There’s loads of markets in Chiang Mai, but you can’t beat Muang Mai for the freshness of the fruit and vegetables and bargain prices.
It’s an old sprawling warren of streets with stall after stall, most with a selection, some buy in produce by the truck load and prepare if needed.
You can’t get much fresher than these fish still alive in the tubs and killed to order. With the meat there’s no refrigeration so the flies are kept off with spinning streamers above the freshly prepared meat (if you’re lucky.)
Stack it high and flog it cheap is the motto. Stalls specialise in huge bags of peeled garlic, peeled onions, peeled shallots, dried chilli’s.
This grapefruit stall has just bought a truck load off the local farmer , they spend the day peeling and preparing, 1 tray goes for approx £0.40 or $0.60, cheaper than you can buy a unpeeled one back home. Be warned that little bag isn’t just sugar, it’s more like a bag of chilli powder with a hint of sugar!
A lot of the stock gets bought and resold in the surrounding local markets, so it’s definitely worth the trip.
I found a short Zen story suitable for a post about markets.
Socrates believed that the wise person would instinctively lead a frugal life. He himself would not even wear shoes; yet he constantly fell under the spell of the marketplace and would go there often to look at all the wares on display. When one of his friends asked why, Socrates said, “I love to go there and discover how many things I am perfectly happy without.”