Jan 29, 2014

That's Bazaar!

The open air entrance to the nightly bazaar.

A stage was erected to increase tourism to this area with shows and live music.

A beautiful dancer, dressed as a peacock. Her counterpart (below) danced on the opposite side of the stage, and they beat their feet together to the music.

One of the few shops we went to that had a front wall and door to get in. I sneakily bought a few gifts here and hid them in our guestroom for Mr. C & Olivia to open the next morning (Christmas day).

The infamous "elephant pants."

You can't stay in Chiang Mai for any length of time and not get a pair of "elephant pants." They come in all colors and designs, and are a major feature of local tourist culture. The Thai culture of Chiang Mai, however, is service -based, to cater to the tourists. I find this power dynamic to be very interesting.

Everything you can buy (aside from food) can be bargained for. It's easy for tourists to get lazy with haggling because everything is so cheap. It was a bit daunting to haggle at first, but all of us were getting the hang of it (and the idea of what prices were reasonable) by the end of our trip.
Colored lights made from thread. They are crafted into balls by wrapping the thread around a small balloon, hardening them, then popping the balloon to keep the shape.

When I haggled for the peacock-print dress in the middle, the seller wouldn't budge. I went to another stall in the same bazaar and got it down to about $6. Anything being sold can be found across multiple stalls - this is great leverage when bargaining.

Once you approach a stall, the seller comes up to you and tries to sweet talk you with "I'll give you a special discount" tactics. I appreciated how none of the sellers I met were in-your-face or aggressive. After all, why would they do that when, if you don't buy anything, there's a long line of foreigners behind you.


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