Floating Market Bangkok
It was my second day with mom in Bangkok, and since she arrived on the weekend, we only had one other chance to see the floating markets since they are only open on the weekends. Accordingly, I had booked a floating market tour for Sunday morning, so we could experience one of the most talked about attractions when visiting Thailand. Now when visiting the markets in Thailand quite frankly there is no need to book a tour guide, you can simply walk around them, and it is a pretty straightforward process, who really needs a guide to talk to you while you're shopping but to each his own I guess.
Now with the Bangkok’s floating market, it is quite a bit different. First of all, the floating markets are out of the way ; where most people would stay, the floating markets are located is mainly where the local lives and there is not much to see or do in these locations. These markets and the surrounding villages are approximately about 1 to 2 hours from the city center on the outskirts of Bangkok depending on traffic. Since there are a couple different markets I wanted to go and explore and wanted to get a little something extra out of day trip to the area, I had figured it well worth the money to take one of the excursions the local travel agents offer.
We started the day out bright and early as most of these tours do in Thailand. They picked us up at our hotel at 7am sharp and the adventure began, after the tour guide introduced himself he gave us the lay down of the itinerary and what we would be doing that day. The driver spoke perfect English, which is always a plus, sometimes it may be hard to understand some of them with their thick accents but not in this case we had no issue with the language barrier.
We made a little pit stop before the tour and got a chance to visit a salt farm and taste sea salt straight from the source .
The tour itself was an all-day tour; we would drive to the first of 3 markets and then ride a bike from the first stop to the other markets, so it was a day filled with sightseeing and physical activity which is something I am always looking for. When we arrived at the our first thailand floating market Tha Kha floating market , it was not what you would expect when you think floating market. I had done some research in advance, so I kind of knew what to expect when going to a floating market. The way the floating market works is that there are a whole bunch of long tail boats that are lined along the river next to a pier and essentially you walk up next to the boat and they hand over your goods from the boat to you on the pier. No one is really moving from boat to boat if you will. The beautiful thing about our first stop was that it was strictly for locals. When I looked around, my mom and I were the only foreigners located in the market, which is always a great feeling, I guess you can say that is how you know you are getting the authentic experience if you will.
VIDEO WILL BE HERE IN A COUPLE DAYS 5/19/2017
After mom and me had looked around and eaten some food from the market, we had a chance to jump on one of the long tail boats and go around the river and get a chance to see some of the farms in the surrounding area. It was so interesting to see these huge coconut and banana plantations that were all accessible by water channels; we even had a chance to stop by one of the local’s houses to see the process involved in making coconut sugar. When you get a chance to see the actual process of products that some of us use every day (in my case coconut oil), it’s a surreal experience to realize how much work is involved in getting your product into the bottle. After we had finished the tour visiting the surrounding area, we got back to the pier and began the next part of the journey on our bikes where we got to see the countryside of Thailand and visit the next destination on the list.
After riding for about another hour or so, we arrived at the Damnoen Saduak floating market, plus amphawa floating market with a very nice lunch overlooking the water in between. I would go into much more detail about the other floating markets if there was much to talk about, but I researched this quite well before I booked the excursion and read on numerous sites that a lot of these "floating markets'" now have become simply major tourist attractions and that is exactly what I stumbled upon. When we arrived at both locations all we saw were Thai people selling souvenirs and nothing was authentic about the market; it was simply a waste of time in my personal opinion. The famous amphawa floating market tour, which was the last one we had visited, was the worst – all you could see were a whole bunch of tourists on boats sitting on the waterway because it was so busy and not moving and then locals on the other boats selling beer, if you are looking for an authentic local Thai experience stick to the smaller/unknown markets for the more authentic experience such as the Tha Kha floating market.
Our final stop on the tour was a chance to visit the tree-enclosed Wat Bang Kung, which essentially is a temple that was falling apart, but a banyan tree had grown into the structure, and the building has remained standing because of it. If the roots were removed, then the temple would fall. It was an interesting site to see; although, it was a pretty small temple and there wasn’t really anything else much to see other than that. However, it was a nice relaxing way to end our day trip, and we immediately headed home after that for a much-needed break.