Whether day or night, one would never have a problem buying ‘things’ at Chiang Mai. However, the night markets are a must do for any tourists dropping into the area. Whether you want to sample the huge variety of tasty food, look for goods, trinkets and gifts, or dip your feet in a vessel of fish to remove dead skin (I missed doing this – maybe next time) – the evening street markets have it all!
I mentioned yesterday that business really gets moving once sundown comes. The temperature, still fairly hot, becomes a lot more comfortable in the evening, and even in the crowds of people (in the central market areas) you don’t find yourself craving a drink of water every 5 minutes.
Wandering through you do see a lot of double ups of products on sale, but there is a lot of variety still also (as I found out when buying a gift and had to walk the entire market twice looking for the one and only stall that sold it).
Im not sure what stall owners did a decade or so ago, but one thing I noticed around stalls was the volume of smartphones being used to play games and watch tv shows whilst the vendors waited for customers. Some so engrossed in their shows, one could sift through all their merchandise and not even be given a single sales line. I certainly don’t blame them. Long hours – electronic devices help kill them. Perhaps (to me) it just felt like a odd combination for some reason. Actually, I do have an idea what some did 10+ years ago – a number of stalls brought along their 14″ TV’s plugged into power sockets on the power poles and sat watching them.
Bargaining and bartering of course is common place – many tourists aiming for perhaps too low prices, many stall holders obviously trying to take as much home as they can. The New Zealand Dollar converts pretty well in Thailand. Even with economies of scale, I really don’t see how some Thai survive. On some occasions their asking prices for goods just feels too low!
Being Northern, we also looked to do a bit of a tour out of the city. Some of that tomorrow probably!