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7 Amazing Markets Around the World

Ever find fried grasshoppers at your local shopping mall? These exotic shopping experiences feature goods and attractions as diverse as the people who frequent them. Check out 7 Amazing Markets till your consumer heart is content.

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1. Chatuchak Market, Bangkok

Thirty-five-acres wide, the Chatuchak Market is a must-see attraction for bargain hunting tourists and locals alike. With over 10,000 stalls packed with both authentic and copied designer clothing, trinkets, furniture, antiques and electronics, haggling in Chatuchak is a must (if you’re persistent you can often talk your seller’s price to 50 per cent less). Chatuchak also packs a variety of food stalls and restaurants, giving you a place to cool-off over a cold beer and people-watch (nearly 200,000 shoppers flood the market on an average day). If the wide variety of local and Western food doesn’t tickle your fancy, check out Chatuchak’s insect stalls. Munch on a deep-fried cockroach or grasshopper, and chances are your appetite will be satiated – at least for the time being. Word of caution, Chatuchak gets incredibly hot and crowded, so be sure to keep an eye on your belongings, and wear loose, comfortable clothing. (Photo courtesy of Jennoit/Creative Commons Flickr)

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2. Marrakesh Market, Morocco

If you’re eager to add a little entertainment to your shopping experience, be sure to pop into this massive Marrakesh market. Specializing in textiles, foods and trinkets, the Marrakesh market is one of the largest in North Africa, with a diverse and world renowned collection of fine carpets, spices and leather goods. Looking for more? Walk over to the adjacent Jemaa el-Fnaa square, and prepare for a show. Rife with snake charmers, henna hand painters and buskers, if you’re willing to pay a little extra you can even have your photo taken with a monkey (or three). With so much to see and do, this market is always packed full of eager shoppers, so be sure to watch your step! Speeding motorbikes and local traffic have been known to scare away more timid travellers. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Greer)

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3. Flower Market, Hong Kong

Situated in Hong Kong’s bustling Mong Kok district, this market is a gem for gardeners. The rest of us can take in the sensory delights of vibrant blossoms. Particularly exciting around Chinese New Year, when every imaginable plant and flower can be seen, look for row upon row of fresh kumquats, oranges and orchids. One thing to keep in mind before venturing into this horticultural delight is just how crowded Mong Kok can get: it packs roughly 130,000 people per square kilometre! By comparison, Toronto averages roughly 4,000. (Photo courtesy of tph567/Creative Commons Flickr)

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4. Chandni Chowk, Delhi

Asia’s largest wholesale market, set among narrow alleys, offers everything from saris to silverware. And when you grow weary of shopping at Chandni Chowk, you can marvel at the many surrounding temples, mosques and monuments. What sets Chandni Chowk apart – aside from its massive scale – is just how diverse the market truly is. Branching off in every direction are specialized sub-markets selling every imaginable good. Check out the Chhatta Chowk Bazaar, where you can find a wide range of art, jewelry and antiques. If gadgets are more your thing, be sure to visit Bhagirath Palace Electrical Goods, one of the largest electronics markets in the world. (Photo courtesy of Gustible/Creative Commons Flickr)

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5. Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne

Dating back 130 years, Queen Victoria Market is a great spot for food and fashion. If you’re after retail therapy or a place to people-watch, this is the place to go. Its endless food halls bustle with fresh produce, from Italian sausages to Tasmanian seafood. Every imaginable good is sold here, from art and clothing, to leather goods and auto accessories. Best of all, you can say you’re shopping green: the market had over 1,300 solar panels installed in 2003, making it one of the largest solar installations in the southern hemisphere. (Photo courtesy of Mike the Moon/Creative Commons Flickr)

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6. Les Puces de Paris St-Ouen, Paris

Centuries ago, men known as moon fishermen scoured Paris for bric-a-brac to sell at market. This gave birth to Les Puces de Paris St-Ouen, Europe’s quintessential flea market. Although famous for its upscale antiques, shoppers on a budget can rummage through preloved treasures. Just how much antiquing can you do? There are nearly 15 markets, each offering something unique for savings savvy consumers. (Photo courtesy of Zadi Diaz/Creative Commons Flickr)

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7. Arts Centre Market, Christchurch, New Zealand

Head here for a family-friendly dose of local culture and international cuisine. It offers a mix of local art, funky fashion and offbeat jewelry. Truly a market with roots in its community, at the Arts Centre you can take in the sights and sounds of buskers, while shopping for fresh-from-the-garden produce at the farmer’s market, and supporting local craftsman specializing in woodwork, glass and pottery. (Photo courtesy of Acroamatic/Creative Commons Flickr)