Damnoen Saduak Floating Market : In Pictures
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is roughly 30 minutes drive from Maeklong Railway Market. Having seen the real floating villages in Cambodia, I had a decent idea on how floating markets may look like. On reaching the place, I was guided to board a traditional boat parked in a narrow canal (khlong). As the boat roared through the narrow lanes, I passed several houses built on the banks of these canals. Boats were parked along with the rest of their vehicles. It is amusing to see how this modern city still thrives on waterways as a key mode of transportation. One of my surprises was when during my visit to Wat Arun, I turned on my GPS and was amazed to find ferry stations and timings on google maps.
The houses of Thailand reminded me of Cambodia when I saw spirit houses in front of each of the shops and most of the houses. They place the spirit house in a corner of the property. They believe that the best place to honor the spirit pf their ancestors is to build a shelter for them. Offerings are made to them in the hope of blessings, abundance, prosperity and protection of family members.
It was a sight to see when the narrow canals merged into the river. There were many products on sale displayed by the locals. They shouted at top of their voice to lure the tourists to buy handicrafts, masks, souvenirs, dresses, scarves and many more. As we entered further into more narrower lanes, the cacophony was amplified due to haggling between the tourists and locals.
Fresh food was made and served on the boats. From barbecued meat on the skewers to fresh fruits, ice cream and juices – it was indeed a full fledged functioning market on the waters of Thailand. At one point of time, I also witnessed a traffic jam where my boat man had difficulty in steering the boat ahead! The place seemed to be overflowing with more water borne tourists. I also noticed a man standing with a huge python hung around his neck. Not sure what he was selling though 🙄
In earlier days, waterways were the primary mode of transportation. But as time went by, more and more canals were filled in to make way for the new roads. As the canals disappeared so did the floating markets. Few of them which exist today are merely to serve the tourists and give them a glimpse of the life as it used to exist back then. Damnoen Saduak floating market is such a place.
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