Shopping Malls in Chiang Mai the city’s top one-stop plazas to work, rest or play!

Okay, so Chiang Mai’s shopping centres ain’t quite in the same league as the umpteen megamalls of Bangkok, but there’s still a fair few ultra modern monuments to consumerism in Thailand’s Northern Rose. And they ain’t just places to go for a spot of retail therapy either. After you’re all shopped out, you’ll be needin’ to refuel and nowhere’s more handy to chow down than at an eatery under the same roof. Maybe you gotta grind online and wantin’ a proper work space to get busy. Or perhaps you fancy letting your hair down and searchin’ for some indoor entertainment even if that’s just people watching! Whatever your thing, join us as we walkthrough the best shopping malls in Chiang Mai.


YH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7Opened in November 2013, Central Festival Chiang Mai sports a seriously snazzy ‘Futuristic Lanna’ look and well designed so getting around the humungous landmark mall’s a complete breeze. More than anywhere else in Chiang Mai, Fest’s your go-to mall for international brands from H&M, Muji, Uniqlo and Zara to stars of the British high street like Marks and Spencer, Superdry and Cath Kidston. Not that you’ll struggle to snap up native goodies though with the Central Department Store’s five floors of top-notch wares including labels unique to Chiang Mai like the famous Elephant Parade statues.

When you’re feeling peckish, grab a table at any of the mall’s cosmopolitan bunch of lifestyle restos. Check out Mix for some of the best fusion cuisine in the country or Hajime where a crew of interactive samurai robots serve up classic Japanese eats! If it’s cheap and cheerful Thai nosh galore you’re after, pitch up at whichever of the basement food court or, even better, the epic sized Food Park upstairs. To stock up on premium groceries and imported foodstuffs, hot foot it to what many reckon is Chiang Mai’s number one supermarket, Central Food Hall.

If you haven’t broken a sweat shopping, you can work out to your heart’s content at the recently opened and positively cutting-edge Virgin Active Fitness Club. And whether you wanna pull off that figure eight or just cryin’ out for some place to beat the heat, drop by Chiang Mai’s one and only ice-skating rink, Sub-Zero. For something infinitely less energetic, how about catching a flick at the ten-screen Major Cineplex digital cinema which just so happens to feature the only 4DX and IMAX theatres in Chiang Mai.

Heck, you don’t even need your own set of wheels to hit up CentralFestival seeing as you just gotta hop one of their shuttle buses which run five times a day from the mall to stops throughout Nimman, the Old City, Chiang Mai Airport, Chiang Mai Business Park and the Night Bazaar; sweetest of all, it won’t set you back a single baht!

Opening days & times:

11AM to 9:30PM Monday to Friday and 10AM to 10PM Saturday, Sunday and National Holidays


Northeast of the Old City at the junction of Chiang Mai-Doi Saket Road and the Super Highway

Condominiums within 500m of the mall:


Odds on you didn’t know that Central Airport Plaza actually started life as Chiang Mai’s very first mall! Back in the late eighties, it was called Tantraphan Airport Plaza before being re-badged as CentralPlaza Chiang Mai Airport in March ‘96. The mall takes up much the same amount of ground as CentralFestival, but you’ve got loads more outlets on tap. It’s another great bet for international names or if you’re on the hunt for more homegrown lines, there’s three floors of Chiang Mai’s one and only Robinson Department Store as well as fab quality Northern Thai handicrafts up for grabs at the Northern Village.

And you won’t go hungry too. Sure, you can tuck in at any of the mall’s oodles of chain restaurants or the no frills Lanna Food Pavilion. But the real highlight if you’re a foodie is Kad Luang Airport where you can polish off an absolutely mind-boggling pick of Northern Thai dishes in a super traditional market style setting. Not to mention the marine aquarium right out front! To refill your cupboards, head on over to the Tops Market supermarket to snag higher-end groceries.

Before you push off from the mall, why not settle down to see the latest blockbuster at the seven-screen Major Cineplex digital cinema, or turn up for a show or expo at the Chiangmai Hall convention and exhibition centre.

Again, you don’t even have to make your own way to Central Airport Plaza; just clamber aboard one of their free songthaew which every day of the week shuttle folks back and forth from the mall to different points in the Old City, Chiang Mai Airport, Chiang Mai Business Park and the Night Bazaar.

Opening days & times:

11AM to 9PM Monday to Friday and 10AM to 9PM Saturday, Sunday and National Holidays


South of the Old City at the junction of Mahidol and Hang Dong Roads

Condominiums within 500m of the mall:



KADSUAN KAEW SHOPPING MALL IS now closed permanently “Even when it opened in ’92, the low-tech red bricked hulk of Kad Suan Kaew wasn’t exactly the best lookin’ building in the world and as for finding your way around parts of the mall, well, bring a compass or you’re gonna get lost! Still, what it lacks in youth and beauty, the ol’ school shopping park, office and hotel complex wins on personality and by a mile your best option of the lot if you’re scoutin’ for everyday stuff or a bargain. While headin’ up the cast of not so many brand name shops are the four floors of Chiang Mai’s maiden Central Department Store.

Now the mall’s not gonna scoop any prizes in the gastronomy department but when the need to feed strikes, you can always plonk yourself down at the usual suspects of local and international restos or any of the several food courts. Show up out front on Thursday to Saturday evenings and your taste buds are in for a treat by digging into domestic and western grub at Kad Sum Murd or the ‘Midnight Market’. And if your kitchen shelves are lookin’ a little bare, beeline to the Tops Market supermarket to score a better class of groceries.

You’ll rarely bump into a soul there but if you need to recharge your batteries, there’s a whopping half-grass, half-flagstone courtyard with pools guarded by mythical serpents! For no end of fun and games, you can belt out your fave tunes in the privacy of one of the themed karaoke booths at Bully Sing A Long or roll over to Bully Bowl, Chiang Mai’s sole ten-pin bowling alley. Granted the décor’s a bit tired and hardly any films are put on in English these days, but the mall’s seven-screen Vista Cinema is the last of its kind in Chiang Mai and if you’re on a shoestring budget, the cheapest seats in town! Cultured types shouldn’t pass up the live concerts and plays at the city’s first ever and still going strong Kad Theatre.

Opening days & times:



On Huay Kaew Road near the northwest corner of the Old City

Condominiums within 500m of the mall:


Opening its doors in January 2014, Maya Lifestyle Shopping Centre may be the most modest in scale of the major malls but easily the flashiest and, as it’s sat straight across from Nimmanhaemin Road, the biggest crowd puller. Not that it’s the centre of Chiang Mai’s shopping universe, but be ready to splash your cash on big name upmarket brands from all corners of the globe.

Once you’ve built up an appetite, kick off at the basement food court which now includes Wrap Master for belly-busting Mexican burritos. And if you’ve a sweet tooth, don’t miss the Dhara Dhevi Patisserie one flight up for killer French macaron and other desserty deliciousness. Not forgetting the Food Bazaar taking up the whole of the fourth floor where you’ll run into a bevy of intercontinental eateries. Make it to the steps of the mall on Wednesday to Friday evenings and you can put away mouth-watering munchies at the ‘Night Out Market’. For a stash of prime quality groceries and gourmet fare, push the boat out at Chiang Mai’s very own Rimping Supermarket or at least try out their sit-down cheese bar. Oh, and when nature comes a callin’, make sure you answer using Maya’s space-age loos!

It ain’t a true co-working hub but the never-closed Creative And Meeting Place (CAMP) library café’s a mightily popular work/reading space and worry not if you need extra speedy internet because the coffee shop’s rigged with AIS ‘Super WiFi’.

To give your brain a break from exercising, hit the gym at the five-star MAXX Professional Fitness studio before unwinding with a motion picture at the luxe ten-screen SFX Cinema. Then end your day on the mall rooftop (’Nimman Hill’) clutching an adult beverage from any of the half-dozen buzzy sky bars like Myst and drinking in the sensational views of the Doi Suthep-Pui mountains at sundown.

Opening days & times:

11AM to 10PM Monday to Friday and 10AM to 10PM Saturday, Sunday and National Holidays


Northwest of the Old City at the junction of Huay Kaew Road and the Super Highway

Condominiums within 500m of the mall:


Definitely not your run-of-the-mill shopping centre, Promenada opened in October 2013 as the Land of Smiles’ first ever resort mall – think a funky-lookin’ twin-building plaza with landscaped greenery and you won’t be far off the mark! And because it’s further out, blissfully free of crowds so hanging out at Prom’s a way more chilled experience than at any of the other malls.

Chances are you’re gonna have to pop to the mall every so often anyways to put in for a Visa Extension, 90 Day Notification, Re-entry Permit or Residence Certificate at Chiang Mai Immigration.

Just don’t come expectin’ the mall to be ground zero for a retail fix with more and more shops shutting up. But if you’re running on empties, better than the trio of none-too-special food courts is to order in at any of the standout restaurants like the award-winning Mix for fusion dining, Ragu for rustic Italian, The Duke’s for all-American or Wine Connection Deli for casual European. After hours every Thursday to Saturday, get yourself to the open-air ‘Great Night Out’ bash where you can catch live bands and feast ‘til you burst on lip-smackingly tasty Asian fodder. Another of the mall’s claims to fame is having the biggest branch of Rimping Supermarket in Chiang Mai where you can splurge on top-quality groceries and epicurean delights or knock yourself out at their bistro and oyster bar. Plus, believe it or not, you can even learn to cook like a pro at Promenada’s Institute of Culinary Art!

Likely you’ll have the place all to yourself but if you gotta slave over a hot laptop, you could do worse than lugging your kit to the mall’s government-run co-working space or ‘One Stop Service Software and Digital Content Centre’.

Not quite as swanky as that in Maya but a good deal more sleepy is the eight-screen SF Cinema City should you feel like watching a box office smash before heading home.

Opening days & times:

CLOSED permanently


Southeast of the Old City on the Chiang Mai-San Kamphaeng Road

Condominiums within 500m of the mall:

So what’s your most beloved mall in Chiang Mai and why? Don’t wait another moment, have your say in the comments section below!

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2 thoughts on “Shopping Malls in Chiang Mai the city’s top one-stop plazas to work, rest or play!”

  • Peter McIntosh

    This is excellent, up to date information and also extremely well written.

    • Perfect Homes (Chiang Mai Properties)

      Thank you for you positive comments.


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