Whatever Floats Your Boat!

Trip Start Oct 12, 2010
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Trip End Mar 24, 2011


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Flag of Thailand  ,
Friday, November 19, 2010

A little field trip today (actually a canal trip) to see a floating market in Damnoen Saduak, a small town about an hour and a half drive south of Bangkok.  It was great to see some of the countryside outside of Bangkok.  The area that we drove to is a fertile farming zone and one of the crops is, believe it or not, salt!  There are fields of wet plots and salt is processed in these farm areas and not only exported, but sold in bags in roadside shops.

When we arrived at the floating market, our group took a longboat along some canals to get to the main marketplace.  We motored along the canals and saw the houses and people who live in this area going about their morning routines - some washing clothes in the canals and some walking their dogs.  Other locals were rowing their own boats of produce and other products along the waterways to get to the market. 

The main market was interesting - there are rows of shops along the waterways but the narrow canals are also jam-packed with boats of both tourists and vendors floating so close to each other that they are touching and at times, ramming into each other.  Although this is an old market, it used to be primarily used for locals buying and selling their own fruits, vegetables, etc but there was so much tourist interest in coming to see it that it morphed into primarily a tourist attraction and 99.9% of the boats and vendors were selling trinkets instead of local goods.  It was still worthwhile to take a small boat and to experience going up and down the market canals though.

http://www.thailand.com/travel/recreation/recreation_float.htm

One of the towns that we drove through on the way to the market is called Samut Songkhram and it is famous for a couple of reasons - namely the 'original Siamese twins', Eng and Chang who were born here in 1811. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chang_and_Eng_Bunker

Back in Bangkok, I sourced out a local post office and shipped home a box of souvenirs and travel materials that I no longer need - it's nice to lighten the suitcase a little, but I'm sure I will find more things in Chiang Mai and Phuket to put in the empty spaces :)

Tomorrow is train-day - taking a 12 hour train ride north to Chiang Mai for a week or so.  I opted for the daytime train ride instead of the popular overnight option as it is a chance to sit back and see some scenery.  I'm heading off to elephant country!
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Comments

Shelly Chappell on

Albertine,
I am loving following your daily blogs. It's too bad we'll miss each other in Thailand. Bill and I are there in February for two weeks. Unfortunately we will not make it to Chang Mai.

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