An array of fruits, rice and souvenirs, the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is a sight to see, even if it does cater to tourism. Long ago, this was how Thais in the village did their produce trading, but modern day exchanges take place on land. I almost didn’t go see it when I found out that it only exists as an attraction for out-of-towners, but I’m glad I did. It remains a vibrant activity for those who want to get a feel for how it used to be. Tourist boats coexist with locals, stopping alongside to purchase sweet treats and food. Even though I don’t understand much Thai, this lady clearly portrayed her anger toward me.Food is prepared right on the boats, similar to the street markets. I have yet to try these sweet “tacos.” Apparently they are filled with coconut cream. Some of the food is quite weird. The black sticky rice dessert looks like buckets of worms. And some of the food is just gross. The meat was swarming with bugs. To exchange goods for money, just call the boat over. Many offer a basket on a long stick if you’re unable to reach by hand, like this photo. An old woman was selling palm trees, but her closeup is priceless. And my first encounter with a squat toilet happened at the floating market. You use the bucket to scoop water in the toilet to flush. They charge 1Baht to use the public restroom and, as usual, there is no toilet paper provided. I bought a roll to carry with me from now on!As much as I love elephants, this is just sad. Look at the poor little guy’s legs. They are used simply as a tourist attraction in this case. On the way out, I took a boat through the canals and away from the market where I was able to see various fruit plantations and get a glimpse of how the Thais in the area live. Water rushes up under the houses and they stand on nothing more than a few (hopefully sturdy) sticks.
I thoroughly enjoyed the floating market. I indulged in some sweet mango and sticky rice with a Chang beer for breakfast. When I returned to my hostel, I went out to enjoy a traditional Thai massage, which left me completely relaxed. I almost didn’t get one because a girl I met at the market told me I would hate the Thai massage.
It just goes to that some things are better seen for yourself.
- Tales from Thailand: Floating Market (theappletizer.wordpress.com)
- 24 Hours in Bangkok – A 24 hour travel guide to Bangkok (essentialtravel.co.uk)
- Pong Dien Floating market – Can Tho, Vietnam (travelpod.com)
The Floating Market