Bangkok's floating markets

Floating Market — photo (c) 2014 by David Ourisman, all rights reserved

Bangkok was originally a city with a system of intersecting khlong (or canals) that provided the city's transportation infrastructure ... and the khlong were the location of Bangkok's floating markets. Now a vibrant but crowded city of 11 million residents, Bangkok's canals have been mostly covered over and replaced with often congested roads ... and the floating markets are no more.

But they can still be experienced. This morning our guide drove us an hour west of Bangkok to the village of Damoen Saduak to experience its floating market. Claire and I rode in a small boat for a half hour down some of the canals of the village. The canals were jammed with the boats of shoppers and vendors. Shoppers can buy fruit, seafood, and cooked food, as well as virtually any sort of souvenirs you might be interested in. We were content to observe other shoppers as were not remotely interested in owning any of the merchandise we saw.

All in all, quite a worthwhile experience — something to check off my bucket list — but much more interesting was the Tarad Rom Hoop Market which we visited on the way. All kinds of food were on sale, but this market's claim to fame is the train tracks which run right through it. Three times a day, vendors taking advantage of the rent-free space lining the train tracks have to move everything when the train comes through.

copyright (c) 2014 by David Ourisman LLC. As affiliates of Brownell Travel, we can provide our clients with Virtuoso amenities and amenities from other Brownell preferred hotel partners including Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, and more. All rights reserved. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

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