It’s so true that local markets carry the pulse of a place, and Chiang Mai, Thailand’s Warorot Market is no exception – this lively market is a fantastic spot to plug into the heart of daily life in Chiang Mai. During the day, the main market complex is a multi-storied warren of vendor stalls that spill out onto the surrounding streets and sois. But the evening fresh market outside the main market building is an experience all its own.
As the intense sunlight begins to lighten up and paint gold, the food comes out. Luscious fruits are heaped in colorful mounds, available for cents a kilo.
Prickly technicolor rambutans, the scaly-looking but super delicious snake fruit, clumps of ripe longan, juicy watermelon sections and, a personal favorite, those sweet little eggplant-colored balls of goodness, mangosteen.
There’s skewers a-plenty, since everything in Asia is inevitably served on a stick, and stir-fry on-the-spot tables you pull a stool up to in the midst of the bustle and chow away. Lots of people come down here for dinner, and to stock up their own pantries at home.
Another common street treat? An array of fried insects to pop in your mouth.
On my last visit to Warorot, me and my fellow bloggers on the TAT hosted trip watched our guide Nok happily munch down grubs, worms and a water beetle the size of my fist.
We all ventured boldly to sample these commonly-eaten treats (that’s Ted Beatie having a go at a grub while Carlo Alcos captures the moment for posterity. Genarro Salamone chewed too fast to catch on camera). Me, I tried a bamboo worm. It was ok….crunchy, with a strange bitter taste creeping in. Let’s just say I’m not going to be seeking them out via international mail order online.
Just after I wrote up my own recount of tasting bugs and other delights at the Warorot Market did I come across this great post by Almost Fearless about this, the travel blogger’s favorite sport — market bug munching. Her photos are simply fab; I could bask in the sweet sensory glow of my market memories quite happily all day long. Sigh…
There’s more of my own (more, ahem…amateurish) photos from the Warorot Market over on the Travel with a Purpose Facebook page – stop by!
And make sure to visit the WanderFood Wednesday HQ for another serving of the virtual smorgasbord.