A day at the Great Market

August 4th, 2008. Thailand

Today Nik and I went to Talat Wororot, the “Great Market” (kàat lûang in Thai) and its sister market, Talat Lamyai.  According to Lonely Planet, this is “the oldest and most famous market in Chiang Mai.”  Nik and I have been here once before just a couple days after we arrived in the city.  Last time I was in awe of everything I saw.  Huge bags of spices, tons of cheap clothes, stall after stall of 2nd hand beauty products, haphazard bolts of low quality fabric, bins of smelly dry fish, hundreds of jasmine necklaces, a wall of fishing nets obscuring the wall of fishing hooks, pile after pile of plastic laundry hampers, bags of jelly candy, a table full of machetes.

Talat Wororot

Talat Wororot, the "Great Market"

thai sign

I'm not sure what it says, but I love the graphic.

seamstress at market

On the 4th floor in the far back corner we found 5-10 seamstresses working away on very cool old sewing machines.

This time, I was in full search mode.  I have learned to look past the cheap stuff that I don’t care about in order to find the gems.  I found a lot, and bought a little.  I have to pace myself!!!  And I have to remember that I have to get it all home somehow….and based on the current state of the airlines charging for checked baggage frenzy, I will probably send a big package home.  So now that you’re curious, here are my gems:

Cotton fabric

In a pile of 35baht/meter bolts of fabric, I found these fabulous 4!!! That's $1/meter. So I paid less than $10 for 10m. I love Thailand!!! These are all very thin and fine cottons. I bought 4m of the 1st one and 2m of the rest. I'm thinking bedding, but I might have to go back for more :)

Floral Silk

I found this one in the same 35baht/meter pile. I think it's silk. All I have to do is finish the edges and it will be a great scarf.

City Tray

I couldn't believe this one!! It was in the middle of these gross plastic dishes, and then bam, here's this abstract city scene with a great palette. It is a plastic tray, about 8"x8". They also have a larger version that's 12"x8" or so...I might have to go back! Oh, and this cost me 45baht ($1.30).


Believe it or not, our main goal for going to the market was to pick up fresh produce. As you can tell, we succeeded!! In the photo we have (starting at the top left going CW) mango, bael fruit tea, long green beans, chinese broccoli, tomatoes, longan, garlic, bananas, and custard apples.

Nik’s Blog: Getting Some Produce at Warowot Market

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