A Guide to Navigating A Thai Open Air Market

We are back in Thailand for a final week before flying out via Bangkok to Oslo on the 18th this month. Its been a pretty awesome almost five months on this side of the world, and while I’m sad to say goodbye to this beautiful country I’m even more excited for new adventures in Norway and Europe.

One of the things I’m going to miss the most about Thailand are the colorful markets I’ve grown very accustomed too. Our first month of being in Thailand we rarely purchased much from them,  because we didn’t know how or what to buy. If you have found yourself in a similar situation have no fear – I wrote an article for www.wanderingeducators.com about this! Click here… or after the excerpt below to read the full article.

A Guide to Navigating A Thai Open Air Market

In Asia, grocery stores are hard to find and always overpriced. For this reason, locals rarely frequent them and instead run to open air markets.

Open air markets are vibrant, fabulous places full of aromatic food, colorful clothing, fruits and vegetables, and anything else you can think of. The goods are cheap, and these markets can be found in every city across Thailand. 

While they are exciting, they can also be a bit intimidating to the first timer. But don’t worry – I’ve got some tips that will make your trip to the market a piece of cake. 

A vegetable vendor in northern Thailand sells an assortment of colorful greens, at an open air market

1.    Ask the place you are staying where the best local market is. Since nearly every hotel, homestay, or hostel is staffed by locals, there will definitely be someone who can point you in the right direction. We asked our airbnb host, and she took us along with her on her usual Saturday shopping trip.

 

Want to read the rest of the article?? https://www.wanderingeducators.com/best/traveling/guide-to-navigating-thai-open-air-market.html

Thanks for reading and happy travels xx  -Iz

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What’s in My Backpack – After 6 months of full time travel

If you are a traveler I’m sure that you relate to the nightmare that is packing. What to take? what to leave? What if I forget something?? Over six months of travel I have gained a little experience on what is absolutly necessary to bring and what I’m able to live without. I hope you find these tips helpful when packing for your own adventure.

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In reality you really only need about half of the gear you think you need. Really, and this is coming from a 16-year-old girl. My backpack weighs a whopping  6-8 kilos, sometimes less depending on the airline carry on restrictions of the month. Right now we are traveling by train so it weighs a solid 8 kilos (17 pounds).

Generally for packing clothing I try to follow the rule of 3’s. Three types of each clothing. Wear one, wash one, dry one. The pros are that my backpack is super light and I never have to do much laundry. The cons are I need to wear things more than once and fashion is not of top priority.

Remember that travelling light is a process of elimination that takes a while. Six months ago I had around 40% more stuff than I do now. I originally had around twice as much clothing. I later discovered that I wear nearly the same thing everyday. And if necessary nearly all of this can be found abroad.

Here is all the stuff I carry:

4 shirts: 1 tank top, 2 short sleeve, 1 long sleeve.

4 pairs of pants: 1 athletic short, 1 pair of jeans, 1 lightweight pants (picked a pair of these up in Thailand for 2 bucks to go into temples. I highly recommend getting a pair on site), 1 pair of warm leggings

3 pairs of socks, some undies, two bras

1 zip up sweat shirt

2 pairs of shoes: one teva sandles, one pair of running shoes

1 swimsuit

1 small towel: can be used as a pillow or blanket

1 enu nest hammock: Awesome for south/central America where hammock hanging hooks are built into many houses. 

1 inflatable sleeping pad

1 extra sheet and pillow case

Notebook and pens

toiletries: chapstick, toothbrush, toothpaste, sunblock, deodorant, small multipurpose soap (works as soap, detergent, shampoo…ect.), comb, razors, emergency tampons (an essential to carry in SE Asia where they are nearly impossible to find).

Other: headphones, passport, earplugs, emergency toilet paper (essential), poncho, nalgene water bottle, sunglasses, fan, assorted plastic bags (for laundry,camera protection in a rainstorm, trash, ect.)

basic first aid kit: ibuprofen, Benadryl, band aids, iodine, deet, wrap, gauze, aloe, super glue

electronics: chromebook laptop, Nikon DSLR (and case), fujifilm waterproof camera (and case), phone (no service so just works as an iPod), assorted chargers and cords, lens cleaner.

My packing list is in no way perfect… there are somethings that I wish I had brought including…

a rain jacket: or any lightweight jacket.

a scarf: to cover the shoulders in more conservative countries.

a sarong: this one has sooo many uses

a skirt/ dress: It would have been nice to have something that is remotely fancier than say jeans or athletic shorts.

Happy travels XX -Iz

 

 

Mexico: Tips to Eating on the Streets

 

I have decided that there is no better way to grab a quick pick-me-up than too be handed steaming, hot, delicious tamales out of the back of an old man’s pickup truck. Although I’m only about 13 days into three months of living in the Yucatan, Mexico but I compiled a list of tips n’ tricks for buying off the street food.

  1. Don’t necessarily rush to the most crowded stands as some of the less popular ones have the most delicious food.
  2. Do ask how much it costs first (¿Cuánto?: Most street food is cheep but if you don’t like the price you can always walk away.
  3. Do tip: Mexican wages are low and for many their street business is their only income, a couple pesos is very much appreciated. With that said, if you are unsatisfied with the food don’t feel obligated to tip.
  4. Do try new things: Many people, like the old man I mentioned in the intro, have made a business out of selling food out of their cars. They shout out in Spanish their product so you probably won’t know what they are saying, I recommend you just buy one of whatever they are selling because it is usually really good.
  5. Make sure you have cash (especially coins and small bills): Asking for change can be confusing and no one takes credit cards.
  6. Do count your change: Under-changing to tourists is a very common scandal
  7. Frequent vendors you like: this way they begin to recognize you, and can engage in some small talk and practice your Spanish speaking skills.
  8. Watch the locals: Locals obviously know best what’s good so watch and listen to what they order and how they order.
  9. If someone offers to sell you something you don’t want (which happens often) just wave them off and don’t make eye contact. It seems rude, but it’s the way they know you are not interested.
  10. Say thank you (Gracias!): Simple and much appreciated

Thanks so much for reading! -Iz