For my leisure time, I sure did spend a lot of time at the market buying souvenirs for my friends and family members. Since we stayed in Chiang Mai for a while, I spent a lot of time at Chiang Mai’s Sunday and Night markets. Here was where I spent the most money. On the first day there, I was not as experience thus bought the first things I thought I liked. Little did I know there were others things similar if not cuter than the things I bought in a rush and were at a better price without the bargaining!! The items sold at the many booths were somewhat similar and sometimes the same thing, thus is sometimes takes a little cruising first. I noticed this market didn’t have many price signs, and prices were given at a higher price for bargaining. They provided entertainment for the New Year’s count down but after there wasn’t any.
In contrast, the Chiang Rai’s Market had stages with live performances. It was smaller but vendors had a wide variety of things. One thing that was different was there were more price signs here. When I spoke to some of them, most could not speak English as well as those in Chiang Mai. I was thinking maybe having signs was due to the language barriers or since it was smaller to attract people more with the prices. The market here was not as packed and was easy to move around. I also found myself not bargaining here as much as I did in Chiang Mai due to the price signs.
Bangkok’s Weekend Market was HUGE! I didn’t get the chance to visit it all but the small portion that I did cover I thought was a mix of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. I didn’t see any live performances and it had prices but it was a little higher, thus bargaining was plausible here. The items here were more mainstream, and less intricate tribal designs and such.
We hit another market on the outskirts of Bangkok on the last day in Thailand. This was my kind of place, sadly I was on the last of my bahts and too much work to exchange anymore money. In a way, I am glad I was not here long or my bank account would have gone negative! It had the cutest clothes and shoes!! Due the many variety of clothes seen, this market was targeted towards the younger generation rather than tourists. The prices were the least out of all the markets I have seen and thus I think the prices were pretty fixed. It was a rather good shopping experience for me there. I was really content with my buys here.
The whole shopping experience was definitely a great therapy after a brain cell damaging semester. I have to say, the last market in Bangkok was probably my favorite. I thought the prices were either reasonable or really good deals. There was a lot to look at, not too crowded, a good size market, and had lot of cute things. Although I did like the live music and the more cultural souvenirs in the smaller cities also. All in all, I do believe anywhere I travel to, market big or small, shopping will always be one of my favorite things to do.