Bangkok, Markets & More Markets, Monday, 12/10/18

We have a 7:00am departure so we’re up early, eating breakfast in the club lounge.  It’s on our floor, only a few doors away, and very convenient.  We meet our guide, Boe, and load into our van.  We’re headed to the Railway Market, a famous town market where vendors set-up on the railroad tracks, hurriedly rolling their stuff to the side when the trains pull in  (seven times a day).  He tells us our drive will be 90 minutes, depending on traffic.  Due to the holiday, traffic is light.  Boe advises us we’re early, and can board the first train about 70km out of the market and ride it in, instead of waiting at the market for it to arrive.

 Waiting for the train.The train pulling in.

It was a great idea. We stopped at an early train stop, waited about 10 minutes, and boarded when it arrived.  The short ride on the Thai train was interesting.

When we arrived at the station, people were jammed everywhere watching the train pull in.  Vendors were everywhere on both sides of the tracks, as well as customers. As soon as the train pulled away, the vendors pushed theirs carts out over the tracks (some had devised small track systems to move quickly).  The vendors also had canopies that pulled back when the train arrived.  After the train passed, they would be pulled out over the booth area providing shade.  All kinds of foods & market items were being sold.  We walked the tracks for a hundred yards or so, then moved down an alley into the regular part of the town.

Check out the canopies that fold out to cover the market booths How about a little beef (or pork)?

Our driver drove up, and we headed for the floating markets.  He takes us to a boarding area where we board a “long-tail boat”.  It’s a long narrow boat with a large engine, attached to a long shaft with a propeller at the end.  Check out the pictures.

There are several floating markets in the area, but this one is supposedly the original.  We start off cruising through a residential area, with families eating, cooking, and cleaning right next to the canal.  We eventually transitioned into the market area, and it’s definitely unique. Everything seems to be for sale – foods, souvenirs, clothes, various creatures for pictures, and too many other things to list.  It’s so entertaining!

Residents buying from the boats that come by.

Chopping up something for dinner.

Coconut ice cream


Green sweet sticky rice on top of the ice cream, garnished with an orchid.

Coconut bowl.

Check out the bats pinned in the frames.

Cooking some barbecue.

Want something to take your picture with.  Maybe a Tarsier (look it up)?Or a python?

Rush hour on the canal!

When we eventually climbed out of the boat, we made a tour through the local land-based market.  Our driver met us as we came out to the parking lot.  He moved us to a different, much quieter river market.  We didn’t board a boat at this one, but walked the boardwalk with lots of shops and foods.  I had a chance to try some traditional Thai coffee.  Super strong and thick!

We exited this market at the Rama Memorial Park, built in honor of Rama II, the 2nd king of the Thai Bangkok era (early 1800’s).  It was a museum with homes and displays built to exhibit traditional Thai homes of that era.  It was a nice quiet park built on the rivers edge.  After our walk through the park, we boarded a boat and headed down river to a local Buddhist temple.  It’s a small temple that’s been swallowed by a Banyan tree.

The Banyan tree is winning this battle.

Inside the temple

After the temple we drove to a riverside café where our guide ordered several traditional Thai dishes. We enjoy Thai food, but it was nice to hear an explanation of the foods from a local.

Checking out the “heat level”.

After lunch we made the trip back to Bangkok.  It was a much longer trip back to town.  Everyone who was out of town for the holiday is heading back into town and the roads are jammed.  Back at the Renaissance, we had nice long rest, and some dinner in the club lounge.

Bangkok is rockin’ at night!

Around 7:00 we headed out to walk to one of the local night markets.  Downtown Bangkok is a flurry of cars, people and noise.  It’s fun to check it out (for a short time) before heading back to the hotel and getting ready for tomorrow.

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