More Hoi An

Since I booked many days in Hoi An (yea me!) I am able to relax and enjoy the city. I really enjoy just wandering around town.

I try the local specialty Cao Lau at a cute cafe. I wish I wrote the name of the place down because I can no longer remember where I stopped.

I finally make it to the night market. I make a good amount of purchases because I plan a shipment home after my clothes are made. I end up buying way too many lantern coverings.

The whole city is vibrant with colored lights at night.

After all that shopping I decide it is time for a night cap. I stop at a lively but quieter bar on the road along the water. It is a nice end to a nice day.

Chatuchak Weekend Market – Bangkok

For shopping on the weekend the Chatuchak Weekend Market is the place to go in Bangkok.

Chatuchak is in walking distance to my hostel but I did end up taking the sky train (1 stop) on the way there. I am confused when looking at the map for the exact location and end up initially walking through a local market where old men are selling coins and other antiques. While it is all interesting I am obviously in the wrong market and get some weird looks. Soon I realize the market I am looking for is across the street a little further down.

Chatuchak isn’t one of those floating markets but a huge market that sells almost everything. I stock up on super cheap travel clothes, bags, and souvenirs. You can literally spend the whole weekend there. I had to stage a self-intervention and drag myself out.

Not only can you buy tourist items, clothing, and jewelry but you can also find original artwork at this market. I ended up purchasing a funky little tree painting.

Had some really great pork soup while I am shopping.

Didn’t love the octopus….

Many other food choices however….

The market is a place where people spend the whole day; breaking it up with a tea or beer and some food in the food service area. I would have done so myself but the seating section was already kind of full so I kept walking around. I did stop for an affordable massage though.

While on my way out I did come across street performers and a mini dragon parade….

Like I stated earlier, I am spending way too much money so I force myself to leave.

While walking back to hostel is it always fun to see these signs. It is supposed to be a cafe. I never ended up stopping in but I was intrigued each time I passed by.

I rest after my day of shopping to prepare for my evening food tour.

Istanbul Markets

One of my first days in Istanbul I chose to wander around to get my bearings. I ended up in an outdoor market that sold just about everything. It is very lively on this weekend day with a mix of locals and some tourists (like me) wandering the streets. I incorrectly assume this is the Grand Bazaar. I plan to buy some long pants to prepare for my upcoming trip to Egypt but I am overwhelmed and just walk the streets and look around instead before heading back to my hotel.

Outdoor Markett

Days later I ended up back on that side of town and ended up at the Egyptian Bazaar which I also incorrectly identified as the Grand Bazaar. Again I am overwhelmed but this time at the booths selling sweets, teas, and spices. I take in all the spices. For me they are all the exotic spices I love. I want to buy a bunch of of them but most I can get at home and it doesn’t seem wise to add load to my backpack so early in my turkey travels. I vow to come back when I return to Istanbul in a couple of weeks.

Egyptian Bazaar

I walk on and into another building. I have finally found the Grand Bazaar for real this time and it is grand. It is very large and there are booths selling just about everything. I am mesmerized by the ceramics and the Turkish lamps. Store owners urge me to come in and say they will give me a good deal, but alas I am still not shopping at this point in my trip. I need to be smart about my baggage weight.

My obsession

Plates I ended up purchasing

Look at all these spices

I couldn’t resist picking up this pumpkin seed at the outdoor market.

I do return to the markets a couple weeks later but I do not buy that Turkish lamp. Logistically shipping it home doesn’t seem worth it and the power supply is meant for European plugs only. I would have to get it re-wired. I kick myself for not buying the battery powered ones I saw in Selcuk. I do buy some nick knacks and some beautiful plates (that I later discover I can probably not use for food serving due to their design – doh! Oh well, they will still look good on display).

Greenville Sightseeing

Greenville, SC is a quaint town with a beautiful city center with pedestrian areas. We enjoyed a stroll downtown one day with a friend.

Our friend took us to the Mast General store. You will find everything you are looking for in this store. I had fun eyeing all the throwback toys.

I also got a nostalgic feeling while browsing in the candy section. 

I would have loved this store as a kid. It is a must visit as part of your Greenville trip.


Last October I had a blast visiting the Abracadabra Superstore in NYC. I just heard about it from a couple different friends. A friend I was visiting New York with wanted to see if she could find a halloween costume there. I wasn’t in the market for a costume but I had a great time looking at all the costumes and halloween decorations.

First we started in the “meat case” of body parts. I love the creepy clown arm!

Next up was the electric chair! It really seemed life-like.

Wandering around the store there are more things to see and every prop you may need.

Even more fun to see is all the costumes that are available to purchase.

If you are in the city, I suggest you stop in for a visit.