Visit to: Chiang Mai’s Warorot, Lamyai and Hmong Markets, Thailand
Words & photos by Emily Lush
Chiang Mai’s biggest undercover market, Warorot (Kad Luang) and the adjacent Lamyai and Hmong Markets house a wealth of antique textiles from hill tribes in Northern Thailand, including vintage fabric remnants, rolls of Hmong batik, hand-stitched quilts, wallhangings, bags and baby carriers.
The main entrance to the three-storey market complex is located in the heart of Chiang Mai’s Chinatown at the corner of Chang Moi and Wichayanon Roads. Contemporary fashion boutiques sell an assortment of clothes made from embroidered and appliqued fabrics. Other stalls upcycle old textiles into contemporary accessories, including bright carry bags.
The outdoor Hmong Market is accessed down a small laneway at the southwest corner of Warorot. Less permanent than Warorot and Lamyai, the Hmong Market mostly consists of tarpaulin-covered stalls and bins loaded with cloth. Antique notions, fabric swatches and Akha hats sit alongside mountains of batik and heavy Hmong skirts, quilts and panels of antique fabric of all shapes and sizes (once used as costume), and rolls of both raw and indigo-coloured hemp.
Apart from textiles, you can also find fresh flowers, foodstuffs, herbal medicines and imported fabrics being traded inside the market and from the surrounding street stalls.
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