p>There’s nothing quite like the thrill of the shopping on your travels. In far flung places it is usually the bargains that you snap up that are the best souvenir of your trip. Shopping whilst abroad is also a really good way to connect with local people. Try some of the following places and enjoy the experience!
This is a market that is in Guatemala that should be explored as it is a unique place to shop. Set in the charming provincial town of Chichicastenango, the market is a three hour drive north west from Guatemala city. It is a riot of colour as most of the sellers wear traditional dress – many different groups from Guatemala congregate for the market and it is possible to pick out the different indigenous costumes that reflect that.
This is a market that sells an enormous range of goods. There is traditional pottery, fruit, vegetables, plenty of livestock such as chickens and tools. The brave might snack on a tortilla made in front of them or simply but some of the fruit from one of the stalls. This is a fantastic place to photograph as well as shop. Getting to the market is another adventure on public transport but drive yourself for comfort if possible.
Stone Town, Zanzibar
Wandering through the winding maze of ancient streets of Stone Town, you could be forgiven for thinking that you had gone back in time. The structure of Stone Town has remained the same for over a thousand years There are fantastic and ornate wooden doors everywhere you look. The smells from the traditional bakery make your mouth water and it is a full on sensual explosion walking around.
The market is a bustling, rowdy affair filled with great buys that are really affordable. The wooden carvings make excellent presents, local jewellery will certainly make a statement at home and the fabric on offer will be unique back at home. Zanzibar is a wonderful place to shop.< a title=”Mercado Stone Town Isla Zanzibar Islas Molucas Tanzania 18 by Rafael Gomez –
Mutrah Souk, Oman
Souks are always rabbit warrens of noise and chaos but usually give some shelter from the heat of the sun. Mutrah Souk is a typical Arab souk in the structure, trying not to get lost is a challenge. The smells are evocative as Frankincense burns in copper stands throughout the souk.
The traditionally dressed market sellers offer a good mixture of new and old. It is the kind of place where it is possible to buy some hair dye or a beautiful gold necklace. Bargains to be found here include kaftans made from fine cotton and incense. If you have a strong stomach a visit to the nearby fish market is also a good experience. look out for the majestic Tuna fish or the Sword fish on offer. The locals stream here in the mornings for a chance to buy the best catch.
Shopping in markets is always better than shopping in the usual retail outlets. They are often living history, look at the architecture around them as it is as old as the markets themselves. The art of haggling is a scary prospect if you have never attempted this before but local etiquette often demands this. Good luck and happy shopping.