Tag: markets

Thai Markets

I would like to take a quick moment to mention the impressiveness of the Thai markets. You can buy anything you may ever need or want at markets. Just as we shop at grocery stores and shopping malls (which you can also do in Thailand), the majority of business gets done at the local markets. Of course the market in Chinatown selling everything from fresh octopus to gold jewelry is very different from the tourist market selling beautiful scarves and local artwork, but the point is, they are both fascinating, diverse and a wonderful places to visit.

It is very hard when you are traveling for 10+ months and you want to buy lots of things that you see but you ultimately know you can’t the stuff in your backpack. However, even when you have no interest in buying bundles of red hot chilis, or fish on a stick, it is quite entertaining to wander the isles and try and figure out exactly what you are looking at.

Chilis galore

Spices and grains

Seriously, fish on a stick

One of my favorite markets was the night market in Chiang Mai. There were hundreds, if not thousands, of stalls lining the streets at night and catering their wares to tourists. Ted scored a “Billabong” swimsuit for about $6 and I got some “Ray Ban” sunglasses for $3. However, if shopping is not your thing, nearly all markets have a food area where you can get delicious, piping hot food for very very cheap.

Chiang Mai's night markets

Knock-off designer brands for cheap

Stall after stall of clothes, textiles, food, and jewelry

For shopping, eating, exploring and people-watching – it’s hard to beat a local Thai market.

Melting Hot in Unexpected Comfort

Bangkok was HOT. I mean, very hot. I mean, about as uncomfortably hot as we’ve ever been. We would be sweating within minutes of leaving our air-conditioned hotel room. In fact, this was the first time we had needed an air-conditioned hotel room, and it was worth every extra penny. Our room/cool box was a welcome and needed relief and we found ourselves making forays out into the sweltering city but only for short stints at a time.

Melting on Khao San

We spent a great afternoon at Chatuchak Market – a massive market for both tourists and locals alike. They have a gigantic selection of everything from clothing, to housewares, from puppies to souvenirs, and of course delicious Thai food. It’s torture to visit a place like this and know that you don’t have enough extra room in your backpack for all the things you want to buy, especially when they are so cheap!

Chatuchak Market

Seriously, puppies at the market

We also ventured into China Town to check out more street vendors and stores selling anything and everything you could imagine, and when we were sufficiently over-heated we headed to one of Bangkok’s many state-of-the-art malls to cool off and see a movie. Bangkok’s malls are incredibly impressive – they are some of the biggest, most modern and architecturally impressive malls that we’ve ever seen. They are definitely a place to see and be seen as we saw thousands of Thais wandering the 10 or so floors, chatting and texting on their fancy smart phones. We don’t have malls this nice in the US.

Chinatown in Bangkok


What's this?

Meat, cooked and raw

Made in Thailand

But mostly we just enjoyed the creature comforts of a developed city and looked forward to our next opportunity to eat yummy and amazingly inexpensive Thai food. Coming from India and Nepal, where everything from purchasing bus tickets, to driving 20km on a hellish road could take hours – Thailand was a dream. Air-conditioned taxis with leather seats; multi-lane highways where people followed traffic rules; customer service agents at the train station to assist travelers with their bookings; excellent English everywhere. Bangkok was a nice and easy place to spend a few days and we made sure to appreciate it!

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