6 rummage-worthy markets in Asia
Hitting up a local market whenever you travel is a great way to connect with the local people and culture, not to mention a great place to snap up some bargain buys and unique pieces. Asia is renowned for it’s amazing markets selling everything from cheap silver jewellery and locally crafted homewares to knockoff designer fashion and delicious street food. Be sure to put these top market picks on your list:
Bangkok’s famous weekend market is a vast and sprawling affair with over 8,000 stalls selling everything from vintage clothing to unusual pets. As one of the world’s largest open-air markets, you can literally shop ’til you drop here and experience the essence of Bangkok while you peruse the aisles of wares. As with most market-type stalls in Thailand be prepared to barter, and wear comfortable shoes and light clothing so you’ll be comfortable covering the vast expanse of market stalls.
Temple Street Night Market
Hong Kong’s lively night market is bursting with street hawkers and food stalls as well as fortune tellers and busking Chinese opera singers. This is a market and nights entertainment all rolled into one. Wander along Temple Street under the string patterns and neon signs and shop for fake designer watches and handbags or herbal remedies and homewares amongst other items, or just soak up the vibrant atmosphere. Temple Street Market is open every night from around 6pm-11pm.
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Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
A daytrip out of Bangkok takes you to Thailand’s most popular and best known floating market. The 100-year old Damnoen Saduak is a thriving market with a buzzing atmosphere, and offers a glimpse into the traditional way of buying and selling in Thailand. Colourful long boats clatter along the canals with Thai ladies in bamboo hats hawking fruit, veg and trinkets. Boat trips are available for sightseeing and browsing, and the whole setting is highly photogenic!
Ubud Art Market
It doesn’t get much more rummage-worthy than Bali’s long-running art market in Ubud. Situated across the road from the Royal Palace, and spread through the centre of the town, the Art Market is heaving with high quality stalls selling some of the area’s renowned artworks, as well as locally crafted treasures of hand-woven baskets and bags, silk scarves, homewares and more. The Art Market is open for business every day from 8am-6pm - head there early to escape the crowds and the heat.
Bac Ha Market
Making the list for it’s gorgeous location as much as it’s rummagability, Vietnam’s Bac Ha Market is located in the drop-dead gorgeous setting of the northern hills and valleys area, close to Sapa. A popular base for trekking the lush surrounding countryside, the weekly Sunday markets here are a drawcard for the town, transforming the sleepy, dusty streets into a colourful event brimming with locals and tourists. The local hill-tribe people flock here to sell their incredible handicrafts including jewellery, bags and other unique items. The people watching is amazing, with the ornately dressed Flower H’mong and other hill-tribes in traditional clothing. Stay here overnight and enjoy the markets early before the day-trippers from Sapa arrive in droves.
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