Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Thailand




The long tail boat ride, albeit short, was an experience on its own, especially if you missed seeing a 'year's worth of baha (floodwater)' like me.

So, as mentioned in the itinerary in the post Trip to Thailand 2016: Getting There and Itinerary, Day 2 started with the tour in Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.






    Hotel Pickup


    The hotel's buffet breakfast starts at 6:30 am which is also the time we were told by Mr. Heng to come down to be picked up by our tour guide. We went down at 6:20 and saw our tour guide already waiting at the lobby. Fortunately the buffet was already open and we were allowed to have our breakfast for 10 minutes!

    Apparently, our hotel was the van's first stop and we were the first tourists to be picked up. In the next hour, we went to three more hotels to pick up the other tourists. By 7:40 am all was complete and our journey to Damnoen Saduak continued.


    Our Tour Guide Eche





    Riding the long tail boat to the Floating Market

    Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is about one hundred and five (105) kilometers away from Bangkok. It may take one and a half hours. This floating market was first introduced in 1967 to the world as a tourist attraction. It is a very attractive place for tourists. You will see the old style and traditional way of selling and buying of fruits, vegetables, food... that's all there. And every morning, a hundred of small boats crowd the market area. The best time to visit this floating market is 8 am to 11 am.

    By past 9:00 am, we reached the boat terminal to ride the 'long tail boat'.

    The ride was fun. (Anything that bores an average human is probably fun for me anyway.)

    The long tail boat started from the terminal and in a smaller khlong or canal and had less houses on the either sides.








    And then we started to see more houses when we reached the wider khlong.




    Some locals were seen walking along the 'sidewalk' or sitting in the front of the house.



    I thought it was like having a 'lakehouse' except you have neighbors and the water is always murky.







    It was almost 9:30 when we reached the stop for the long tail boat and we were asked by our tour guide to be back at the meeting point by 10:30. An hour to check and soak in the place.

    The long tail boat ride, albeit short, was an experience on its own, especially if you missed seeing a 'year's worth of baha (floodwater)' like me.

    Damnoen Saduak Floating Market To-Do: Shop and Eat

    Souvenirs

    Lots of souvenirs and other things.

    Other things = things that you don't expect to see in a place because you think they are not really made there or don't represent the place and are, in short, non-souvenir items (read: dreamcatchers).







    I thought the paintings were good as souvenirs, especially that one behind Anna that looked monochromatic in some parts.

    There were a lot of real-souvenir items that can be bought in Damnoen Saduak but, being a 'tourist trap', prices here are just ridiculously high.

    The Over-priced Coconut Ice Cream

    They do have the famous Thai treat, the coconut ice cream, but it's better not to buy from here where it is sold at a quite expensive price (two scoops for 50 Baht).




    It was a rip off when you could buy it somewhere else for three or four scoops with some additional sweet toppings for only 40 Baht. Anyway, we did buy ice cream from Damnoen Saduak.

    Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Boat Ride

    So aside from shopping for souvenirs and eating, you must experience riding the boat.






    For 100 Baht per pax you can ride a boat that could take up to six people, plus the rower.
    Try to get seated closest to the bow (front) and you’re safe from the not so pleasant sights of heads and raised selfie sticks (like probably what all the six people behind me experienced).



    Some vendors would actually pull your boat over (using a stick with a hook at the end) to show you their products closer. Some merchants that are on the water usually offer food.

    The ride took about 30 minutes and was long enough to see what's going on around the place. I bet it would be also good to try paddling your own boat like what others were doing.





    After the floating market boat ride we had about 30 minutes more so we walked around and checked more of the souvenirs but didn't buy anything yet as it was just our first day anyway.


    Conclusion

    Overall, Damnoen Saduak was a good way to start the whole Thailand tour.

    The long tail and small boat rides were a nice way to see a different side of the country
    The expensive ice cream and the souvenirs gave us reference on the prices and taught us to haggle and be choosy/practical in the coming days.

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