January 6, day 90, Bangkok. Two popular sights for tourists to check out when visiting Thailand are the Maeklong train market, and one of several floating markets. We booked a tour to both, which included taking the train to the market, giving us a bird’s eye view on the vendors just inches outside the window as the train rolled in. It’s fascinating to watch them break down and set up after every train rolls through—anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes apart.
We also visited Damnoen Saduak, the oldest of Thailand’s floating markets. Alas, it’s a pale, touristy version of what it must have been like a hundred (or even thirty) years ago. The klongs were choked with far more boats carrying tourists than vendors selling their goods, and those that were had mostly replaced the fresh produce and noodles with fried chicken and conical hats.
Locals certainly do not shop here, unlike the train market which was very much a working, vibrant food market. Even with the crush of selfie-snappers getting in the way, locals were going about their business buying fish and vegetables and spices all along the tracks.
Very glad to have seen both, finally, although I cannot necessarily recommend this particular floating market. Perhaps others are more enjoyable.