Whenever I travel I really enjoy checking out local markets, especially in third world countries. Although we do have the occasional flea market in the US and there does seem to be a burgeoning revival of farmers markets and the like here, the vast majority of our shopping for food and other items is done at traditional stores in enclosed buildings, often surrounded by SUV’s in a giant parking lot. These places are certainly convenient, but they just don’t hold a candle to an open-air market where you walk around and see things more in the raw. The people who frequent these kinds of markets seem more connected to each other and to the items they purchase. It’s more ‘real’ and much more colorful.
In the video below I am walking through the morning market in Luang Prabang, Laos. Shelley was taking a cooking class with a chef that morning, and he brought us there to buy the ingredients they were going to use. As we walked through we saw several kinds of vegetables, fresh fish, dried seaweed from the Mekong just a few blocks away, all kinds of bugs to eat, a snake, honey combs dripping in honey, spices, clothing, tadpoles, flowers, poultry, rice, and on and on, all being bought by passersby. I think the video gives you a sense of what an outdoor, locals’ market is like, and I hope you enjoy it.