As we take off for Central America (this time to Costa Rica), we think back to our first visit to the region a couple of years ago: Antigua, Guatemala.
Although Antigua has a reputation for being touristy, we found that it wasn’t too difficult to get lost and find a slice of authentic Guatemalan life. One of our favorite places to do this: Antigua’s central market.
Walk past the front section of the market, past the souvenirs and freshly cut fruit intended for gringos, and just keep going back, back — deep into the market, maybe even into the adjacent back parking lot areas where on weekends vendors come from neighboring villages.
It’s beyond this first scratch where you’ll find it: real life. Open the panorama to full screen to see it. Continue Reading »
A visit to Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market is a rite of passage for sushi enthusiasts. For those of us who bow at the altar of raw fish, it’s truly a must-see.
After you’ve visited Tsukiji, you may never look at that piece of tako (octopus) or toro (tuna) in quite the same way ever again. Outside of the seas themselves, it doesn’t get any fresher than this. Continue Reading »
Happy 4th of July! As the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is tapped in honor of the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence, we share a panorama from a past visit to Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market. Continue Reading »
While Guizhou Province may not feature the same dramatic bits of nature you’d find in Yunnan or Sichuan Provinces, it does have its share of indigenous markets. And that’s why, when we visited China, we based ourselves in the the provincial capital of Kaili for a week.
In the weekly market in Chong’an, an area inhabited by ethnic Miao and Gejia, a high school girl befriended us early in the day. She’d studied some English and had a nifty electronic Chinese-English dictionary to fall back on when her school-learned vocabulary wasn’t enough. For an afternoon, she showed us all the various nooks and crannies of the market – embroidered cloth for local ethnic dress, vegetables and fruit galore, Chinese medicine practice and street dentistry, gelatinous noodle soup stands, and lots and lots of meat. Continue Reading »
You know the saying, “The early bird gets the worm”? At the weekly indigenous market in Saquisili, Ecuador it appears instead “The early arrival gets the best sheep.” Continue Reading »
When travelers think “Honduras” they probably don’t think “big, weekly indigenous markets.” So when we were in Honduras and caught wind of a weekly market in a little town called La Esperanza in country’s western hills along a path of historically indigenous villages called the Ruta Lenca, we hopped a series of chicken buses in the wee hours of the morning to see what it was all about.
One part windblown, another part oasis and a whole lotta’ cowtown, La Esperanza appears a concatenation of dusty street corners. If you open up the panorama and take a spin around, you can see for yourself what it’s like to stand amidst it all and watch market life go by. Continue Reading »
Some friends have suggested that we attach helmet cameras to our heads to give viewers the unabridged full monty version of our lives.
Trust us, you really don’t want to see all of it. Continue Reading »
Two days of roller-coaster travel on unpaved roads and in old buses cramped with members of the Chinese Olympic Spitting Team; it was a long road to Xishuangbanna.
Tucked in the deep south of China’s Yunnan Province, the Xishuangbanna region conjured images of thatched huts, tropical jungle, and a rainbow of ethnic minorities. But when we arrived in Jinghong, the regional capital, our hearts sank. We got the impression that we had arrived too late. Continue Reading »
Welcome to the first and only Golden Camel Awards, a camel’s eye view of the best and worst that Central Asia and the Caucasus have to offer!
While most people don’t travel to the Caucasus and Central Asia solely to explore the cuisine, we had our share of pleasant eating experiences there. We also occasionally felt the wrath of a post-Soviet culinary hangover. If you are interested to know what constitutes a good eating experience (heavenly bread, drinkable vodka, and elusive vegetables) or what continues to haunt our food dreams, read on. Continue Reading »
When we arrive in a new location, we usually seek out the local market. This is how we orient ourselves. Markets provide an easy way to meet real people in a friendly context. They also offer an insight into local food and culture. Central Asian markets proved no different. We found ourselves frequently sampling local fruits (OK, having fruit heaped upon us by the lapful) and talking with vendors about their products. We decided that the markets, the vendors and the produce in Central Asia deserved a video. Continue Reading »