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The San Patong Saturday market, a must see tourist destination!

October 11, 2010

At times it is hard for a short time visitor to know what is worth seeing at a new destination. The author of a guidebook may not share your interests, and the taxi driver or tour maker who takes you to ‘this special place’ is hunting commission money from the owner of the establishment, rather than fulfilling your dreams.

Since you apparently read our blog, you may share some of our interests, and we therefore share what we believe are good destinations in our vicinity. The suggested program below is for a one-day visit.

08.00-09.00 San Patong Saturday Market. The San Patong Saturday market is well worth a visit by tourists who do not treasure the tacky souvenirs found at the downtown tourist markets. This market aims at the local farmers only, and you get a fair view of food, clothes, tools, toys, vegetables, livestock and pets of contemporary Chiang Mai farmers. You need to be there early, preferably around 08 in the morning, as everything closes around 11 am.

09.30-10.00 Hang Dong market. If you come another day than Saturday, or if you wish to see more of fruits and vegetables, then continue to the nearby Hang Dong market, which is open every day, but more interesting in the mornings. Here you will see more focus on food ingredients, but no water buffaloes like in the Saturday market.

10.15-11.30 Hang Dong Antique street. After the Hang Dong market, we propose a visit to the nearby street towards Ban Tawai , Thailand’s most famous antique street. This is like walking in a museum where everything is for sale. Fantastic furniture, ancient or contemporary, colonial or Chinese, mixed with lacquerware, pottery, silver, etc etc. Frankly, you may need five years to see everything, but a glimpse is a nice teaser. Many owners speak English, and they can tell you interesting historical facts. Prices for the goods vary greatly between shops, so compare before you buy. However, many items are unique, and then the price is up to you and the dealer.

12.00-15.00 Dokmai Garden. If you wish to eat a Thai lunch with good quality ingredients and devoted cooks, you should go to Dokmai Garden. There is no entrance fee to the restaurant section, but if you wish to see the plant collection (over 1000 registered species), you pay 300 Baht for accessing the information. We have 500 aluminium signs with interesting facts about the plants, and if available I shall walk with you too, since I am obsessed gardener.

You can also book a guided tour with us, using our airconditioned car and well educated English speaking guides.

Welcome to Chiang Mai and the Hang Dong district!

Eric Danell

Khun Densak from Dokmai Garden is trading water buffaloes. According to the French explorer Clovis Thorel, the Southeast Asian farmer of the 1860’s would keep the water buffalo as the most esteemed creature. Elephants were considered vermin which raided the farmers’ arable lands, and were therefore shot by professional hunters. Today, there are many touristic elephant camps, but water buffaloes are not commonly seen anymore. The San Patong Saturday market is one place for admiring this indigenous species, which is not a ‘cow’!

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