Flea Markets Around the World
Flea markets are good family fun. What better way to spend a weekend day than browsing through a huge variety of goods in an open air market. Folks set up their tables with every imaginable item hoping to make some space at home and some money too. Shoppers can leisurely stroll from seller to seller and, with some luck, stumble upon a treasure or two. Every city and town usually has a flea market. Worldwide, there are flea markets that are more than just neighborhood sales. They are like cultural institutions in their size, quality and scope.
Thailand - Chatuchak Market is arguably the largest flea market in the world. Located in Bangkok, its vendors offer trinkets and goods from every corner of Thailand. With over 5000 shops, it is so popular that some city maps devote an entire section to it. The main street through Chatuchak Market is very wide making for comfortable shopping. Everything from pets, food, clothing and home décor is there for the haggling.
FRANCE - Marche aux Puces is Paris's most famous flea market. It is actually a gathering of more than a dozen flea markets where everything from art to junk to antiques can be bought. With anywhere from 2500 to 3000 open air stalls and shops, it is a mecca for both the bargain-hunter and the collector. There are cafes and restaurants scattered throughout the area to rest up and nourish the hungry shopper's appetite.
U.S.A - First Monday Park in Canton, Texas is a huge event for the vendors as well as for the public. It takes place Thursday through Sunday before the first Monday of each month. This friendly east Texas community has created a shoppers' paradise with something for everyone especially the collector. First Monday specializes in antiques, jewelry, arts and crafts and furniture but also offers vendors of tools, clothing and all things vintage.There are also craftsmen available for one-of-a-kind items.
MEXICO - The Flea Market in Puerto Vallarta is a wonderful place for treasure hunting as tourists to Mexico are increasingly finding out. Covering a whole city block, the Flea Market has grown from selling mainly produce and grocery goods to offering silver, leather, arts and handicrafts. Shops are located on two levels of the building as well as outside and haggling is welcome and expected. Like everything Mexican, the Flea Market is colorful and, best of all, lots of fun.
UNITED KINGDOM - Camden Lock in London started as a timber mill but eventually became the arts and crafts shopping destination it is today. The historic flavor was maintained and the market boasts cobblestones and quaint wooden sheds. Here artisans ply their trade and practice old world as well as modern craft. From bamboo, to leather and so much more, Camden Lock is well worth a visit.
INDIA - The Mapusa Market in Goa has been around for a long time. It was first mentioned in 1580 as a market hub for agricultural goods as well as festival and religious items. Today it is as lively as ever. Women from surrounding villages gather here by the river to sell their wares. Though modern day trinkets and gold and pottery are available, the Mapusa Market has not lost its authentic village style.
CANADA - Dr. Flea's Flea Market in Toronto is just plain fun. Not only does it have over 400 vendors, it has an outdoor Farmers' Market on the grounds. If you plan to make it a full day, Dr. Flea's is prepared to feed you in its international food court. Its extensive website has a section that boasts about the celebrities that have visited there from actors to sports figures. You can also get free flea dollars.
AUSTRALIA - The Rocks in Sidney has everything. From antiques to clothing to books, it is a complete shopping destination. On Friday nights in the summer, you can stroll through the night markets or eat at one of the many restaurants along the way. The Rocks is on the harbor so it is only natural that they offer cruises to the happy shopper. Also nearby is The Rocks Discovery Museum, a family friendly experience and just another reason to stop by.
CHINA - The Panjiayuan Weekend Market in Beijing is an endless stretch of shops and stalls. With over 3000 vendors from over 24 provinces, the market is always crowded and bustling. Besides the antique zone, shoppers can find Chinese crafts, jade, stoneware and beaded jewelry. Hillary Clinton has shopped here. For the bargain hunter, there is no better place to go.
RUSSIA - The Izmailovsky Souvenir Market in Moscow is lively and enormous featuring colorful mock wooden fortresses. It is complete with street musicians and sideshows to entertain you while you shop. You can buy trditional Russian handicrafts, amber and chess sets. And don't forget the food. Delicious kebabs with a sip of Russian cognac will warm your spirits. Bargaining and haggling is welcomed and expected. This is a must stop when visiting Moscow.
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