Arguably, the best way to discover a place is to explore its public market. It’s a common venue where tourists and travelers casually commune with the local people and find their food and commodities that more often than not, represent a slice of their culture and lifestyle. Whenever I get a chance to bring my feet to a town or city that’s new to my senses, a planned or otherwise visit to a palengke, mercado, marche or pasar always makes a trip worthwhile. And what I did immediately after I checked in to my guesthouse in Chiang Mai wasn’t an exception.
Luck was on my side when I found out that A Little Bird Guesthouse is just a stone’s throw away from the main road in downtown Chiang Mai. After a few steps from the narrow alley where that backpackers’ favorite is located, this park at the middle of the road greeted me.
Tuk tuk as King of the roads. This must be Thailand!
Before I rode a tuk tuk en route to the market that was recommended to me by the one managing the guesthouse, I strolled my way to this Wat or temple.
My first sighting of the image of the Enlightened One in this part of Thailand.
And His people who best know the importance of being stress-free doing what else but Tai chi!
Walk, walk, walk…
It was almost past 6PM and this part of Asia had the sun still shining! Just like in Malaysia, it’s amazing!
Saw a handicraft store that’s very usual in my part of the globe.
Then I came back to the main road and hopped on this tuk tuk. Meet my first ride in Chiang Mai…
Off we goooooo!
For 60 baht or 6 ringgit (USD 2), the friendly old driver took me to the near end of Chiang Mai Night Bazaar in Chiang Khlan Road called Anusarn Market. The ride took around 20 minutes but was not a problem to me for my eyes enjoyed what they saw.
Without a map at hand and no research on the place prior to the trip, I really thought the first market I saw was the Anusarn itself until the tuk tuk driver continued to drive amidst the Thai traffic.
Every corner of each street and alley is picturesque! Shot this while inside the tuk tuk..
At last, Anusarn Market!
Spotted these colored foldable plastic lanterns; I liked it for being so light and handy; notice its packaging? I passed it up for I was so conscious of my limited budget.
Low cost everything is what Anusarn Market boasts of. If you’re a Filipino, you’ll feel its Divisoria-like appeal!
Admittedly, I didn’t come to this market to shop but more so to EAT. I was told at the guesthouse that authentic and cheap Thai dishes are best eaten here so I went. First restaurant I saw was this Seafood something. I chickened out prior to flipping a sample of its menu at its entrance. I was allergic at steep prices at that time.
I gazed at its right side and I was attracted to eat there. More spacious, open air, looked more affordable and delicious.
The view from where I sat…
And here’s my first set of authentic Thai meal from Chiang Mai…
Green Papaya Salad, Pork Satay, Pad Thai. Mango Juice. Nagutom po ako sa layo ng biyahe! Paid THB 300 (30 ringgit or USD 10) for everything. I was so hungry that everything tasted good. It was already dusk when I finished everything.
I roamed around and checked the stalls. I saw these Northern Thailand hats handcrafted by hilltribes. I almost bought a piece but I told myself to hold on to my pocket. I ended up buying one for Gabby from a refugee in the village I visited the next day.
I didn’t shop anything at Anusarn and the night market close to it except a handmade sling bag for 170 baht that I used during my short stay in Chiang Mai. I bought a few souvenirs for Tina and Gabby somewhere else. Nonetheless, my eyes and camera feasted on what they saw…
Can anyone identify these yarn-looking dolls? Are they used for witchcraft? lol
Amidst all commercialism, poverty still exists.
Moving on. Thai massage, anyone?
Must be relaxing from all the walking and shopping…
I headed to the main road and hailed tuk tuk again. Dropped by Tesco convenience store and bought bread and a liter of distilled water before walking back to my guesthouse. Along the way, I saw these adult-themed Thai art works on a wall. What can I say? Ahhhhhhrtistic!
That ended my first day in Chiang Mai. I started my 4D3N in this city by going to Anusarn Market and likewise, I wrapped up everything by spending my last night at another palengke, the Tha Phae Gate Night Market.
This brick-walled gate located at the center of the main road is also a walking-distance to where I stayed in Chiang Mai. In short, access was hassle-free. And because it was few days before welcoming the New Year, the Tha Phae Night Market was beaming with all its glory.
Arts for sale. I want! But never dared to ask the price.
There was a stage and a program that made the mood in Tha Phae Gate even more festive!
Thrilled with EXOTIC food? Crocodile perhaps?
What about Deer or Ostrich? Thank God, they’re labelled honestly.
I almost gave in to these New Zealand mussels and Razor Clams…
Until I craved for another dose of Pad Thai…
After all, I never eat too much of this noodle dish when I’m out of Thailand, therefore INDULGE!
My last meal in the Rose of the North : Pad Thai, Bacon Wrapped Enoki, all washed down with fresh Coconut juice!
If shopping in Chiang Mai could not seduce you, eating Thai food would definitely lure you.
- Padaung / Long Neck Women & Other Hill Tribes in Thailand
- Doi Suthep Buddhist Temple
- Elephant Show, Elephant Ride, Ox-Cart Ride, Bamboo Raft Ride, Orchid Farm
- Chiang Mai Zoo : Pandas, Koalas And More!
- Beyond Boundaries : Penang-Hat Yai-Bangkok-Chiang Mai
- Anusarn Market, Tha Phae Gate Night Market and lots of Thai Food!