A Unique Thailand Walking Street Shopping

by Eric
(Chiang Rai, Thailand)

Thai desserts

Thai desserts

Our close friends from Malaysia came in March 2010 to home stay with the family to celebrate their wedding anniversary. We are located in Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand or 60 minutes by air or 12 hours by road from Bangkok.

Presently, a Thai village home stay in Chiang Rai is an ideal choice of destination because it is far away and safe from the political turmoil of Bangkok.

Prior to their trip, the husband asked what attractions are available that fancy his wife. We know the wife loves to shop, so I mentioned the weekly Saturday ‘Walking-Street’ market.

The function of this night-market or locally named, ‘walking-street’ is to provide an avenue and revenue for the locals to sell their handicrafts and clothing, cooked food, natural herbs, and traditional street Thai massage service for the tired shoppers and tourists. Several kilometers of roads lined with vendors are closed to vehicle traffic from 6 pm to 10 pm. Stalls are set-up on the left, right and center of the road as seen in the picture.

Soon after our dinner, we drove for 20 minutes to the ‘walking-street’ located in the city center. Locating a parking space as close to where the action is, proves to be quite a challenge because we started our journey a bit late due to the delayed dinner. So, the ‘early bird’ gets to park at the most convenient parking space.

Most experience travelers will already know, that Thailand serve-up an enormous variety of delicious street food to feed the hungry locals and the tourists. Naturally, a section of the street is reserved for the food vendors.

The city council provides hundreds of tables and chairs for the shoppers to enjoy their food. But, you will have to thank your ‘lucky stars’ if you are able to grab a table because it is so packed with people. The moment it is vacated, more people will fill-in.

For those who are traditionally inclined, here is an added taste of Northern Lanna Thai tradition, the display of drumming skills and music to entertain the shoppers.

There is a park for wife and daughter to rest their tired feet, to enjoy the atmosphere and exercise our poodle named Pepper.

And for those who loves to show-off their dancing skills, by all means dance to your hearts content with the crisp and clear music to accompany you.

Of course, besides the three hours of walking, filling up our stomachs and the wives too had their hands full of shopping bags, it was indeed a family quality time spent. You will be amazed that the food and merchandise sold at the Walking Street Market are so affordable.

We really enjoyed ourselves and at the same time, we made our friends/guests fulfill their wedding anniversary wish.

More activities at A Thai Village Homestay

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