Daily Archives: 2010-01-10

Trillions of Trinkets at the Night Bazaar – Chiang Mai, Thailand

Early in the evening I made my way down the street to the infamous Chiang Mai Night Bazaar. I had heard about this place and since I love markets, it seemed like a obvious excursion. Little did I know that just two blocks away from my newfound home, was the market to end all markets. I was floored to say the least. The amount of stalls, stores, booths, and vendors was staggering. It just kept going and going and going…I was there for a good 3 hours walking at quite a clip and I am sure I still didn’t see it all.

Selling everything from kitschy t-shirts to hand stitched bags to massages of whatever body part is sore to pointy hats to glowing lanterns and crafted umbrellas to intricate jewelry to Italian gelato (I had coconut and amaretto) to creative expressions of bugs/dragons/motorcyles portrayed by rope/used cans/wood/leaves/you name it to eco-friendly stationary to scarves of every color of the rainbow and every texture under the moon to spices to sexy underwear to Muay boxing shorts to humongous murals painted on canvas being worked on by the artists who glance up every now and then with a gentle smile.

Even if I wanted to buy something, I would have been paralyzed by decision. It took my 6 tasters and 10 minutes just to choose an ice cream flavor! At one point, I just sat down overwhelmed by the vastness and perfection of it all. Each seller took great pride in their space arranging their wares neatly and symmetrically. Though many seems to be selling similar things there was always some variation in presentation.

And the prices! I don’t even want to go there. Lets just say that this place would test even the most staunch anti-consumerism advocate. Even I, who has been on a constant quest to live more simply (which in this moment means to lighten my backpack) found myself rationalizing how it was my duty to support the local economy. I had to shake myself when I began eying the suitcases and plotting how much STUFF I could cart home with me.

But I am happy to say that other than tasty treats, I did not buy anything. My strength of will prevailed and I came home empty handed. I relayed my excitement over having experienced such a fantastic market to the owner upon returning to the hotel. He seemed amused when I congratulated myself on showing such endurance at not succumbing to the peddlers.

“Ahhh Just wait, Little One! Tomorrow is Sunday,” the animated grey haired man pointed out knowingly.

“And? What does that mean?” I inquired with a curious frown noting silently that he was the littler one between the two of us.

“The Sunday market is much bigger and even more extravagant than the nightly bazaar. You shall see,” he promised with wink.

“Oh no!” I gasped only half joking. Perhaps I wouldn’t escape unscathed after all. I sighed with playful exasperation as I turned on my heel up to my cozy home for the night. Over stimulated and feet sore, I knew I had better get some rest if there was any way I was going to make it out to the main event.

Grateful for precise organization.

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