While bumming around Bangkok, my friend Donna and I decided it necessary to visit the floating market in Damnoen Saduak. From a friendly travel shop just off Khao San Road, we purchased tickets for a day tour beginning the following morning.
On the day of our trip, we woke early and were picked up by a small van, which delivered us a few kilometers from the market. We then boarded longboats to be taken for a fast ride through the canals connecting the Mae Klong and the Tacheen Rivers. Thai people live clustered along the canals, and you’ll get a great view of how they live, passing orchards, traditional teak homes, and people going about their daily lives while you gawk (politely) from your longboat. 10-15 minutes of this fast, zigzagging ride and suddenly, you’re in the floating market. It’s pure chaos – longboats piled high with vegetables, fresh produce, and homemade wares, paddled by stooped men and women wearing straw hats, ready to bargain the second someone eyes their boat. The sides of the canal are bustling with stalls selling everything from paintings to silks to carved wooden animals to clothing. It’s a riot of color, noise, and commotion, with so many things to look at you’d need at least a hundred eyeballs. It’s a bit touristy, but great fun.
Although you probably won’t notice (at least, I didn’t), when you’re being loaded into your longboat, a photographer will come round and snap your photo. As we were leaving the market area, a woman came running up to us and asked, in broken English, if we wanted our plate. Donna and I looked at each other – our plate? The woman gestured us to follow her, and so we did, right to a stall covered with commemorative plates. You know, those weird ones people sometimes have hanging out their walls? Well, Donna’s family home in South Africa now features one, two girls beaming (or in my case, bug-eyed and half-crazed looking) from a plastic plate.
11:00 AM / Posted by katie bradford /