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Another day, we went to Chatuchak Weekend Market and met Nalin and her friend Lek for lunch. The roast chicken breast was especially good, as we hadn’t had chicken for a while in Vietnam — chickens were killed because of bird flu. Bangkok has a huge number of markets in general; I think this is the largest. It’s overwhelmingly huge, and has everything from aquarium fish to poodle grooming to handmade punk clothes to antique furniture. I really enjoyed the handmade (and cheap!) clothes, including some punky creations. The day was sweltering, and ultimately we had to leave because off the heat.

Chatuchak Market is so big, it has it’s own map, which I’ve probably mentioned in a previous entry. The map is so graphically and functionally great, it deserves another mention though. Nancy Chandler is an American expat based in Bangkok and San Francisco, and publishes the market map, as well as a line of greeting cards. On the same piece of paper as the market map are other maps including a Bangkok city map  and several other detail maps. She also makes one for Chiang Mai. Her maps are graphically lovely — colorful watercolor depictions of major and minor arteries. They’re painted by hand with lots of handwritten notes like "Soi which melts your money away (cheap clothes)," although we couldn’t find that one. The format is also great — organic and hand-drawn, the color-coding makes it easy to read. She and her staff have included the sights, businesses, etc. that they find of interest, so you can find your way around the city, yet also see if there’s a fun cafe, river taxi, skytrain stop, embassy, hotel, or antique house near you. I’ve circled lots of things on my dog-eared copy — it’s about to fall apart. For me, that’s the sign of a great map.