6 of the Most Exotic Markets in the World
No one can argue the fact that supermarkets and online stores have made our lives a lot easier. Why waste your time going from shop to shop, when you can find everything youâ€™re looking for in one place, and order it with the click of a button, right? But as comfortable as this new way of shopping is, it could never compete with the feeling of walking through some of the most spectacular markets on Earth, actually touching and smelling the things we want to buy. Here are five exotic markets that can never be replaced:
Spider Market of Skuon
Internationally known as â€œSpidervilleâ€, the Cambodian town of Skuon host one of the most unusual markets in the world. At first sight, it looks like any other market in Asia, but it does focus on a product you wonâ€™t find in many other places. Skuon market has become a world famous tourist attraction, due to the fried spider snacks that are so popular here. Among all the fruit and vegetable stands, youâ€™ll see women carrying large trays, full of fried and spiced spiders, some the size of a grown manâ€™s palm. Spiders are eaten in various areas, and you can probably find them on the menus of some cheap hotels, in Cambodia, the fried spiders of Skuon Market are considered delicacies.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
A result of King Rama IVâ€™s concern about his countryâ€™s economic future, and his desire to connect the Taachin and Maklong rivers, through a channel, the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is now one of Thailandâ€™s most popular tourist attractions. Every day, from 8 a.m. to about 11 p.m., the market is full of merchants and purchasers, floating around in their small rowing boats. As the surrounding soil is naturally fertile, commerce focuses mainly on fruits and vegetables like oranges, papayas, onions, cabbage, etc. If you ever get the chance to visit Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, in Ratchaburi, do get in a rowing boat yourself, for the full exotic experience.
The Saint-Ouen Flea Market
Covering an area of over 7 hectares, and sporting around 2,000 stands and shops, the Saint-Ouen Flea Market, in Paris, is the largest antiques market in the world. After the war of 1870, the merchants that had fled Paris built the first flea market in Saint-Ouen. After World War I, its popularity grew immensely, and investors started buying more and more land, around the famous Rue de Rosiers. Nowadays, the Saint-Ouen Flea Market offers common antique goods, like furniture, books, jewelry, as well as rare scientific instruments, archeological findings and military equipment. If youâ€™re going to visit the flea market, do it in the morning, as it can get pretty crowded, in the afternoon.
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul
One of the oldest and largest markets in the world, the Grand Bazaar was built in 1464, at the command of sultan Mohammed II the Conqueror, and features 58 alleys and 4,400 shops, visited by 250,000 to 400,000 people, every day. The Grand Bazaar, famous round the world for its unique atmosphere, looks like a giant labyrinth, where you can easily get lost in, especially with every merchant approaching you to check out their goods. But as long as you always know where the main alley, Kalpakcilarbasi, is, you can stroll through the various sections of the Grand Bazaar, without a care in the world. If youâ€™re going to visit this wonder of Istanbul, always keep in mind the Turks love to negotiate.
Sonora Witchcraft Market
The Sonora Witchcraft Market, in Mexico City, is probably the only place on Earth, where you can find a cure for every known and unknown ailment. Arguably the biggest gathering of shamans, voodoo practitioners and witch doctors, in the world, the Sonora Witchcraft Market features some of the most bizarre panacea youâ€™ve ever seen. Rattlesnake skins, dried lizards, human skulls, live iguanas and frogs â€“ these are just a tiny fraction of the miraculous cures that will change your life for the better. If youâ€™re not too freaked out by sorcery, the Sonora Witchcraft Market is definitely a must-see attraction of Mexico City.
The Maeklong Market, in Bangkok, doesnâ€™t sell any unique products, and itâ€™s not the oldest, or largest market in the world, but it does have a train running through it 8 times a day, and that makes it unique. Because Thailand has no laws requiring markets be moved, if a railroad is built in the area, Maeklong Market remained in place even after trains began passing through it. Vendors simply remove their awnings, and shoppers step off of the track that serves as a walkway, long enough for the train to pass, and then itâ€™s business as usual, as if nothing happened. To locals itâ€™s just routine, but to foreigners itâ€™s one bizarre display.