Asians Love a Good Old Market

28th January 2014

So I have probably been to a zillion and one markets now, all shapes and sizes; i’ve seen everything, from guns to stuffed bats. England needs to get the old markets back. English markets todays are places where you go to buy fake Calvin Klein boxers or fruit from men shouting with croaky voices, here though, markets are the go-to places. I say get rid on pound land and have a big fat market on the weekends.

In Chiang Mai I visited quite a few markets by the river and got addicted, they all have their own unique smells; some smell like Durian (man durian smells bloody awful) and others of flowers. I had a market right by where I was staying in Chiang Mai that would have blood running all over the floor, massive bags of smelly and smelly fruit.

A smaller market in Chiang Main that smelled so bad

Chiang Mai Night Bazar

I know I have written about it before, but Chiang Mai had a great night bazar, they had all sorts. I read somewhere that it’s one of the best in the world and it was great. I turned up too early so I found a bar and had a few beers, spoke to some locals and got me some WiFi. I didn’t take many photos of the Chiang Mai night bazar and I kind of regretted it because it looked great. I spent ages trying to buy a decent fake Rolex but nowhere had good enough fakes so I decided on a few pairs of real fake Ray-Ban glasses.

Of all places in Chiang Mai to visit, the night bazar and the nearby temple Doi Suthep (very touristy but great) were my favourite attractions. Yet another place and market to visit again.

Bangkok Markets

Upon my return to Bangkok, I decided to visit their own night bazar and I was told there was a really good one by the river. I had visited the Silom night bazar on my first night with a few people from the hostel and it was some dirty sleezy place with girls trying to get you to go in some seedy looking bar. No thankyou.

Asiatique Night Bazar

I ended up at the Asiatique night bazar by the river that you could only get to by some free boat, it was weird that there was a free boat there but I decided to go regardless. Upon arrival it was clear why; it’s some commercial outdoor shopping center for white people. I was going to eat food there but the cheapest place was at least ฿600 a meal which is well expensive for Thailand. I had a look around the shops selling all the same stuff and made a swift exit. If you want a proper market, then don’t go to the Asiatique night bazar.

I was disappointed and didn’t even take any pictures so I left and ate some noodle soup on the street corner near my hostel.

Chatuchak Weekend Market

Every weekend Bangkok has the greatest market ever; the Chatuchak Weekend Market. This place was really good and for all the Banbury people; to put this place into perspective, think of Welsbourne market (with stalls selling something more interesting than fake Armani jeans and lighters) and times that by 20 & you have Chatuchak market. It wouldn’t surprise me if people got lost in this place and in fact I know people who probably would.

I’ve bought all sorts from market stalls here; from the average with carved buddhist figures and sunglasses and some weird things. Theres a lot of things I wish I could take home but I just don’t have the space. I tried to find some snake wine but I couldn’t find any, I did however bag this little find. The picture is terrible, but you get the idea.

Bug Box

Nature is cool and these case things are a good way to demonstrate that. There was other cases with weird creatures like the praying mantis or millipedes but I just wanted a small one and they were very expensive. My case cost the equivalent of about £3.50 and I am no preserved-bug trader but thats not bad. I was concerned with the sustainability of these as many of the bugs might be screwed over but there are not many stalls selling these things so it may be a niche item.

Maeklong Railway Market

All this talk about markets is short lived as there is one that I have not been to yet and that is the railway market. I remember seeing this on Youtube years ago and it is just crazy with a cool story. It’s like HS2 but not, the people didn’t want to move their market so they just built the railway straight through the middle.

I just nabbed that video straight from Youtube but I think I will try and go to this place, it is easy to get to and it would be a shame to miss out – Maybe. Also I have missed another type of market and that is the floating markets. I am not going to any floating markets, all the water here smells of sewage so for that reason alone I am going to avoid any of them.

Edit I visited the Maeklong Railway Market. Go and read about it here.

Market Awnings at the Maeklong Railway Market