On our second day in Bangkok, we kind of wanted to get out of the city and see something cool, so we booked a day trip to go see the floating marketplace. I’d heard about it somewhere a few months before, and one of the doormen at our hotel came out for breakfast with us that morning and told us it was worth seeing as well.
It is about an hour and a half drive from Bangkok in a ten passenger van, and it was just warm enough in there for every single one of us to fall asleep.
We had about an hour and a half at the marketplace, to walk around (there are pathways in case you don’t want to go on a boat) and shop. We decided to go by boat, because that’s kind of the point, and we were paired with a sweet lady (she yelled at us every time she thought she was accidentally in a picture we were taking, apparently they charge extra for that) to pole us around.
It’s pretty cool, a lot of the vendors are selling the same thing, and you can tell that they have previous agreements with the boat drivers to bring you to their stalls, so you have to say no a lot, and people will just grab on to the side of your boat and hold you hostage for awhile to show you things, but it’s definitely a neat place.
My favourite thing was the food vendors, there were a lot of people selling fruit and other snacks from their boats, and then there were people with full on restaurants, serving rice, noodles and BBQ meats right in the middle of the canals. They must be very well prepared (you wouldn’t exactly be able to run home if you forgot the pepper) and have impeccable balance.
Not only do the canals house the floating markets, they are also the roadways among the villages in that area. Once we left the marketplace we got a ride in a longboat to see the houses, stores and local restaurants where the village people live and work. There are no cars, they go everywhere by boat. There are 19 canals in total, and I would be totally, helplessly lost if I needed to navigate them on my own.
In addition to all the vendors selling things, there was also a man with a bunch of huge pythons that you could get your picture taken with. I’m not afraid of snakes, but wasn’t that interested, until I noticed too late that he also had a finger-tip monkey.
I almost capsized our boat gesturing to our driver to take us to the other side of the canal, but she wouldn’t (she was very charming) so I didn’t get to play with it.
Probably for the best though, I saw the way the snake was looking at the monkey, and the lady holding it, and I’m pretty sure that ended in tears.