Back in Belgium, Sunday markets were holy and we only missed out on a couple during the time we were living there. Living in Thailand, where markets pop up around every corner, this became a part of our daily routine. The Muang Mai markets at the river side in Chiang Mai have been my absolute favourite from the start. The selection of fresh fruit is amazing and shopping in this colourful fruit paradise is the best.
There’s many reasons why we love to get our fresh fruit and veggie produce from the markets. Price is of course one of them. It is unbelievable how cheap this actually is. For one euro you can get the biggest avocado you’ve ever seen, a massive papaya, a juicy watermelon or three kilos of bananas. If you buy more, you can easily bargain them down too. It is Asia after all.
I also like how much more interesting it is than an average supermarket. It’s not just fruit and veg. It’s smoothies (pick and mix whatever you like), it’s fresh sugar cane juice made in the back of a car, it’s the smells and the sounds of the Thai life. It’s talking to the locals, explaining what you want in English, any other language you know or letting your hands and feet do the talking. It’s having a little peak in the local way of living because let’s face it, most tourist do not shop here.
And on top of that, it’s the support you give to the local businesses. Something that we tend to forget while shopping at our mega chain grocery stores.
Last but not least: the markets are so photogenic it is not funny. Doing our daily shopping at the Muang Mai markets, I almost forget what I’m there for. Taking pictures or getting food? I’m not sure!