We decided to take an organised trip to the Damern Saduak market which meant a very early start and mini-bus ride out of the city. We weren’t really sure what to expect from the floating market – Thailand is the first country we have done without the Lonely Planet’s help, but the pictures in the hotel’s folder looked good, and we were told it was the largest floating market in Asia.
After an hour and half on the road, we reached a pier where we met our fellow passengers for a very rocky long-tail boat ride out to the centre of the market. I guess that there was a lot of traffic on the water, but I hadn’t expected it to be so choppy, and I (not Rob for some reason) got splashed a lot.
We spent a couple of hours wandering around the market, which in parts was amazing, but ultimately was surrounded by a lot of tacky tourist stalls which really could have been anywhere. We walked with another two backpackers, a guy from Oz, girl from England and found a quieter spot where we could people watch and bought some snacks from a couple of the boats. Apparently if you get there at about 5am then it’s just locals buying their fresh food for the day, and the fan and hat sellers come in especially for us.
We headed for lunch before being dropped off at the Rose Garden, which Rob had remembered going to before, and thought might be nice. We spent a while wandering around the gardens and seeing silk being spun, and I got up close to a couple of elephants who I got to feed. First time I’ve ever been that close to an elephant, if that explains my slightly daunted expression in the photos! Rob was amused anyway!
It started chucking down with rain (and hasn’t really stopped yet!) so we got some seats under the shelter for the elephant show, where they danced and walked over people, and generally looked like they were having a good time. This was then followed by a Thai cultural show, where we were shown various dances and traditions. Bits were very cheesy, and the number of grinning older men who rushed up to join the beautiful Thai dancers at the end was a little cringe-worthy. The whole thing together though was done really well and was definitely entertaining.
And so now, having explored a little of Bangkok, we are ready to head off this evening to the islands and beaches, starting in Koh Phangan. We are booked into a remote beach hut for a week of snorkelling, massage and cocktails – sounds alright!
Nic & Rob x