San Patong Buffalo Market

The San Patong Buffalo Market is an open-air market that takes place every Saturday morning just south of San Patong town. San Patong (sometimes spelt San Pa Tong) is about 20km south of Chiang Mai. To reach the large area where this market takes place, you have to drive through the town. You can’t miss the market which is on both sides of the road no.108. People also call this the San Patong Saturday Market as there are more things for sale than only water buffaloes. Most people know this market as the San Patong Buffalo Market though.

Women selling strawberries
San Patong Buffalo Market selling strawberries

Living Heritage

The San Patong Saturday Market is a perfect example of Living Heritage of Chiang Mai. We have tried to find out more about the history of this market to no avail, but we will keep on trying. We recommend everyone who is in Chiang Mai on Saturday to visit this market. Like many markets in Thailand, this market is well underway before sunrise. We understand that you are on holiday, but we highly recommend an early departure, let’s say 0700. You won’t regret it. It will still be relatively cool when you arrive at the market. Allow at least one to one-and-a-half hour to roam around this huge market.

Man watching buffaloes San Patong Buffalo Market
San Patong Buffalo Market

Why is this Market special?

Why is this market special? First of all, this is the biggest open-air market in North Thailand. Secondly, it is by far the most authentic market you will find in North Thailand. There are things for sale you will not find anywhere else. It is a feast for the eye if you like local markets. Apart from cows, oxen and buffaloes, you will encounter exotic things like all kinds of insects, traditional medicine, clothes, young fruit trees, agricultural utensils, and so on. It is very much a rural market as opposed to the Kad Luang Market in Chiang Mai.

Man selling traditional medicine San Patong Buffalo Market
San Patong Buffalo Market. Man selling traditional medicine

San Patong and Lamphun

San Patong has more to offer than only the Saturday Market. We highly recommend continuing touring some other very interesting sights in San Patong District such as the Chiang Mai Doll Making Centre and Museum, the ruins of Wiang Takan and a Sa Paper village. You will be close to Lamphun, a town that predates Chiang Mai and has some wonderful sights such as its handicraft market, Wat Hariphunchai and Wat Kukut. Together with the Saturday market, it will be a perfect tour to places where few tourists go to.

Ruined temple
Wat Gu Mai Dang at Wiang Thakan