The continent’s colourful and often riotous trading points are among its most enticing calling cards. We have picked some of the most characterful places to buy goods.

1. PONDY BAZAAR Shoulder-to-shoulder crowds define this loud, eminently colourful market – the city’s commercial hub. Hurried locals make up the frontline at this congested mosh pit.

T Nagar Ranganathan Street, Chennai ( South India ).

2. WAN CHAI WET MARKET This slippery laneway offers a short, intense glimpse at local life. Walk (or skid ) along the alley to see animal organs you might never have thought of eating.

21 Bowrington Road, Hong Kong.

3. SNAKE ALLEY This traditional Chinese market is notorious for its odd offerings, from turtle blood to deer wine. The top draw is – surprise- snake, which can be consumed with alcohol or in a soup.

Wanhua District, Taipei

4. DONG XUAN MARKET Less of a shopper’s paradise than a photop for insanity, this three-storey market is stacked floor to ceiling with everything from seafood to textiles.

Hang Khoai and Cau Dong Streets, Hanoi

5. BANG NAM PHEUNG FLOATING MARKET Contrary to its name, this market doesn’t float – so tourists visits are rare. Catering to the local tastes, Bang Nam Pheung boasts a wide variety of local food stalls and community-focused events.

Phra Pradaeng, Bangkok.

Do not forget to visit these markets the next time you are in the respective cities.