While in Chiang Mai over the Songkran weekend, we indulged in some wonderful street food in Warorot Market. Just round the corner from our hotel, we were never far from good nosh 🙂 It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner – never a slack moment where food is concerned. You’ll find stall holders lined up chock-a-block along the streets, along the river and in the purpose built market buildings.
And surprisingly, some of the food is pretty healthy! For instance, the picture above is of a noodle seller who serves lashings of good stock (curry and clear broth) in the noodles after which, one garnishes it with the many vegetable toppings on the table. Reminds me of when I visited Hanoi and had these beautiful bowls of pho (Vietnamese style noodles).
I’ve included a map from the hotel detailing where both the hotel and the market is.
I think though, the most exciting time is at night. Some stallholders only come out for the dinner crowd while others move off to a different location. That’s the good thing about portable stores. The shops in the market buildings close at night and the action is mainly on the streets and river banks.
It is here that both locals and tourists mingle. Amongst the T-shirts, Sunglasses and the household stalls rise the smell of food! All that shopping makes one hungry and these hawker chefs know it – you can find appetizers, main courses as well as dessert and drinks. Just hop from one cart to another. It’s also the place where I saw many locals buying food to bring home to the family. Better than any fast food joint and with a wider variety 🙂
Appetizer (or Snack) – Sausages, Chiang Mai style
And here’s what I mean by moving your stall to a different location. If business is slow, just hop onto your bicycle or motorcycle and drive away!
During the day, the market takes on a different persona. Wander round the back alleys and lanes and discover shops that sell the Thai ‘Zebra’ brand of cookware. You’ll be able to see every pot size imaginable, from little sauce pots to huge, shiny ones that could double as bath tubs! You’ll also come across shops specialising in upholstery, jewellery (traditional Chinese goldsmiths shops), bags and more.
And even though the guides talk about the flower market that is alive at night, you get equal activity during the day. I love the beautiful colours and perfumed smells that fill the air as you get closer.
Lest you think a market is a market is a market, each market in the Asia Pacific has a particular ‘persona’. That’s what I think, any way and that’s what keeps me coming back to visit these markets, even though I’ve been there before.
P.S. Just a little afterthought. I realised that I had forgotten to add a bit on transport and how I got round Chiang Mai. Other than hiring a driver, there are really great ways to meander round the market, the old city and the nearby towns by a multitude of vehicles. Bicycle hires are plenty and so are motorcycles. But if you don’t want to expend energy in the hot sun, then hop onto a tuk-tuk, ‘Song Taew’ (normally a red coloured long pick up) or a trishaw!
Great way to see the city and nearby places without breaking the piggy bank or getting lost 🙂