What’s the one thing that you have listed as a must-have or must-do, must-see item on your travel plans?
For us, it’s always to sample the local food and to visit the local markets (again centred around food). To us, it’s how you learn best about other cultures and the best way to immerse yourself into being one of the locals.
When we were last in Thailand, The Boy, BFF and her Hubbly Bubbly decided to do just that. We decide to go on an adventure, into the outskirts away from the noise and pollution of Bangkok city. We didn’t get too far away from the tourist traps or find a lot of locals, but we descended all the same to the popular Floating Market at Damnoen Saduak. I wouldn’t say it’s a true authentic experience, nor was it cheap by any means, however, it was fun (and perfect if you are a little strap for time).
Despite us floating right into a tourist trap, we did so with eyes wide open. We still enjoyed the wild boat right in the tight canals around the market.
Be sure to not laugh too much or yawn with your mouth wide open, else you’ll find your mouth full of questionable brown ‘river’ water 0_0
What was cool and the sole reason why we visited the floating market was to try and shop and eat whilst in the boat.
It was chaotic, it was hot, it was sticky, and it was rocky.
BUT WE LOVED IT!
Imagine, yelling out to the boat three rows away from you for a coconut and to watch as the lady behind the boat paddle her way across other ‘shops’ and motor boats roaring and splashing and generally obstructing the way.
Imagine ordering a bowl of boat noodles from the boat next to you and slurping up the contents delightedly whilst your own boat obstruct other passengers from passing by.
If eating on the open air boat is not up your alley, you could always spend the time haggling over the usual tourists souvenirs or fruits! Beware though, things here are certainly not on the cheap side and bordering on highway (or boat) robbery 😛
If you are prone to sea sickness and not keen to hop on the choppy waters of the busy canal and would still like to sample the array of food, don’t fret. There’s a food court at the market for you to eat to your heart’s content.
We ordered randomly from the shops for boat noodles based on the picture printed laminated menu that was so popular with every food stall.
Whilst my three companions went with the safe route of plain chicken or pork broth, I went with the ultra delicious pork blood soup boat noodles served with crackling. OH YEAH!
How to get there:
You can organise a day trip from the airport of nearly every hotel to get here
**Things to be wary off: Most of the day trip tours include a visit to the Elephant Safari and/or Snake Show as well as the state encouraged stop-over visit to the Gem Factory.
*** Every day trip we’ve had or even taxi rides sometimes end with a visit to the Gem Factory, a quick way to escape and go through the factory really quickly (and use it for a quick toilet pit stop) is to head right in, have your cup of free tea if your heart desires and walk straight out to the back of the tourist shop and tell the many ushers to organise your transport back to the hotel.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
*110km (68 miles) west of Bangkok
Open daily from 7am – 11am
The next place we want to share with you begins with a funny story of how the four of us got stuck into a tuk-tuk with limbs akimbo hurtling down the streets of Bangkok in the night after our adventurous afternoon at the market.
We had the address printed in Thai on a piece of paper and we handed it to our driver. He dropped the four of us at the street corner (which was a little dark) with The Boy announcing, “It’s here somewhere!”.
Such statements usually have a bad ending. It so very nearly turned into one if we didn’t find what we came for.
It was up to the two men to head on down to the police station around the corner to ask for “fried chicken!”
After getting directions from the very helpful police, we found Soi Polo in the midst of cleaning up and packing up the many chickens hanging in the stall front despite it being rather early (we were there around 8pm).
We quickly ordered half a chicken to take away to not miss out on the wondrous smells coming from the butchers block.
With nowhere else in mind to start our feasting, we headed back to our hotel with our hot bird to enjoy (we apologise beautiful hotel room).
The chicken was succulent and smoky. The chilli sauce that accompanied it was tangy, sweet and spicy.
Was it worth the ride and the hunting game for it? Most definitely. Go visit if you are ever in Bangkok.
137/1-2 Soi Polo, Th Withayu (off Wireless Road)
Tel: (02) 251 2722