Visiting markets in foreign countries can be a real awakening as to how the locals live. Many open air and floating markets are fascinating and exist around the world. Some of the most fascinating can be found in developing countries, but there are certainly no limits. Here are three you might went to check out in your travels to Asia.
The famous Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo is one of the worlds great markets, and you can start the day by watching the tuna auction (f you are lucky enough to score a ticket) and end the morning with a fresh sushi breakfast. The area closes at 9 am when business is concluded, but you can still walk around and see all the fish that was sold for distribution worldwide that day. It is in central Tokyo and right next to a subway station so it is easy to get to. The action starts at 5am, and you can register starting at 4:30 am. Only 120 people are allowed to watch the auction in this, the worlds largest fish market. Wonderful sushi restaurants surround the market area in one of Tokyo’s number one attractions.
Floating market outside Bangkok
There are several floating markets in and around Bangkok, but Damnoen Saduak is by far the most popular and gives you a real sense of local life. You can only see all the activity by getting in a boat yourself and floating down the river along with the locals, but its a great experience.. It is about an hour outside of Bangkok. When you join the tour that takes you to this market, you also pass a small village located on railroad tracks, and locals sell their wares on the tracks and move quickly when the trains arrive several times each day.
Chiang Mai Markets
There are so many markets in Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand, its hard to know where to start! There is the famous Night Market outside the Le Meridian Hotel and for blocks in the immediate area. Then there is the Saturday Night Market which takes place in a different area, but only on Saturday nights. It is easy to get to by tuk tuk or one of the local vans for 20 Thai bhat. The locals frequent the Saturday Night Market, so you will get your fill of local color and many food stalls as well. Then there is the Sunday Market, also filled with locals doing their shopping. Not to be outdone by any of this, is the Flower Market right on the banks of the river. There are more than enough markets to keep you busy in Chiang Mai!