The Bangkok Floating Market, Thailand


It’s at least a 1-1/2 to 2 hour ride outside of Bangkok to the floating market. In the dim recesses of my mind, I remember visiting a market or canals in Bangkok but 30 years has seen a lot of progress and most of the canals have been turned into roads. There are still some canals remaining in Bangkok proper that people live along and use boats as transport but they too are disappearing fast. …they paved Paradise and put up a parking lot…

His Majesty the King of Thailand, Mongkut, Rama IV, of the “King and I” fame to us Westerners, created the canals or Klongs to move around town faster. The klongs were 32 kms/20 miles long and dug by Chinese laborers. The actual canals were built in 1866 and the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market…View image… is at the last part of the canal. FACT: Did you know that Bangkok, like Venice, is actually sinking? According to the Bangkok National Disaster Warning Center, much of Bangkok can be as much as five feet under water by the year 2030. Bangkok was originally built over a soggy marsh and the weight of concrete and 8 million inhabitants is slowly pushing Bangkok back into the marsh. Go see it now or wait until you need long tail boats to move around the city.

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a sea of wall-to-wall boats at the floating market, Bangkok
 

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this was only a four-tourist boat in the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Prepare yourself for a tourist traffic jam since the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market operates strictly as a tourist attraction during the day and only gets real with locals in the evening. Think a cross between “It’s a Small World” and the “Jungle Ride” at Disney World. The narrow canals are clogged with boats operated by motor or rowers…View imageView image. A noisy, chaotic but still fun scene as boat after boat is filled with tourists…View image… who then glide into the narrow canals past innumerable stalls selling fruit…View image, cooked food…View image, and “stuff” — fans…View image…purses…toy motorcycles…View image…and other toys…View image

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old woman frying up something that looked good in the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
 

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cooking and selling along the canal perimeters in the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

 

Our private boat had a woman rower who took us up and down the various canals including one that was peaceful and quiet. About five minutes before the ride was supposed to end, the woman began a nonstop litany of “mama, tip, mama, tip” and kept it up until the very end. We had fully intended to tip her before she became offensive but, I’m sorry. Ask for a tip? Uh-uh…

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buy a purse…any purse in the Bangkok floating market
 

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for 40 Bahts, $1.20, pose with a boa constrictor in the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Thailand

Out of the boat with time to walk around even more stalls selling souvenirs…View image, and watch the old “boa drape” pose for 40 Bahts before continuing on to visit a coconut sugar processing house and pottery “factory.” It was going to be a busy day…
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