While I have not yet hit a Western style mall, I’ve done a bit of shopping in Chiang Mai and it’s been great fun!
|The Warorot market from the second floor|
Day two I discovered the Day Market because my taxi driver from the airport, who spoke minimal English, pointed down the street just before my hotel and said, “Market.” I had no idea what I was getting into but boy am I glad I went exploring. So far, the Day Market (or officially the Warorot Market) is one of my favorite places.
Today, I returned for a second try at a little food stall in the downstairs area that offers a BBQ pork on rice with soup combo for 40 baht – just over a dollar. It was quite busy so a young woman and her daughter sat with me.
|My lunch compnions|
But while I was there I also picked up some orchids for my room ($.50) and a lovely piece of watermelon ($.83), fully ripe and delicious. I had purchased a tote bag ($4) the first day and it’s become a valued addition to my travel accessories. As you can see, stopping by the Day Market isn’t going to bust anyone’s budget.
I’ve strolled into shops and did pick up a lovely handkerchief top for $6, but other than that I’ve kept my wallet in my purse except for the day I got a “tour” of the city for ridiculously cheap - $6 for 5 hours – but the catch was I would be dragged to 5 different factory outlets. Here I spent a little more than I planned on gifts for family and friends. But, oh well, you only get to Asia once (or do you?)!
|Flower stall offerings|
One of the nicest surprises is a tiny grocery store, Kasem, which caters to the Western crowd. I’ve satisfied cravings for peanut butter, cheese and Best Foods mayo there and have visited four times since I got here. The prices are similar to what you’d pay in the States, perhaps a tad cheaper, so I limit myself to just a few items. However, of all the stores I’ve been in, this store has the friendliest cashiers and they understand English fairly well. I got so spoiled in the Philippines by the varying degrees of English spoken that it was a bit of a culture shock for me to try to express something and fail so miserably.
|The lovely ladies of Kasem|
One of the facets of shopping here is haggling – a skill I DO NOT have. Only twice have I had the gumption to succeed at a negotiation. I’m sure the merchants can sense a haggle-wimp when they see one. So hone your skills before you come to Asia.
One of the must-see destinations is the Night Bazaar, of which I’ve included a few pictures here. It is a much more upscale version of the day market. Better but more expensive products abound and probably more to the point, it definitely provides an outlet for the night crowd. There a number of small bars I spotted and I’m sure there are bigger ones I didn’t. I did manage to spy the Le Meridien Hotel, a Starwood luxury property, across from the bazaar.
|Night Bazaar from the street|
|The food court at the Night Bazaar|
I’m just a beginner at this, but learning is a complete and total blast!