Chaing Mai Night Markets
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chaing Mai Night Markets Chiang Mai Reviews
Jul 19, 2006
Chaing Mai Night Market is a large street bazaar that is open on the weekend. The first time I was up in Chaing Mai Kristy her kids and I were taken there by our hosts. The varieties of handcrafts, clothes, jewelry, and fabrics were amazing. The entrance is by the river and the old wall. From there Claude and Kiaw our hosts took Kristy and the kids to look at linen print bedspreads and jackfruit sweets. I was accompanied by Molly a middle aged British woman a long time expatriate.
As we wandered down streets and lanes spread with all sorts of intricate and beautiful wares I asked about her life and the decades spent in Thailand. “So why do you stay here?” I asked. “I’m in love with the place the countryside, the culture and most of all the people. Besides, my children are grown up and left home so there’s no reason to go anywhere else.” We stopped to bargain for a fabric lantern set, “I need to get some presents for my family back in England.” she told me. We walked on “ To be honest, I don’t really miss England at all there’s nothing there that I look forward to, its only my kids.” A smashing pair of black rubber sandals cut from tires and held together with staples caught my eye I bought them for 15 baht. “Oh isn’t that just lovely!” She exclaimed pointing at a small teak box embossed with silver with an elephant carved on the sandalwood lid. It sure was as were the bamboo and rattan lamps and silk scarves. “Hey, can you help me pick out a pair of earrings for my sister?” I asked. Chaing Mai silver is well crafted in such a large variety of jewelry that I find it impossible to choose. “If I have a woman with me I let her do all the shopping.” I confessed “I just detest all the choosing and haggling it’s such a chore.”
While asking the price of a traditional cotton shirt “the music” started. This “music” was the king anthem. By this time (about 9pm) the market was packed with hordes of people crawling along at a snails pace. At the first solemn note the vendor dropped the shirt and stood rigid and frozen. I was used to this whole routine so I followed suit, as did everyone else in the market. The anthem finished and we all relaxed but just as we were about to resume our lives another song came on the loudspeakers. Once again we were al rooted to the spot like statues. It was really weird to see hundreds of people, most of them foreign, frozen like a forest of trees. It was as if someone had pressed the pause button everything stopped but the music. This freeze dance went on for over ten minutes. During that time I was thinking how it all reminded me of a scene from “the Apple” a minor 80s musical where a dictator broadcasts a song which everyone automatically dances and sings to. Before we left I got some fried insects for the children to snack on.
Part of the Stumbling through the 3rd world again 2005-... travel blog
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