A trip to Thandwe market (Burma)

Neil on the way to Thandwe market

See that up there? ^^^^ It’s Mr Neil, hanging on for dear life as we make our way to the Thandwe market, near Ngapali Beach on our last morning in Burma.  We left behind the picturesque beach setting (that’s a whole other post!) for a few hours to check out one last local market. Thandwe town is located about  4 miles inland to the north-east of Ngapali Beach and we decided to get the local transport there – shuttle jalopy-type vehicles (that fit between 8 and up to 16 at one point!) run along the main road where the Ngapali Beach resorts are located every 20 or so minutes for a couple of dollars return fare.  Definitely an experience – we were the only non-locals on both trips and were greeted with some curiosity.

I guess most visitors can’t tear themselves away from the tranquil, gorgeous beach scene but I was determined.  A 30-40 minute trip (or more like 60 if you get the milk run on the way back like we did – stopping to pick up chickens, drop off fish to restaurants, collect snacks and drinks for the driver and seemingly more passengers than you could possibly imagine would fit in the vehicle!), it’s a great way to get out and see the “real life” outside the beach resorts.

The market itself is located in a former British jail and is open daily from 6am to 4pm (not sure there would still be a lot of produce left in the afternoons…). It’s a much smaller market than some we visited but it was a nice change of pace. Leisurely and very local.  We only saw two other tourists when we were there!  I am sure there are probably times and days when it sees more tourist action but the locals still seem a little bemused at camera-toting folks like me!

Unsurprisingly, it was a feast for the eyes…

Sales at Thandwe market BurmaChilies and shallots at Thandwe market BurmaFresh produce at Thandwe market BurmaAubergines at Thandwe market BurmaProduce at Thandwe market BurmaChilies at Thandwe makret Burmacauliflower and aubergines at Thandwe marketThandwe Market colours

Apart from the produce, there was the ubiquitous rice…

Rice at Thandwe Market Burma

And noodles. To buy and to eat…

Vermicelli rice noodles at the Thandwe market

And fish… Dry and fresh…

Fish at the Thandwe market BurmaWeighing fish and chickens at the Thandwe market

(also chickens!)

Stall holders Thandwe market Burma

And a range of other intriguing-looking goodies!

Bits and pieces at Thandwe market

Because you never know when you might need those garden tools, rubber boots and badminton shuttlecocks… (!)

Knives and boots at Thandwe Market Burma

And for when you are a little peckish, there’s the Burmese market equivalent of a food court…

Eating at Thandwe market Burma

Truly, something for everyone…

Betel nuts and leaves chickens pans at Thandwe market Burma

And yes, one of those pans made its way home in my luggage – my carry-on luggage which caused MUCH interest during our 41 hour trip home.. It made its way – in one piece –  through security checks (some more rigourous than others) at Thandwe, Yangon, Bangkok and Frankfurt airports….

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14 thoughts on “A trip to Thandwe market (Burma)”

  1. Outdoor markets are a must when I travel, as well. As important as a visit to the museums and art galleries… I poured over your photos and could imagine the bustle and aroma… It is a little frustrating to see such amazing and foreign produce without being able to taste sometimes…

  2. I’m rather in awe of these photos and the variety of colours and textures – I love the cauliflower shot with the splash of purple in the background. I also love the food court shot – slice of life! Please tell me you’re getting some of these printed!


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