Tuesday, February 23, 2016

At The Nyuang U Market in Bagan.

Women prepping fish for sale in the seafood section.

If you want to go to any local market, THE time to go is in the early morning.  We arrived at Nyuang U market shortly after 9a, still early enough that vendors had the majority of their items laid out for sale.  Come three hours later and some will have already left their market spot as they had sold out.

Typical of many local markets, the one at Nyuang U is divided into at least two sections - a covered section that sells mainly veggies, fruits and dried goods and then an open section where vendors hawk chicken, meat, fish and assorted varieties of seafood.

The covered section was basically a cluster of ramshackle huts, connected by woven bamboo (?) tarps.  This is truly where locals come to shop because with the exception of a handful, if not less, of stalls selling souvenirs, the rest of the stuff is what local Burmese need for their daily living.



We all got out of the van and ordinarily, I trail behind everyone else or I  often wander a bit astray because I'm busy taking photos but here, I was determined to stay close to everyone.  This is the kind of place that you can easily get lost in.

Wow!  I wonder how many people don't pay?

I crossed paths with this woman.  She motioned for me to take her photo which I gladly
showed to her before walking away.

We entered the market through the fruit section.  The bananas they have here are the fat, round ones.   I don't know what the variety is but the flesh tends to be a bit on the dry side but very sweet.



Having been to so many local markets around the world,  I often see very familiar things so nothing excites me more than when I go to market and there's more stuff that I don't recognize than I do.  Such was the case here.  There were LOTS of veggies that I had absolutely no clue what they were.  There were also a lot of different varieties of things that I am familiar with, like eggplants - large green ones, small purple ones, long white ones.....it was amazing to see all the varieties available here.


Bamboo shoots, perhaps??




Dried seafood.

Shredding cooked bamboo for sale.

I can figure out the papayas, the mangoes and the chilies.  Everything else is a big question mark.


The one thing I have noticed about the Burmese diet is that they eat a lot of raw vegetables which of course is very healthy for them.  Going against the common advice to NOT eat the salad when traveling to places like Myanmar, we've enjoyed sampling some very unusual greens here.  Some good, some not.

In the bowl, on the left, is fermented which Burmese love but for me, it's definitely an acquired taste.  Still working on it :-)

Betel leaves.  Noticed plenty of people buying them but never really noticed anyone chewing them.

In addition to just selling the leaves, the woman will make up a small *packet* ready for chewing.


Onions and potatoes.  I don't know of many cuisines that don't include one or both!

The seafood section.  Very gritty here.  Don't think many foreigners would dare to buy anything here.

Yes, there were a lot of flies here.  The vendors were constantly fanning the air to stop the flies from settling on the food.

We passed by an egg seller and I noticed they had eggs that were covered in a thick coating of white plaster.  There was a label, with Burmese lettering on it, encircling the middle of the egg.  I asked Miu what it said and he replied, that it was a century egg.  Ah ha!!  That's what I figured! In Bangkok, Ayşe had seen me eating one and she did try a microscopic bite.  I told her that in the US, our century eggs come cleaned of the ash and rice hulks that typically are used to produce the Chinese version of the egg.  I had never seen the Burmese version so I bought the egg just out of pure curiosity.  I had Ayşe carry the egg in her backpack.  She made a lot of faces before agreeing to do so.  Let's see if she eats any of it. :-)


Marionettes.  No doubt being sold as souvenirs to vendors.  Ironically, I bought my marionette,  decades ago, in the Central Market in Kuala Lumpur.
Burmese cigarettes, aka cheroots.  Typically, they're sold simply in unwrapped bundles.

It was a short market visit.  Just enough for us to get a glimpse into the food items that make up a typical Burmese meal.  We still have a full day of sightseeing ahead of us so time to move on!