Thursday, January 8, 2015

Cho An Trach (An Trach Market)

I love visiting small local open air markets in Vietnam especially Chợ An Trạch (or An Trach market). Three languages can be heard spoken in this market as in those found in or near Soc Trang (a nearby city about 3 miles away). Some people including many of my relatives can speak all three; Vietnamese, Teochew and Khmer. It's important to know or have some understanding of all three languages to do good business here. Many people at this market remember me from prior visits. Some are even related to me somehow. In the past I have taken photos of them, and on returning for the following visit, handed out prints to them. These people loved it. This trip I have not printed out any photos to give but I intend to do it again. I know some of these vendors are very poor and many do not have photos of themselves. Although many people are very poor some of them even tried to give me free or add extra produce when I buy from them. I try my very best to support the local market despite the fact that the selections of food are few. All I know is that some of the vegetables are more wormy than markets in Soc Trang. To me this is comforting because I know the farmers probably used much less pesticide. I also prefer to help my local vendors by buying from them. I tried to buy from different people especially the ones who sell only a few items since they are the ones that need money the most. Here are a few photos from my market photo shoot (2015).

Chợ An Trạch (An Trach Market)
A place where people are friendly, helpful and honest.
This market is open every day--rain or shine.
The center of market.
Here is one of the many friendly women in this market.
She is so cute with her pose!
When you purchase produce here some vendors
will peel the vegetables for you!
A home-made coconut shredding machine!
This friendly woman knows my mother for over 35 years.
She used to sell pork back then. Now she sells shrimp, fish and fermented fish.
My mother tells me she sells the best fermented fish at this market.
A lot of fresh vegetables and herbs to choose from!
Even though the market is very narrow and small
people do ride bicycles and motorcycles
in and through this place!
When you buy fish here this lady
will clean it for you!
This vendor sells pork and other pork products.
You can reserve special organs and
blood and pick up the next day!
Ducks and eggs--to ensure freshness buy the ducks live!
fresh & sweet local fruits
Mother and son buying prepared tasty food to go.
These are special prepared food.
The Teochew bamboo dumplings
(in the back) are frequently eaten in my family! 
A young and very cute shopper!
A beautiful display of locally grown produce.
The man on the bike writes Chinese calligraphy.
This is almost a lost art in this part of Vietnam.
Fewer people know or want to do this.
My maternal grandfather and father were able
to write beautifully.
This woman has been selling at this market for many years.
I first met her son when he was a small child at this market.
Now she tells me he is 17 y.o. and is attending high school.
Another friendly woman who has been at this
same market for a number of years.
Another regular vendor here for many years.
A basket of tiny fish.
Another friendly and happy face!
Chinese celery
water lily stems
Sweet and juicy longans..
I know this boy in the background since he was toddler.
More fresh and neatly stacked fruits.
custard apples

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