Oh the s-word. I cant even mention it without extreme anxiety and cringing visions of jingle bells and mobbed toy stores coming to mind. I purposefully go out of my way to buy everything possible online just to save myself from the soccer mom crazed parking lots and horrific smelling food courts of the mall.

With that being said, throw in some delicious street food, all the bubble tea you can dream of and ridiculously cheap prices and I could maybe deal with the s-word. Scratch that, I could happily go on a full day shopping spree!

My shopping threashhold is just about enough to visit one market in each country I travel to. For me, its not about Visiting markets in a foreign country is always an experience. The smells, unique goods and funky vendors always make for a good cultural encounter. For me, it's not about buying things, but rather a way to experience the local way of life by meeting street vendors and learning about unique foods and crafts. However, there is always a tourist element to each market and eventually they all mix together in a blur of "I heart (insert city)" shirts. 

Bangkok markets have set a new standard for street shopping. Everything from trendy women's boutiques, hand designed and screen printed shirts, chandeliers and stationary shops can be found here. And all for 10-20% of the price you would pay in the United States. 

My first day in Bangkok I woke up Dreary and smothered by the heat and humidity. I was tempted not to venture out of the air conditioning at all, but I read about a weekend market and figured it could fill an afternoon and be a fun way to see some of the city. After a heaping bowl of Thai noodle soup for lunch, I hopped on the sky train which took me directly to the market. I was immediately greeted with a boba stand (flavored tea with tapioca balls at the bottom) and had to indulge.

With boba in hand I was ready to tackle the alleyways of Bangkok's favorite weekend market.  As I admired the local artwork and fingered through boxes of exotic Thai gadgets, I quickly realized I needed a wardrobe adjustment. My bermuda shorts and cotton tee shirt would not cut it. First of all I was producing enough sweat to fill a small kiddie pool and second, all the Thai women looked amazing in their sun dresses and perfectly put together outfits. 

I found the styling women's clothes section of the market (actually about 80% of the market was women's clothes) and got to work. Each boutique I visited sported all hand made clothing being sold by the designer herself. The Thais were happy to see me and extremely relaxed which was a nice change from pushy street vendors in almost every country I have visited prior. 

In the end, I came home with two new dresses and a new tee shirt all for under $20. No complaints here! If it weren't for my tiny backpack, let's just say it wouldn't be hard to develop a bit of a shopping problem. 

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