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Why I love shopping in foreign markets

Markets in Myanmar
Markets in Myanmar

Some travelers get to know a place through its monuments, parks or museums. Driving through stunning landscapes, hiking the mountains or basking in the sun on sandy beaches are other ways to experience foreign destinations. Sampling local cuisine is also a means of getting a sense for the spirit of a place.

But for those of us who have a bit of retail in our blood, there’s no better way to experience a place than visiting the local markets. I don’t mean big box shopping centers or Grand Bazaars set up to entrance the tourist trade. I mean the markets where real people meet, greet, buy, sell, haggle and gather to share their lives on a regular basis.

I love the people watching. The monk in his special head gear in Bhutan, the ladies with their Thanaka in Myanmar, the spices heaped high in Turkey. It’s fun to see what is being bought and sold and everything is displayed.  I often wish I could understand what looks like gossipy conversations. Just what are those ladies chatting about so intensely?   No trip is complete for me with out some “hanging- around-in-the -local -market” time.

Without a doubt, visiting the places real people shop for their daily sustenance is a window into the culture in which they live.

Enjoy these images of markets I enjoyed in Myanmar in November 2016.

Markets in Myanmar
Markets in Myanmar

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Markets in Myanmar

Markets in Myanmar

Markets in Myanmar

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Markets in Myanmar

Markets in Myanmar

Markets in Myanmar
Markets in Myanmar

 

Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.

Comments

2 Comments
  1. posted by
    JULIE HAWKSWORTH
    Sep 12, 2016 Reply

    Such an interesting perspective Susan, never thought about it before, but it is so true, you can learn so much about a culture by going to their markets and seeing what they make and sell! Good blog, thanks!

    • posted by
      Susan J. Smith
      Sep 12, 2016 Reply

      Thanks, Julie, Going to the local markets is one of my favorite things to do. This isn’t the same as going to one of the big markets like the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul that is set up to sell to tourists. I like the “real deal.”

      Hope you didn’t look at this with the sideways photo. I’m having a weird situation with this blog where some photos show up sideways but I can’t see this on my editing screen or on my computer. Very strange. I think I fixed the one from Yangon.

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