Aleppo's labyrinthine medieval souq - or rather souqs within a souq - has long been one of our favorites in the Middle East, mainly because it has remained relatively untouched by tourism up until recent years - especially compared to Istanbul's Grand Bazzar and Cairo's Khan el Khalili. It's a place where locals shop for anything from women's underwear to camel meat, as much as backpackers haggle for hookah pipes and harem pants. Great buys include olive soap (buy the soap the locals buy, not the soap packaged for tourists), Syria's famous silk brocades and other textiles, and gutras (men's checked headscarves). These days you'll also find stores and stalls with their eyes on the growing tourist market selling jewellery, carpets, and brass and copperware, and spruikers on corners hustling for sales. But we prefer wandering the back-alleys, where the locals shop for their cheap plastic shoes, spangly fabrics, and children's clothes, offering a far more authentic experience.