The Magic & Color of the Markets in Southeast Asia

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In Southeast Asia, the daily market is like a garage sale + grocery store + auction house on too many cups of coffee.  From unusual meat items to untasted fruits, traditional fabrics and used flip flops; if you’re ready to barter and battle the crowds, you can find everything on your shopping list.

A few of my favorite market images:

Angry Bird sausages, Thailand 

The region’s Angry Birds phase goes a bit(e) too far. Pai, Thailand.


Grubs and beetles, Thailand 

“You must think we are crazy,” said the teenage Thai boy spooning grubs into his mouth. “But we like to eat bugs.” Mai Sai, Thailand.


Markets in Kalawy, Myanmar 

The five-day rotating market around Shan State, between Kalaw and Inle Lake, brings vendors from many of the surrounding hill tribes and villages. Kalaw, Myanmar.  Photo courtesy of Hadyn Fitzpatrick.

Thanaka market, Myanmar 

Thanaka– a paste made from trees- is used by Burmese women to enhance the complexion and protect against the sun. I get a beauty demonstration at a thanaka market. Shwebo, Myanmar.


Skinned rats, Cambodia 

“I can not tell you what that is, it will scare the children,” our Cambodian chef whispered. The sight of skinned, bloody rats scared me, too. Battambang, Cambodia.


Fresh pork, Cambodia 

Fresh pork for sale: another pleasant image for the weak-stomached. Battambang, Cambodia.


Rice, Philippines 

The wide world of rice; steamed with chopped garlic, it’s served with every single meal. Siquijor, Philippines.


Moving market stall, Malaysia 

In Malaysia, all you need is a motorbike and you can be a cook, taking your temporary kitchen anywhere. Kuala Besut, Malaysia.


Seafood market, Borneo 

Today’s catch at the seafood market- special price for stingray. Kota Kinabalu, Borneo, Malaysia.

Kelli Mutchler
Kelli Mutchler left a small, Midwest American town to prove that Yanks can, and do, chose alternative lifestyles. On the road for five years now, Kelli has tried news reporting and waitressing, bungy jumping and English teaching. Currently working with Burmese women refugees in Thailand, she hopes to pursue a MA in Global Development. Opportunities and scenes for international travel are encouraged on her blog,
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One Response to The Magic & Color of the Markets in Southeast Asia

  1. soumyojit ganguly June 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    Very good portrayal of SE colorful market, and good to see you covering all point of views.Rat part will be scary to almost most of people in this world.
    Good to see you trying local organic methods for better complexion. You can also try raw turmeric paste or sandalwood paste for the same purpose.
    Keep up the good work.

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