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Guatemalan local markets and scenery

By Maangchi

Guatemala doesn’t seem to have many  Asian tourists yet, so I got a lot of attention wherever I went. When I walked around the streets, I found most people stopped  to look at me! Especially when I was browsing the local market in Coban, I heard a Mayan lady, holding her little baby on her chest, was educating her baby by pointing me “A la Chino!” haha!  Was I annoyed? Never! Every mom wants her child to grow up to be an intelligent person. : )

Here are the markets that I visited and shopped and some good scenery photos.

at-chichimarket If I had more crowded eyebrows, do we look a little alike, right?  : )  I bought some dried fresh oregano and  colorful beans from her in Chichicastenango market. When I looked back after taking this photo, she was laughing quietly covering her face with both hands. She was shy! I wished we had exchanged our clothes for fun, but gave up because we could not understand each other’s language. How could it be possible to explain my suggestion with only body language!

chichimarketChichicastenango Market (the oldest and biggest market in Central America)

chickennetIt’s not his hat but a large basket with a few live chickens to be sold!

crabsFreeze! You are under arrest! : )

chickenplaceMayan Waitresses served fried chicken. It was fantastic taste!  (Chichicastenango Market)

pinatapinatas

chiliballsa kind of chili pepper. It was super spicy. Anybody knows the name of this chili pepper?

(one of my blog readers Hanna gave me the answer. Those little bitty spicy chilies are called chiltepe, or chile tepin. In Texas, they’re also known as “bird’s eye peppers”. Tepins are my favorite because of their heat. I miss them!”

Thank you Hanna! : )

antiguamarketOpen aired market , Antigua

antiguamarket1Market, Antigua

catfishhoho, check the mischievous looking catfish! One day I bought all these ingredients to throw a party for my fellow backpackers. The hostel had a kitchen on the rooftop, so I could cook this. I made rice and stir-fried fish and vegetables. The red shrimp behind the fish is very interesting because it is fermented and salty! It reminded me of Korean saewoojeot (fermented salted shrimp). The difference is that Korean saewoojeot contains some liquid, and tiny shrimp are used to make it, but Guatemalan salted shrimp are large and they have no liquid. The seller treated his shrimp like gold! When he weighed it using his small hand scale, his hands were shaking!  : )

I minced this shrimp to salt the dish. Several lucky backpackers who tasted my food for free were very surprised to see all these ingredients I bought. : ) They enjoyed the food and one of the guys said, “oh, it’s been a long time to have this kind of homemade food!”

vegetablesIboughtI was happy to taste their tomatoes, garlic, potato, squash, and green onions.

christicancame-to-mayanThis intersting painting hung on the wall of Elsabor del Tempo is showing the advent of Christianity to Mayans

flowersellerBeautiful fresh flowers!

drugsellerIn the corner of Chichicastenango market, this man was surrounded by many people. Check the huge snake coiled around his left hand. He sometimes put the snake under his shirt so that the snake could crawl all over his upper body! Soon he took out a huge eyeball (I guess it’s a cow’s eyeball) from his bag and cut the edge of the eyeball with his razor a little by little while he kept speaking! Everybody looked so nervous!

I watched him about 30 minutes with those people. He eventually opened another bag and took out small bottles filled with yellowish liquid to sell!   He used the poor snake, the huge eyeball, and the razor as tools to stop the people going away!

I felt sorry for the snake!  There was no way to escape from him!

garlicsellerThis man was selling his garlic in an interesting way! Garlic necklaces! I bought 1 string !

marketgirlThis cute girl wearing traditional Mayan clothing was sitting next to her mom.

marketrestaurantA cheap restaurant in the market. I had some chicken, rice, and black bean paste here.

xmastreeThe beer company Gallo sponsors Christmas trees all over Guatemala. I saw the same kind of Christmas tree in Antigua and Coban.

puppysellerThey sell these puppies in the market at super cheap price! I saw a man buying 2 puppies for US $ 20!

sexycanWhat a sexy can of sardines it is!

dollsellerThis girl was selling these dolls made with corn husks and dried flowers in Tikal.

AntiguaMiddle of town, Antigua

antiguaroadAll the roads in Antigua are made of cobblestones. The man riding the bike looks ok in this photo, but actually he was barely managing to keep going forward. It was funny to watch he was almost falling off the bike!

cobanA steep road in Coban.

from-the-hostel from the rooftop of my hostel in Antigua.

corntrreesA main food source, corn is everywhere in Guatemala

public-busLocal buses, Antigua.

sanpedro1This area is packed with restaurants, bars, Spanish language schools. English signs! (San Pedro)

sanpedrochurchA church on the hill in San Pedro

sanpedro2San Pedro.

sanpedrohillWalking up this road is like hiking a mountain!

sanpedrochildrenSome children are playing basket ball, the girls are still wearing their traditional long skirts!

bookstoreatsanpedroA used book store in San Pedro. Some backpackers buy books to read to kill time

algaeAtitlan lake has problem with algae these days. The man in the boat was getting rid of algae.

muralBeautiful mural on the wall in San Pedro.

backpackersI took this photo from the shuttle bus when I went to Semuc Champey. These backpackers were also on the way to Semuc Champey by a truck.

fromcaveAt the entrance of the Cave in Lanquin.

ruinTemple V, the second tallest pyramid is 58 m high. It was built around AD 600. I climbed up the top using the ladder. The view from the top was awesome! (Tikal National Park)

ruin1

ruin3

ruin2Temple  I (Temple of the Grand Jaguar) was built to honor and bury King Moon Double Comb by his son who succeeded to the throne in 734.

internetcafeInternet cafe!

narrowalleyI had to go through this narrow alley way so many times every day during my stay in San Pedro!

snakeonthehighwayI took this photo from a local bus on the way to go to Coban from Frores. The bus suddenly slowed down so as not to run over this huge snake.

wildturkeyWild turkeys in Tikal National Park are not afraid of humans! : )

semucsignSemuc Champey

semuc1Semuc Champey

semuc2Semuc Champey

semuc3Semuc Champey

thatchedroofhouseThatched roof house in country side, clothes on the cloth lines, peaceful scene!

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28 Comments:

  1. tooki Zurich, Switzerland My profile page joined 4/10
    Posted April 19th, 2010 at 4:18 pm | # |

    The little chiles are indeed called “chiltepes”. I was born in Guatemala and when I was 2 years old, I grabbed some chiltepes on a bush and then touched… some sensitive areas. I was screaming for an hour, apparently!

    I really need to go back and visit!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted April 19th, 2010 at 10:09 pm | # |

      That’s right. Not long after I posted this blog, Hanna let me know, so I posted it. Thank you, tooki! I miss Antigua, Guatemala now!
      “a kind of chili pepper. It was super spicy. Anybody knows the name of this chili pepper?

      (one of my blog readers Hanna gave me the answer. “Those little bitty spicy chilies are called chiltepe, or chile tepin. In Texas, they’re also known as “bird’s eye peppers”. Tepins are my favorite because of their heat. I miss them!”

      Thank you Hanna! : )”

  2. babyaznmonkey VA My profile page joined 2/10
    Posted February 11th, 2010 at 9:57 pm | # |

    I want to go ! it looks like so much fun :D
    when i saw the pictures of the street markets u took it reminded me of when i went to sao paulo, brazil (i miss it).
    i want to go to semuc champey now-its so beautiful (nice place to relax)

  3. ylre My profile page joined 4/09
    Posted January 13th, 2010 at 11:45 am | # |

    Interesting shots specially the ones in San Pedro.Just the everyday local scenes gives a glimpse of the place and not only the typical “beautiful” scenery.

  4. anon
    Posted January 8th, 2010 at 9:23 pm | # |

    that happened to me a lot when i went to panama. i’m the type of person who hates it when people stare at me so i was like “please stop staring!” (..to myself ^^)

    don’t go to panama. there’s no sight seeing. haha.

  5. Tricia
    Posted January 4th, 2010 at 1:51 pm | # |

    What beautiful photos! I would love to go there someday. You have such a blessed life.

  6. Hyacinth
    Posted December 26th, 2009 at 6:06 pm | # |

    I discovered your website to learn how to make Korean food, I found the videos really helpful. I lives in Guatemala for 2 months and seeing your photos brought back wonderful memories. I hope you are having fun.

    Hyacinth

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted December 27th, 2009 at 11:04 am | # |

      I’m still in the mood of Guatemala! : ) I am oredi missing the country. lol

      oredi: already

  7. Ram
    Posted December 15th, 2009 at 11:46 am | # |

    Really nice pictures. I am going to Guatemala in a couple of days with my wife and am super excited now. Is there really an algae problem at Lake Atitlan ?

  8. Deborah Toronto, ON My profile page I'm a fan! joined 4/09
    Posted December 13th, 2009 at 12:34 pm | # |

    those are awesome photos. you take very good photos! i wish i could take a trip like that somewhere too!

  9. Sara Yeongwol, Korea My profile page I'm a fan! joined 9/08
    Posted December 11th, 2009 at 10:24 pm | # |

    Sounds like such a wonderful trip. I wish I could have been there with you. Maybe some day. What an adventure!

  10. Meaghan
    Posted December 9th, 2009 at 4:23 pm | # |

    Beautiful photos!
    It looks like you had an amazing trip, Maangchi. Did you learn to cook any Guatemalan recipes?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted December 9th, 2009 at 9:22 pm | # |

      yes, I learned a lot! : ) I’m still thinking about Guatemala. Beautiful country and lovely people!

  11. Violin123
    Posted December 8th, 2009 at 12:12 am | # |

    Amazing pictures!! Did you jump into that Semuc Champey? The water looks so clear.

  12. Jie
    Posted December 7th, 2009 at 10:53 pm | # |

    Thanks for sharing these photos! I was backpacking in Guatemala for two weeks last Xmas and new year. These photos surely bring back some fond memories. I love the country~

    Here are my albums of the trip.
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=203707&id=799680367&l=5f309253ed
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=203265&id=799680367&l=a9fd7d63d4
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=203686&id=799680367&l=fcfb9aac8d
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=203676&id=799680367&l=22933a9a77

    Enjoy~ We could have met up there :) Keep up the good work. I love your recipes and videos~

  13. Ariel
    Posted December 7th, 2009 at 7:59 pm | # |

    That is some seriously amazing scenery in Semuc Champey!

  14. Hanna
    Posted December 7th, 2009 at 7:24 pm | # |

    Those little bitty spicy chilies are called chiltepe, or chile tepin. In Texas, they’re also known as “bird’s eye peppers”.

    Tepins are my favorite because of their heat. I miss them!

    Thank you for the lovely pictures…it seems like you had a great trip!

  15. Alex
    Posted December 7th, 2009 at 6:27 pm | # |

    Wow looks so nice! I love scenic streets. They make me want to blurt out Spanish phrases! haha. You say you traveled with a bunch of backpackers. How did you get or find such a group to go backpacking like that? I’d like to go backpacking like that – only need few sets of clothes, money, and bare essentials. You had so many interesting experiences~ I envy you soo much! :p You should do this kind of trip at least once a year to refresh from all your cooking videos!! :) Thanks for sharing Maangchi~ ^_^

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted December 7th, 2009 at 7:53 pm | # |

      If you are planning to go backpacking, first get a book “lonely planet” about the country you are going. All information is in there.

  16. Reinier Rotterdam, The Netherlands My profile page I'm a fan! joined 2/09
    Posted December 7th, 2009 at 5:02 pm | # |

    Beautifull and interesting pictures, i knew zilch about Guatemala. It looks so green and tropical.


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