Exploring the many markets of Chiang Mai

It seems only fitting that I am posting these photos from Chiang Mai just a few days before I return to this incredible city! Looking back over these photos just makes me more excited! I cannot wait to participate in the Songkran festival and feel warm again. Yes, I am back in Shanghai and it feels… familiar and different all at once. Or maybe feeling different is what is familiar. But anyways, I am back in China and excited to travel back to Thailand this weekend.

Until then, here are more photos from my trip to Chiang Mai last year. One day we visited all the markets the city has to offer, including the flower market and the famous Sunday night market. It all started in Chinatown, like always.

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Of course we found a Chinese temple which is always comforting to see. But before that we purchased the infamous Thailand tank tops donned by most foreigners with special phrases like “Same same but different” emblazoned on thin cotton. Although we felt ridiculous dressing like every other foreigner in town, we certainly felt cooler in the simmering heat of the streets.

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Next to the temple we found the flower market, full of wilting blooms and… rats? Yes, I definitely saw a rat scurrying in the back stalls. I guess all creatures can appreciate the beauty of the flowers.

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As we walked, flower stalls turned into fruit and vegetable stalls which led us to an indoor market selling everything from cloth to pirated DVDs. A lady coerced me into buying an absurd amount of dried fruit which was annoying but fine. We would probably eat it all anyways. We also purchased bottles of water which we sipped with brightly colored straws. Everything tastes better through brightly colored straws.

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As the day wore on, we make our way back to the center of town for the start of the Sunday Market Walking Street. We were amazed to see the main streets blocked off to traffic and bustling with vendors and their makeshift tents. There was so much to see and we set out with the mission to purchase all our gifts for family and friends. We were successful but eventually exhausted from the walking and haggling.

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As the sky turned dark, we were almost pleased to hear thunder, signaling an incoming storm. It was time to seek shelter in a bar and drink Chang Beer! Chang Beer is absolutely delicious and a must-drink in Thailand. Trust me. As soon as the rain stopped we headed back into the night, more than ready to return to our guesthouse and leave the bustling streets to the other tourists.

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All of the markets in Chiang Mai are incredible and a great way to explore the city. We discovered some new parts of town and found some fun gifts for our family. Don’t forget the Chang beer, another highlight of the day. Another great day in Thailand!

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