies. Everything was delicious! That green chili was spicy but still flavorful, and the fried pork chunks was our favorite! The sausage had decent flavor and some red pepper flakes inside so it’s a little spicy as well. Overall, thanks so much for the recommendation!

  • Sarah

    3 years ago

    Wonderful post
    love it

    https://finnsmarkets.wordpress.com/

  • Ken

    3 years ago

    Hi Mark, thanks for the suggestion. I tried the sausage and fried pork today and it was delicious with the sticky rice.

  • Karen

    4 years ago

    I had everything from the pork store and can say it was all delicious. I am now salivating thinking of it.

  • Ian

    4 years ago

    I went here a couple of times when I lived in Chiang Mai … once for bedding and the second time to take pics … looks like I’ll have return a third time to eat 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Hey Ian, good to hear that, everything is available at this market!

  • Alex

    4 years ago

    Ahh, the night market has some of the best mu ping in Chiang Mai~

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Hey Alex, thanks, I will have to try that next time!

  • Maria Falvey

    4 years ago

    oh the hustle, bustle, smells and fab finds of the market. I’ve not been to this market but have been to others in SE Asia that sported a similar feel. Love it! Mark you did a great job at capturing the energy.

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Thank you very much Maria. Visiting markets is such a great place to learn about and explore a destination.

  • Bruno

    4 years ago

    I would mind either that Pork and I bet is sooo tasty as everything in Thailand. Can’t wait to go there. Congratulations on your blog. I am a big fan.Regards,

    Bruno

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Hey Bruno, thank you very much, hope you can visit Thailand soon.

  • Anwesha

    4 years ago

    I wouldn’t mind walking walking around the market with a giant piece of fried pork in my hand… 🙂
    In your photo titled ‘Produce Vendors’, what were those leaf-wrapped cubes next to the limes?

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Hey Anwesha, that thing in the banana leaf could be a number of things, but I think it’s a preserved meat sausage like “naem” but I’m not fully sure.