There are many things I really enjoy about countries in Asia over the typical Western societies back home. For one, the culture. It’s rich, authentic, full of very interesting details and have lots of opportunities to live abroad.
Second, I really enjoy the food. It’s cooked fresh and when I mean fresh, typically most of the food was killed within a couple of days of serving it. Not only that, but around most dinner tables I found that you don’t have the same issue of everyone hovering over their tablets or smartphones while eating.
No, they all sit together like a real family and talk, socialize and of course, drink local spirits. I found this to be very appealing. But what I really enjoy most are the night markets.
After booking my flight, boarding my plane and arriving in Bangkok, I explored many of the popular sites like the Royal Grand Palace where the King and his residents lived, the Giant Reclining Buddha of Wat Pho & spent a fair amount of time exploring Chinatown. But once I got my fill of Bangkok, I was ready to be in a less populated and more laid back city. That’s when I made my way North to the wonderful city of Chiang Mai.
I arrived in just enough time to put my things down, get a bite to eat and walk through the Saturday night market. Can I say I was super thrilled as it was going to be the first (of many) night markets to visit while in Thailand!
The Night Market in Chiang Mai
The entire street was packed and when I say packed, I mean packed. At the entrance, I could barely squeeze through the crowd hovering around the awfully good smelling street food that left a desire to eat everything in the air. Grilled chicken, pork, mushrooms, kabobs, squid, fish on a stick, pad thai…it was all there and creating an appetite in my belly like no other.
But once I got through the 50 foot wall of humans, it lightened up and I was actually able to see what was displayed on the tables that lined the curbside of the road. There were many people there, locals & tourists alike, shopping around and enjoying the evening.
Trinkets of all shapes and sizes came in the form of elephants, Buddha’s and turtles. Miniature hand carved wooden pipes, a variety of jewelry and anything else you could imagine were lined up neatly next to the trinkets ready for the next potential buyer to come through and negotiate with the sellers said price.
I personally liked all the little Buddha’s that were in “jade” and for sale at an alarmingly low price but I knew better than to purchase any as they were only fake imitations.
As I walked on passing the odd food stand here and there, I came across quite a few stands selling both western & local style clothing. Even better was loads of very flashy cloth for sale in bulk.
There’s no doubt that if you’re looking for something bright and colorful, you’ll find it here. Even the arrangement of lamps came in many shapes and sizes as well as colors.
My favorites were the metal bird cage looking ones with a small candle and glass orb inside. They hung from the top of the tent and gave a soft glowing light that, mixed with the correct music and incense, would create the perfect atmosphere to relax and sip on a soothing cup of jasmine tea.
After about an hour of walking around, I finally reached the end of the night market and started making my way back to the entrance from the other side of the road.
After about an hour of walking, I finally reached the other end of the night market where I found this stand selling small crepes. There was a variety of options as far as ingredients go so I picked what I would call the double dose of chocolate. What was on it? Like 3 different forms of chocolate as well as an egg…you want to talk about rich & delicious!
Eating the savory chocolate crepe, I turned to the opposite side of the road and began working my way back up to my hostel. I spent a good 2 hours browsing around so, if you ever go to the Saturday market in Chiang Mai, make sure you allot the time to do so. It was very interesting and well worth the time spent there…not to mention the food was just as stellar as that found in the floating market of Taling Chan!
What is your favorite kind of market in Asia? Have you ever seen the Chiang Mai Night Market?