Chiang Mai's Sunday Market
As part of my recent tour of Thailand, I went to Chiang Mai to celebrate the new year and I had a leisure time to stroll a walking street in Chiang Mai during my stay.
You will see lively vendors hawk their glittering wares, as the ‘plink-plink' of street musicians, and aromatic medley of blooming flowers, pounded shrimp paste, and sweet coconut, waft through the warm, evening air. An amble through Chiang Mai's thriving Sunday Market is a sensual assault, unique retail therapy opportunity, and fascinating lesson in Northern Thai culture rolled into one!
Winding down Ratchadamnern Road in the quaint ‘Old City' district, this popular local market is a showcase of quality handicrafts and delicacies from all corners of the Northern provinces. Every Sunday evening, from 2pm-10pm, the stretch becomes a traffic-free zone, allowing vendors, buskers and bargain hunters to converge but, me, I came here to find something to eat and buy some local souvenirs at a good price for my friends.
Colorful stalls line the way, offering a vast array of northern products, and a far more authentic experience than the city's touristy Night Bazaar. The soft greens and blues of celadon ceramic, the colorful embroidery of hand-woven hill tribe fabrics, the intricate, shimmering work of Chiang Mai's talented silversmiths - All are up for grabs, but don't forget to bargain!
Hungry shoppers have plenty of refreshment options along the way. Northern cuisine is the order of the day, with street hawkers serving up heaped plates of som-tam (spicy papaya salad), sticky rice, steaming spicy sausage, crispy pork rind and other tasty local treats. A trip to the market is also a chance to indulge in a bowl of the city's trademark khao soi, a delicious dish of flat egg noodles, served in a hearty soup. Khao Soi is one of my favorite dishes.
When my belly and my bags were full, a row of friendly reflexologists were at hand at the end of the street, to pummel and prod my aching feet after walking for several hours with a traditional Thai foot massage. This day ended perfectly at this Sunday walking street.
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Published on 1/10/07