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Night and Day Stops in Chiang Rai

The night bazaar in Chiangrai is filled with hustle and bustle covering 4 city blocks. There are three stages all far enough away from each other to avoid 'sound collision'. In front of the stages are seating areas for patrons to sit and watch the shows plus have a meal, snack and cool beer. The variety of shops is really appreciated by shopping enthusiasts. Everything from silk ready-made garments to tattoo etching can be had. The hill tribes sell an amazing selection of old coins, collector's pieces of needlework and very fine quilted bed spreads.

The night bazaar is also connected with the city's fresh fruit market that is open at night. Those visitors who like to try the indescribable shapes, colors and tastes of Asian fruit can enjoy their fill of the great fruits in the height of harvest season.

Some visitors who have been away from western fast food or perhaps just curious to see if the flavor is the same as that in their neighborhood back home, will appreciate the selection of western franchise restaurants located near the night bazaar. Some surprise tastes are in store such as when the counter girl asks, " will that be regular or hot and spicy?"

For more daytime shopping, stop in at the PDA Hill Tribe and Handicraft Museum on Thanalai Road (Tel. 053 719167). The museum offers great insight into several aspects of hill tribe cu lture. The newest addition is the display and slide presentation about the significance of bamboo used in cooking, tools, fishing and decoration. Another informative display is that of opium and how that scourge came to be a thriving part of the black economy of southeast Asia.

At the end of the museum walk-through the shopping selections range from English books on culture, needle work, "Chantravej" brand herbal products such as massage oils and remedies like camphor oil to relieve motion sickness. More irresistible items for sale are beautiful hand made silver jewelry and ornaments plus handmade cards. (You've just got to see how innovative the product designers are with condoms.)

The private "Oop Come" Textile Museum is located at the intersection leading to the Mengrai Barracks. The ancient textiles are arranged beautifully with antiques amid displays of items used in Lanna ceremonies of long ago.

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