The first time I visited Chiang Mai was about thirteen or fourteen years ago during our first international trip which was obviously to Thailand. At the time I was completely in awe of Chiang Mai’s Night Bazaar – it seemed so big and there were so many different exotic things to buy.
I was so impressed by it that this time when we were heading to Chiang Mai I was actually looking forward to shopping. However, I actually found the Night Bazaar to be pretty disappointing. It seemed like it just had the same tourist junk that I have seen everywhere else in Thailand and in other countries while on the road, so I wasn’t really impressed – I guess I am just totally jaded now.
Now of course Chiang Mai has lots of other markets, Sunday Walking Street, Warorot Market, in fact more markets than I can list, and plenty of stores as well. We wandered through some of those, but again, I just wasn’t impressed all that much.
Now I will admit, there were some dresses that I was intrigued with, but I do usually have three problems shopping for dresses in foreign countries:
- Size – Now I’ll admit it, in the U.S. I wear a size 12 (OMG, did I just admit that in public?????). That means I’m not a small girl, and most of the clothing intended for women in Asia is usually way too small for me, so that means if I’m looking for clothing that is going to fit me it’s probably something meant for a tourist (now of course there are exceptions, but just saying that’s often the case).
- I actually like some of the dresses meant for tourists, but there are often some issues with them. For example, I need to have pockets in any dress that I buy because I have repeatedly found that if I buy something without pockets I just don’t wear it. A lot of these dresses don’t have pockets.
- Another problem is quality. Let’s face it, a lot of these tourist clothing items aren’t very good quality and I feel like they have to be hand washed, etc. which is a real pain when you are on the road. That’s part of the reason I just sent home (well to my sister, I technically don’t have a home right now) all of the dresses I have purchased on my trip so far, I already miss them but I don’t miss the pain of having to hand wash them in a hotel room – it’s way easier to just drop things off at a laundry place.
Now you may be asking, well if you sent all of your purchases home, what are you wearing now since two of your dresses ended up discarded along the way?
Ahhhhh my friends, I may have been disappointed by the markets in Chiang Mai, but in Chiang Mai I found a totally awesome vintage clothing shop that I will talk about in my next post so stay tuned!