Famous Craft Markets Around the World – Part 2
In part one of our journey to discover some of the very best craft markets in the world we traveled to France, Thailand and Turkey. In this blog we continue our search to discover even more gems that represent the best local societies make and sell.
ChiChi – Guatemala
Chichicastenago is a small Mayan town in the lush jungle-covered mountains of Guatemala. It is hardly the place you would expect a buzzing craft market but there lays its beauty. The town only has one real attraction and that is its market ChiChi, where people from all over the vicinity travel to sell and buy their wares. The specialty of the market is crafts, beautiful and colorful textiles, carvings of Mayan masks, and an array of local foodstuffs. At the rustic wooden stalls, you can also find traditional clothing that is handmade and represents the best of Mayan design.
Khan el-Khalili – Egypt
The home of this famous Egyptian market could not be more atmospheric, as Khan el-Khalili market is situated in a former mausoleum. Locally known as a Souk, the market is famous for selling gold. Walking through the market’s stone archways and climbing up and down steps takes you back to the glory days of the Great Eastern Palace that it was once part of. It is still possible to see craftsmen at work in their traditional workshops with period tools. Working with silver and other precious metals to form exquisite jewelry and other decorative items. If you want theater from your market visit then this place has it in bucketful’s.
St. Lawrence Market – Toronto
St. Lawrence market is a great concept, basically it is three markets all rolled into one. In the airy expanse of the covered market you can shop for food, crafts and antiques, and farmer’s produce depending what day it is. The market dedicates a day to each product group, and on Sundays antiques and crafts take center stage. All manner of products is on display, and spending a day exploring the different stalls you are bound to come up with a bargain or two.
The Fes Market – Morocco
Another Middle Eastern market but quite different to those we have looked at before. The Fes Market is uniquely Moroccan and as well as the ubiquitous array of spices on display there are also many hand made locally crafted goods. The market is an endless labyrinth of chandeliers, bags, slippers, rustic Moroccan clothing, leather belts, jewelry, metal trays, cups and goblets, silk dresses… the list goes on and on.
Typically, eastern the vibrant colors and aromas from the spices are enthralling and they captivate the mind with thoughts of Arabia and tales of Ali Baba and his forty thieves. A word of caution as with many markets, not all the items are genuine, so before parting with your money it is advisable to check things out thoroughly. The Fes Market in Morocco ends our fantastic journey at seeking out and finding some of the best markets in the world that sell uniquely crafted goods. Obviously, there are many more outstanding places that display and sell locally handcrafted items that represent the culture and history of their country.