Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Walking and Exploring Local Markets

Roses by the bundle on a rolling stand in Bangkok one morning

Yesterday's post made reference to stepping outside of our comfort zone(s), and one of the easiest ways to begin is to simply take a short walk around and explore the area near your hotel.

A good example is shown in the April 11 post from last year, where I posted about the morning market I walked through in Udonthani on a week-long road trip up that way to visit friends - part of the Isaan Oddysey series that ran in fits and starts from February into May of last year.

An office worker buys flowers on her way to work one morning

I call these places Local's Markets. Sometimes they're just a gathering of carts, but most times they're a grouping of stalls, covered by a roof of one form or another; tarps, galvanized metal or an actual structure, but they're all pretty casual. Somewhat like what we here would call a flea market or swap meet, or a boot sale to you in the UK.  Today's pictures are all floral, but they sell most everything at the markets.

A woman sells flowers from a rolling cart in a morning market

One of the more recent I've visited is the one near the Trinity Complex in Bangkok, within a five minute walk of the Chong Nonsi BTS station. I was staying at the Glow Hotel at the time, and the market began maybe 100 feet from the front door of the place. I've mentioned it before, but I'll post more about it soon.

Detail of the small bunches of carnations and roses filled the cart in the photo above

The point is there are similar places all over the place... you just have to look a bit. It's a great way to get a look at everyday life in a city, town or village. Make a minor mental note of where you walk to, or take a hotel card from the reception desk. That way, even if you do get lost you can grab a taxi, hand them the card, and be back "home" easily.

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