Bangkok has no shortage of markets. I am a seasoned bargain hunter, a self-proclaimed "deal whisperer", but Bangkok has put my endurance skills to the test! With sweltering heat and miles of merchandise, I am no match for local endurance. But I get a little stronger every day.
Not only are deals loaded into wholesale markets, but individual retailers sprout out of sidewalk crevices at all hours of the day and night. With an exchange rate that highly favors the American dollar, deals here are so cheap one can almost feel guilty. Almost.
I dove right in to the market lifestyle. Overwhelming at first, the labyrinth of stall-lined alleys, makeshift galleries, and swirling smells of city life and street food quickly settle into acceptance. I marveled at just how much one 5x20 space can hold! Two essential survival facts: There is no luxury of personal space in Bangkok- and pedestrians do not have the right of way. Western indignities are not welcome here and polite Thai manners are contagious. (A mutual respect model from which Americans could learn a ALOT!)
Mannequins come to Bangkok to relive their glory days. It's a comical mix of vintage faces, carnival-like expressions and random body parts strewn about. It's flea market kitsch meets House of Horrors.
My favorite market so far is Khao San Road in the Old City. Amongst the trendy goods and jewelry shops, are true artisans offering high quality handmade goods at unbelievable prices. While my daughter opted for artist tees with offbeat pics, I buried myself in a Nepali woolen shop where I was worried I might have to be surgically extracted.
The only downfall to Bangkok markets in the summer months is that the weather is unfathomably hot! Sweat will happen by the buckets and constant hydration is a first aid must! Pineapple slices and fresh fruit drinks are readily available and highly recommended. I have perspired my way through Pratunuam, Khao San, Siam Fashion City and Chinatown so far this week. With the weekend mega markets starting tomorrow, I think I will opt for the indoor air-conditioned luxury of the MBK market today.
LOVE & BARGAINS GALORE!