Between the north and south shores of the Bassac River as it flows by the city of Châu Đốc, there is a floating wholesale market every day. Ethnic Cham people who live on the north bank of the river bring fruits and vegetables from their farms to the market. Ethnic Vietnamese townspeople from Châu Đốc on the south side of the river buy produce for sale in land borne retail markets in the city.
Da Nang has a morning seafood market by the sea a couple of km north of the tourist section of the beach. I decided to ride up and take a look one morning recently. Unfortunately, by the time I got there around 6:30, the market was pretty much over. Most of the vendors were already finished packing up and were eating their breakfasts or leaving. Seems I need to be on my way earlier if I want to catch this place in action.
The colors got me interested from a far. As I got closer, I realized these are cloth flowers. I suppose I should have known better – nothing in nature is quite this bright. The display is lovely nonetheless and the lady selling the flowers became animated and friendly when she noticed me. A friend tells me bouquets like these are popular with Vietnamese preparing for the upcoming TET lunar new year holiday.
This gold shop in a Chiang Mai market catering primarily to local residents is almost certainly owned by a Chinese Thai. Ethnically Chinese Thai families, many of whom have been in Thailand for generations, in some cases for hundreds of years, dominate the small businesses in local markets. While these Chinese Thais are thoroughly assimilated into Thai society, they remain part of the Chinese trading networks that exist throughout Southeast Asia. The Chinese style decoration on the shop’s door and the neon-lit Chinese characters above the woman’s head make it clear that the shop caters to, among others, the many Chinese who visit Chiang Mai every year.
The Chinese women are shopping for cosmetics at the night bazaar in Chiang Mai while their boyfriends look on. In the second image, the vendor in the green tee shirt on the right has punched in a price on his calculator and is ready to begin the haggling festivities. This will take place in English and be rather amusing, as nobody involved speaks much English.