If you’re looking for recommendations for things to do and places to see in Southeast Asia, most people will probably point you towards the sprawling ruins of Angkor Wat, the towering karsts of Halong Bay, the bustle of cities like Hanoi and Siem Reap, or the exceptional cuisine found throughout the sub-continent. However, there’s one special highlight that I love recommending to visitors, and it’s not one that shows up in most guidebooks: go grocery shopping.
Markets in Southeast Asia are an unforgettable experience. Often open-air, with hodge-podge aisles of stalls carrying everything from produce and fresh spices to live chickens, these bustling bazaars are one of the best ways to experience local culture in the region. Chatting with vendors (through our bilingual local guides), you can find out about unique delicacies, strange fruits, and much more. Need examples? Here are a few things I’ve discovered in Southeast Asian markets.
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