Life in the market-A trip to Mae Sot (3)

8 Apr

There are still more to see at  the “Talard See Mon,” or See Mon Market.  A little market in Mae Sot town but can be  quite fascinating for visitors who had never been or rarely go up there like me. I’ve read that Mae Sot is a town with mixture of foreign NGOs, Karen, Burmese and Muslim people and probably other races too, so it’s quite a mix crowd up there. Although I didn’t really see much of the town, but going to the markets alone can give me clear idea on people living in this town.

Burmese lady passing through the market

There are lots of Burmese around this area. I’m not sure if they all are living in Thailand, but from the information I’ve got, some are living in Thailand, but some would cross the border to do the businesses. It’s very easy to spot the Burmese from the Thai, They would wear a long skirt called ” Long yi” or what we know as Sarong.

Burmese women love to cover their face with “Tanakha” the yellow powder made from the trees’ barks, you could buy it fresh, grind it until it become a yellow paste with light fragrance, or buy already made in a tub. It is considered to be a great sunblock as well as skincare.

I’ve bought both type before, while it was fun grinding the stuff, I prefer the pre-made Tanakha in the tub.

Burmese Snacks in the market

Once again in the market, I saw the Burmese snack sellers selling samosas amongst other snacks,

I tried to get some information about those snacks from the shop keeper who looked about in her mid 30’s, but unfortunately her Thai was not good enough. I only knew that she sold Samosas, Rotis and some sweet sticky rice snacks. I was tempted to buy some, just to taste, but decided not to. It would be interesting to be sick while working. So..better be safe than sorry.

Burmese Fermented fish

I also came across the grocery shop selling both dried goods and freshly made food stuff. There were three large bowl right in front of it. I wasn’t sure what they were but they looked like ” Shio kara”  the Japanese fermented squid that people eat with beer. (I love to eat it with rice) So I asked a shopkeeper what they were,  so the two big bowls were Burmese fermented fish and the one in the blue bowl was shrimp paste. I was considering buying some back, but again, I backed out just because I wasn’t sure what I would do with it, and the 7 hours in a car back to Bangkok might spoil it and the the car wouldn’t be smelling very nice.

A monk at Muslim butcher

This butcher runs by a Muslim lady selling beef and mutton. It seemed to me to be a popular shop judging from the line of people I saw including this monk.  A little out of place for him, to buy meat at the market, as monk usually get food from doing alms in the morning. I didn’t ask him what he was doing there and didn’t want to find out the reasons.

Busy butcher

This shop is pretty clean and simple,  apart from the lady who manage the shop front, there were 2-3 people helping her behind this shop. In Islamic culture, preparing the meat is very important. If they are not prepare the “halal” way, then they can’t eat it. My Muslim colleague would not touch the meat if he’s not sure whether they are halal, he would just have fish or pick on the vegetables instead, no way I would see him touching the meat.

Burmese language bookshop

Walking a bit further in, there’s a burmese language bookstore, one amongst many in the market. , the books range from dictionaries to the books written by U Aung San. Being book junkie me, I couldn’t help but flicking through some of them and decided to buy 2 books back for my mother’s maid.  For a few minutes I was kind of thinking that I was in a little town somewhere in Myanmar when I talked to the shop keeper who could speak no word of Thai. She had to run to get her friend to help getting me the books I want.  In the end I paid 70 bahts for 2 little books. Wasn’t sure if they are popular novels or not,  more like some folktales stories, but I thought these books would keep my mother’s maid happy. (in deed it did, when she saw the presents I bought her, she asked my sister if I went to Myanmar!)

The Book By Aung San

This is the book by Aung San….No matter how much I want it, but I would need someone to translate this for me.  I might as well just find an English version of it instead. But as of now…my favorite bookstore, Kinokuniya at Siam Paragon, Bangkok is still closed. So maybe it will be a while until I can search for this book in English version.

For the future blog entry, I’m hoping to go to Kanchanaburi for Anzac day. It would be so much fun checking out the place, since I haven’t been back since my first visit when I was very young. I’m sure there’re lots of stories to tell and to write about.

Meanwhile… Stay safe fellow Bangkokians and have a great day to the rest of you.

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2 Responses to “Life in the market-A trip to Mae Sot (3)”

  1. Sue April 22, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    Would love to translate that book for you .. for free .. if you let me have a copy of that that book. 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Global Voices Online » Thailand, Myanmar: See Mon Market - April 17, 2010

    […] Guide from Thailand visited the See Mon Market and blogged about the various Burmese food items and other products for sale in the market […]

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