Anytime you read up on things to do in Chiang Mai, you will always read about the famous Chiang Mai Night Market or the Sunday Walking Street. Both markets are fantastic. They are filled with so much of what makes Thailand a great place to travel; delicious, cheap food, smiling faces, cheap clothing and artisan crafts.
Markets are the place to be in Thailand to take in the sights, eats and sounds of the country. If you're craving fresh juice, Thai coffee, or cheap Pad Thai, head to the market. If you're dying to get your hands on some new elephant paintings, a cute summer dress or some comfy Thai pants, head to the market! Interesting in seeing something out of the ordinary, trying bugs for dinner or sitting in food stalls with locals? Head to the market! How about a massage? Crepes? A cheap dinner? Your entire families Christmas presents for less than $100? Ya, you guessed it, go to the market.
Thai markets are just....so great. Really, I wish we had markets like them in China. We would spend way less money and our weekends would probably be a lot more interesting! There is always something to do when you live or are visiting a city with a day or night market. The great thing about them too, is that they're not just filled with tourists. Of course, there are tons of tourists in the more touristy places like Chiang Mai & Bangkok, but markets are also places where locals enjoy a cheap dinner, listen to live music and enjoy a night out, too.
We passed a few market squares while driving through Northern Thailand. As we past, I saw that people were crowding in to the square, steam was rising from all the food stalls, children were running around and people were laughing & talking. We drove through such small towns, that were completely quiet, until you got to the market. At these markets, it's like a city comes alive. People connect, laugh, exchange stories, eat and enjoy their countries foods and people. I love it.
Many areas in a city, revolve around the market, and because of this markets are human magnets. That's awesome for great deals, food and people watching, but it can also be extremely overwhelming. I can easily get overwhelmed by all the people pressing in around me and all the goods being sold. Sometimes, it's all too much to take in, while carrying bags, protecting your wallet and looking for the best food place to go to, not to mention, in the heat of South East Asia. If markets seem overwhelming to you, don't worry, you're not alone.
We took a break from the crowds while at the Sunday Walking Street a few times. We grabbed a beer at one place, a water at another and got some appetizers and drinks at The Corner Resturant, too.
Next time you go to a market though, try to sit back at a food stand or find a comfortable place to sit, grab a beer, and just take in your surroundings. There is so much to see and observe about a culture at a market. Enjoy your surroundings! Don't let the hustle and bustle or the lure to buy things ruin your time there. Take your time, go slow, and relax. Trust me, that pair of shoes will be there tomorrow, or a few stalls down. I find that slowing down, sitting and observing, also has given us tons of chances to get to know and talk to the people around us.
Read "Bee eggs" and "Ant eggs" Ya. You know what that is basically? Maggots. A Thai guy was sitting at our table and I noticed them in his egg dish. I asked what they were, because surely they must be some sort of vegetable or something, but no. Oh, no. They were maggots. I know techniquelly maggots are fly larva, but they looked exactly the same. Also, have I ever mentioned maggots are the. most. disgusting. thing to me in the entire world. Like I can't think of anything grosser that was ever created on planet Earth. Just thinking about maggots makes me cringe.
Homemade samosas. You can even get other types of cuisine in Thai markets!
Indian kebabs and chicken curry. Yum.
These sausages were delish and super spicy!
We bought a few of these paintings for $3 each. There were so many varieties to choose from! I can't wait to frame ours!
Remember what I said about the sights?! I mean, come on, that's a sight. Monks, in their bright orange shawls, drinking some soda and chatting on the cell phone.
As with any place in Asia, where there are huge crowds, there will also be street performers and beggars. We saw several children dressed up in their ethnic group outfit singing, dancing or posing for pictures in exchange for money.
Her sign says, "Need Help!! My father admit at Makuraj Hostpital; Rhmateogenous Retinal attachment operation on Friday 6th dc, I must earn money for take care him. I love my father, "he is worth" for me. Please donate_" She was also selling a CD that she made. Her CD sign says, "Enjoy my music. Khim Thai instrument. I hope you're enjoy & remember me when you listen My CD, I did it with my love. My CD only @ 100 B."
So sweet and sad. Who knows if it's true, but these opportunities are still chances to be Jesus to suffering people, regardless of their actual circumstance.
At Thai markets there is always great quality handy crafts available like these wood bracelets or leather journals. We found tons of high quality leather goods while at the markets!
We loved these journals! Zachary got one and every time I pick it up I ooh and ah over it. It's so soft and smells so good! Love the smell of fresh leather. Zachary enjoyed getting to know the guy who made his journal. He was so kind. He's been making leather journals, himself, for the past 12 years. His products were so beautiful.
Justin and Catherine met up with us at the Sunday Walking Street. We were excited to see them in Thailand. Now, that's 3 countries we've been together in. We met in Korea, live together in China and met up for a night in Thailand. It's fun!
Check out this fruit! I still can't remember what it was called!
How about some Herber black jally?! There we had no idea what this was but I read online later that it is Chinese herb black jelly, hence the Chinese sign in front.
Any good market time always ensures a few animal sightings in it.
Have you been to any great markets? What did you love about them? What wasn't so much your thing at them? Comment below!