by Laura, Co-Director, IHF Chiang Rai
One of the things I like most in Chiang Rai is the Sunday night Market that is, obviously, every Sunday night. Chiang Rai has several daytime markets to buy food, clothing, cleaning products, etc. and every night, next to the bus station, it’s set the Night Bazaar.
The difference between the Sunday market and the Night Bazaar is that the first one is for local people, which adds a special charm. The Night Bazaar is primarily focused on the tourists and, although there are many Thai people, the products are clearly destined to be sold to tourists. There you can find souvenirs of the city, wood carvings and those clothes that are supposed to be Thai but are only worn by hippies and whoever wants to have an exotic touch.
The night bazaar reminds me the “Rastro” in Madrid, which is the best place to spend a Sunday morning in my city. That’s one of the reasons I like this market. It consists basically in two streets, one with food stands and other with stands selling almost everything; both streets have two paths, one to go and other to come back. And it’s a bad idea getting into the path of the opposite direction, it’s impossible to advance.
At the first street you can buy clothes, purses and backpacks, many t-shirts of European football teams, shoes, handmade necklaces and earrings, beauty products and makeup, many (so many) colored lenses and even puppies.
The food street has a myriad of smells and different types of food. From the “Western” style, like fried chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, waffles and ice cream to the typical Thai food, that I really have no idea of how they are called, and yes, there are crickets, worms and other bugs to eat…
The market ends in a large square where people sit to eat, drink and enjoy the show. There is a stage where local groups sing and play music and in the center of the square happens the most amazing thing of the market. People dance to the rhythm of the music played, but they don’t dance on their own way, all dances in circles doing the same movements. That’s incredible! They have several steps, but each one leads to a different tune, and they repeat it again and again, as they circle the square. I love the Sunday Market!