Asia’s coolest markets
One of the best ways to get to know the country you are visiting is to go to a major market. Asia is famous for its markets. Some will expand your comfort zone and make your jaw drop. Others offer a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. Here are five of my favorite markets in Southeast Asia and India.
- Saturday Walking Street in Chiang Mai, Thailand. On Saturday nights, one of the city’s main streets is closed to traffic and hundreds of vendors set up on sidewalks. You can buy traditional clothes, jewelry, handicrafts and funky T-Shirts. There is food and music. Lots of culture here, even though it’s a tourist market.
- Saturday Night Market in Goa, India. If you are looking for a new Burning Man outfit, this is the place to buy one. Goa’s hippies congregate here. This market is a great place to shop for clothes, listen to live music, peoplewatch and just hang out. Touristy but definitely worth a visit.
- Town Night Market in Krabi, Thailand. This market is a delightful introduction to Thai culture, especially the food. Go here for dinner. Vendors are eager to let you sample their dishes so they can watch your face as you chew on a fried locust. Not a shopping destination, unless you want to buy furniture.
- Hmong Market in Luang Prabang, Laos. This market caters to tourists, but it’s an essential Luang Prabang experience. You can buy hilltribe handicrafts or just look at the colorful traditional garments and jewelry.
- Central Market in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This market, set up in a beautiful building, has entire rows of souvenirs dedicated to the different cultures of Malaysia. Going here is like visiting a museum, which is how it should be at a good Asian market. Outside you’ll find numerous stalls selling delicious local food.