Damnoen Saduak

Floating market near Bangkok

Damnoen Saduak is a name of the canal dug in the reign of King Rama IV. 32 km long canal was dug to connect Taachin River and Mae Klong River together and to allow mass transportation to common people as well as to protect the country. Floating market used to be a common market on the canal, where people, usually women were floating in their small rowing boats selling or buying or exchanging fruits and vegetables. What you can see today is a copy of this. It´s like a living museum.However as it has become a prime tourist attraction of the Bangkok vicinity the market has lost its authenticity. This is what we read and listened about Damnoen Saduak.

And this is a chapter of our diary: later morning we go off to the Southern bus terminal and from there we head out of the city to the west by bus – to the floating market (Damnoen Saduak floating market). It takes around two hours to get there. We watch houses and wats (wat is a Buddhist temple)  around the way. We don’t know where the city of Bangkok ends and where the country begins. The bus spits us out on a parking place. It is 11, 30 a.m. , nearly lunch time, market is being slowly cleaned out. Based on all tourists guides recommendation the best time to come here is between 8, 00 – 10, 00. One of our mates is unfortunately sick and we do not want to leave her in the hotel alone.Near is a canal, in the canal is a ship and in the ship is a man. We agree on the price and jump to the ship.
The ship is cruising in narrow canals. Some houses are built on the wooden stocks, some stand on the banks. The market is made up of Thai style canoes laden with colourful, succulent fruits, vegetables, sweets and meats. They gently ply their way through the canal selling as they go. You can see bananas, pineapples, parrots, all kinds of food in all possible colours. Our boatman sometimes uses a row, sometimes turns on the engine.
Canals are long and fairly complicated. We stop at a shore; there is a little wat and a playground. Our mate is looking really sick and suffering. She gets off the boat and lies on the bank. It seems at first that there is nobody around, but after a while a man walks to her and starts conversation with her. He does not speak English but his will to help is tremendous, they discuss with hands and legs. When he roughly finds out that the stomach is making problems he runs away and than brings a medicament. It is a root of some plant. We are suspicious and smell it. It looks like ginger. Can we trust it? The stomach hurts bad, so she takes the root and starts eating it. We jump back to boat and the trip goes on. We watch the canoes and buy small bananas, they taste great, they are so sweet. Around noon we finish at a local square. The stomach is ok.

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