Monday, January 5, 2015

Walking Markets

The most famous shopping area in Chiang Mai is probably the Night Market. Every night sellers set up stalls along both sides of the street in an area near the river. When we were here before we went a couple of times. Very crowded and somewhat claustrophobic, but interesting. Since we were here 11 years ago, the Sunday Walking Market and Saturday Walking Markets have come up. "Unlike the Night Bazaar which is filled with imitation designer labels, the Walking Markets showcase the art and craftsmanship of the Northern Thai people. Many of the stall vendors make and sell their own products and the quality of craftsmanship is superb. The goods available are made from a wide variety of materials such as silk, paper, fabric, wood, metal, glass, ceramic etc." - quote from Visit Chiang Mai website.

The Saturday Market is quite near us, a quick walk to the west of our hotel. On the way there, we passed a temple that was having some kind of special event. For the second day, we could hear the amplified speaker in the late afternoons. 

Banana tree in garden of a home

Wat Muen San

People gathered to listen to speaker

Musicians waiting to play
We got to the market itself about 5:20 and people were beginning to crowd the street. The number and variety of items for sale was amazing. I took tons of pictures and many are shown below. The Thai baht is about 30 to the dollar.

Baby shoes

Beaded T-shirts

Dioramas of speed cars and motorcycles made from soda cans


Dress (everything petite Thai sized!)

More dresses

Strawberries and passionfruit

Various juices

Food (not sure exactly what)

Crab poking out of fried sandwiches

Dan had some of these noodles on the left

Fried milk -- haven't tried it yet

Soap in shape of fruits

Grilled squid

Hair decor



Noodle booth, fried on the spot

Raw squid

Puffballs -- we tried the crab; they were OK, very puffy

More kids' shoes and coin purses

Something to be cooked on sticks

Scarves and skirts

More sushi

We have seen many of these contraptions hauling things around. A motorcycle with a purpose-built sidecar for transporting a variety of items.

Exactly at 6:00 on both days, an announcement was made on loudspeakers and everyone stood quietly while the national anthem played. I don't know if this has been a tradition for long, or if it is related to the fairly recent military coup.

The street market ended at Chiang Mai Gate, which at night is a huge conglomeration of food stalls. We got some fruit to take home (papaya and watermelon, precut) as well as some mango and sticky rice. We also stopped to have a Roti, something we remembered from our first visit. It starts with a stretchy dough pulled into a large circle. Sliced bananas and egg are added. It is folded over and fried (way too much ghee!) thoroughly. When it is finished, it is drizzled with chocolate syrup and sweetened condensed milk. Incredibly delicious, but to be had only rarely!

Getting ready

Adding banana
 Sunday was a quieter day. Dan took a long walk around the city and later rented a motor scooter for the next two weeks. In the early evening, we went to the Sunday Walking Market in the center of the Old City. It was similar to the Saturday one, only even bigger. I didn't take any pictures, as many of the booths were the same types of things. I'll try to get more variety of handicraft pictures next time. We were pretty tired and ended up back at La Petite, the same restaurant we have eaten at twice before. I guess we are now regulars! The food is good and the owner/manager is a western man who has been living here for 9 years.

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