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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Chiang Mai: Street Food

Street vendors stroll the city, setting up here for a few hours, there for a few hours, on a schedule that corresponds to the maximum traffic for their target customer. A few are permanent fixtures, setting up at the same place at the same time every day.

At schools, ice cream vendors stop near the fences during recess, and money and cones are exchanged between the bars. Snack stands open when school lets out.

Other popular spots are busy street corners, where little restaurants with tables and chairs materialize every evening. On Saturday and Sunday, vendors converge on the walking street. Actually, it's walking streets, plural. Starting in the late afternoon, the main street and parts of several side streets are blocked off to create a huge market. It stretches along Rachadamnern for nearly a mile, branching off into little sub-markets at intersections. These sprout even smaller clusters of vendors.

Some of the food is a little strange looking. And some is really strange, but I'll post about that later. This purlply-red thing is the inside of a dragonfruit. I have a place I like to go for a fruit salad because they include dragonfruit. It's good, and it's nice to get something besides banana, pineapple, and watermelon.

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