The exploration of Tachilek, Myanmar continued. The third stop was the local market. It is always interesting to visit the market but this is not a common selling area. The place was even different from the ones I visited in Thailand.
We started to take a look around the fruit area. There was a great abundance of mangoes, longans, rambutans and other exotic fruits. We also had the opportunity to buy some mangosteens. According to our guide, the time of the year when we visited was too early for the mangosteen season. Therefore, we didn’t see the fruit in Thailand. To our surprise, vendors had some in Tachilek’s market. We couldn’t resist and bought 4 pieces. Well, too bad we bought so little because they were delicious. If you haven’t seen one, the purple flesh surrounds the seeds which are covered with white flesh. You eat the white goodness surrounding the seeds. They were divine. Sadly, we were not able to find more back in Thailand.
After we saw the fruit are, things started to change. We saw insects being offered like candy.
Let’s say the insects were the milder offerings. I am saying this because the market contains an open meat section. In here, the pieces of meat are placed in mounds over tables. They are not packed. They are not refrigerated. Flies are all over the meat. There was a rotten smell all over the place. It was kind of easy to tolerate the cut pieces of meat. However, the worst part was to see the whole animals being sold over tables. Some vendors were offering dog, beaver and deer. The bodies were opened by the belly area to take out the guts. Under those conditions, it was harsh to look at the scene. Again, there was no refrigeration and the look on the face of the animals was terrible. My husband took some photos but I decided not to post them. I believe they are too strong.
Let me clarify that this scene is not necessarily typical of other parts of the country. My husband talked with a Burmese friend about what we saw on the market. She said this is not typical for the rest of the country. I looked for more information and apparently markets were exotic and endangered species are offered can be found mainly in border towns. Tachilek is on a trading route between the countries of Laos, Thailand and China. The town allows vendors to sell openly these animals. People passing by from other countries buy the merchandise.
They also had a live animals section. The vendors were offering some type of rodent and eels. You choose your animal and they give it to you on a plastic bag. You take it home and do whatever you want with it.
Finally, we took a look at the veggies. Wow, I had enough for the day.
There was also a snack area.
This whole account may sound grim but when you travel you are exposed to different customs and practices. In my own particular way, I enjoyed a lot my visit to Myanmar (well, the dead animals kind of gave me nightmares).
After the market, we returned to Thailand. Before the crossing, my husband took the following picture.
It is a mysterious and beautiful. I will always want to see the face of this Burmese lady. The picture evokes different reactions. Why she was dressing like this in this town? Where was she going? One of those moments where you think about possibilities.
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