a seeker in search of Easter Eggs

Exploring Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Sep 9, 2018

Exploring Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Location: Google Maps

5 Floating Markets
I've always been curious but reluctant to go to Bangkok's floating market because it's far - over 90 kms away to Amphawa Floating Market. If you want to go to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, it's even further out - 103kms away. Of course, you could go to the nearby Talin Chan Floating Market, Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market or the Bang Nam Pheung Floating Market which are just on the outskirt of Bangkok, but they simply don't have the charm and authenticity of the 2 most popular floating markets - Damnoem and Amphawa.

Chai MateoChai and Friends
When Chai invited me to join her and her friends to explore the floating markets plus a few side trips on a car, I wanted to come but declined - I was ok on cash already for my meals, but not that ok to be going on tours. But she was persuasive and made an offer I could not refuse. Love you Chai !

When someone who was supposed to join the group bailed without any announcement after waiting out for him AND even coming back for him, Chai remained positive and upbeat. That is beyond me. Hats off to you, Chai!

We met 6am at Sofitel Hotel for the car pick-up and went on to pass for the rest of the crew - Mar, his sister Christina and Mayet.Initially, I tried to navigate. It was my first time to navigate using Google Map on an interchange. What do you tell the driver when the road forks into 5 different lanes and Google Map is still 25 meters behind? I'm better at navigating on a paper map - old school. Next to navigate was Mar. I don't know what happened (they were talking Cebuano), but it was turned over to Mayet. Mayet seemed adept at navigating using words like slide left vs turn left. Still, we missed a few turns largely because Google Maps wasn't fast enough to give us real-time bearing. In Bangkok, given its intricate interchanges plus being on the left side of the road was a little more than challenging.

The Fast and the Furious...make that Fast and Pretty
As a driving enthusiast, I was impressed by Chai's driving. It's only her first time driving on the left side of the road but picked-up quickly with a lead-footed pressure on the gas pedal. Not to sound sexist, but she drives like a man who knows what she's doing. Her driving was confident without being reckless. She even nailed a tight parallel parking on the curb between 2 cars. Hmmm...the more I hangout with Chai, the more dimension I see in her.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Finally, we arrived. It was packed with tourists. The setting seemed manicured for tourists as well - not the typical rough-and-tumble chaos of a local wet market. There was even a traffic jam with all the boats cramped into the narrow canals where tourists converge. Still, it was colorful and the boats were plentiful to make up a real floating market. Prices were touristy but you could still get a decent B30 meal - just don't expect a big serving.

The floating market is on a man-made canal which took 2 years to build in 1868 by King Rama IV. The Damnoen Saduak Canal is 32 kms long and connects 2 provinces. It brought irrigation to the land and spawned a more streamlined and accessible farm-to-market commerce.

Exploring Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
on the canal bank of Damnoen Saduak Floating Market with Chai, Mar, Christina and Mayet

Mar, being the veteran tour guide from so many visits while touring friends, was our default guide. It made a lot of difference having someone to take us around instead of going by gut-feel. We had a light meal and took tons of pictures. Mayet was particularly adept on her lens as she is with navigating. Christina and I were just amazed pandas given the sensory overload.

High Tide
What got my attention was that a small section of the market was inches under water - the vendors had to wear rubber boots. I'm sure that when they built the market, they already factored-in high tide during the rainy season. So, is the water level rising beyond its normal level? Climate change? Deforestation? Sorry, I digress, but that's how I think.

Ending Thoughts
The floating market didn't disappoint from the hype you get from all the colorful posters. But I was a little surprised at what I saw. I thought it was a floating market for the locals by the locals with a few tourists getting their selfies. No. It was a market by the locals for the avalanche of tourists - I didn't see a local doing her marketing there. I wonder where the locals do their floating marketing now - that's one place I'd like to go to.

In the meantime, we were already off to our next destination - the much-featured Maeklong Train Market!

--- TheLoneRider
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pictures courtesy of Chai, Mayet, Mar and Christina

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Reader Comments:

Chai MateoChai Philippines
(Sep 12, 2018) Thanks for the compliment on my driving, Git. Glad to know i didn't make you guys nervous. Or did I? 🙂

(Sep 12) "lead-footed pressure on the gas pedal" no, not me !!! 🙂

(Sep 12) Haha i mean the "confident but not reckless" part. But yes i like to drive fast, that's why i am actually an angry driver everytime i encounter slow or incompetent ones on the road. Ooops

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Next stop:: Parting of the Maeklong Railway Market with a Passing Train

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  33. Parting of the Maeklong Railway Market with a Passing Train Sep 9, 2018
  34. Exploring Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Sep 9, 2018
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Bangkok, Thailand

hotels in Bangkok HOTEL

Adventure Hostel Bangkok - N7 BTS train stop, dorm rooms, great for solo travelers, laundry, roof deck, entertainment center, kitchen, all-day tea-coffee, fridge, clean
1541 Phahonyothin Rd. Payathai

restaurant in Bangkok RESTAURANT

Dalad Vietnamese Restaurant Dalad Vietnamese Restaurant - N7 BTS train stop, authentic Vietnamese cuisine, clean & hygienic, fresh green leafy vegetables
195 Soi Pradipat 19, Pradipat Road, Phayathai

spa and wellness in Bangkok SPA / WELLNESS

Bangkok Float Center Bangkok Float Center - experience a surreal sensory immersion as you effortlessly float on 10 inches of water, 5-stars from 524 Tripadvisor reviews
99/6-9 SHOW DC Retail and Entertainment Mega Complex (4th Floor)

gyms on On Nut, Bangkok GYM| gyms on On Nut, Bangkok YOGA

Now's Fitness Bangkok - gym equipment, yoga, Muay Thai, boxing, fitness trainer, cafe, healthy food
726 Soi On Nut 14 Rd, Khwaeng Suan Luang, Khet Suan Luang, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10250

Useful Information

Bangkok Cost Index

as of Sep 4, 2018: US$1 = Baht 32 = Php 53

  • Bht 60 sm, 90 big one mug draft beer
  • Bht 13 1.5 liter drinking water
  • Bht 220 one hour massage
  • Bht 60-80 muesli breakfast
  • Bht 60-80 tom yum soup in modest eatery
  • Bht 25-30 coffee
  • Bht 30-50 pad thai
  • Bht 350 Adventure Hostel lodging
  • Bht 20-30/load laundry, coin operated machine
  • Bht 7 bus ride
Transport Maps of Bangkok
  1. Chao Phraya Express, MRT, BTS, Khlong boats, Airport Link
  2. Bus Routes: 1-14
  3. Bus Routes: 15-30
  4. Bus Routes: 32-49
  5. Bus Routes: 50-70
  6. Bus Routes: 71-88
  7. Bus Routes: 501-516
  8. individual bus routes
Bangkok to Chiang Mai by Train from Bang Sue Train Station

For more train info: Bangkok to Chiang Mai trains - departing from Hua Lamphong - MRT (Bangkok)

(I'm using Bang Sue as a starting point because I was closer to it, but you may be closer to the Hua Lamphong station)

  1. take the MRT train to Bang Sue Station. Take the #1 Exit to the north provincial trains
  2. Proceed to Counter 2. You will see an information booth, a train schedule chart and the ticket counter. Choose the train and pay at the ticket counter.
  3. daily train schedule:
    • 8:48am - #7 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:30pm, not sleeper, B638
    • 2:06pm - #109 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 4:05am, sleeper
    • 6:31pm - #9 Premium Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:15am, sleeper, B938 upper deck, B1038 lower deck
    • 7:56pm - #13 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 8:40am, sleeper, B768 upper deck, B838 lower deck
    • 10:22pm - #51 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 12:10pm, sleeper, 3rd class B270 (non sleeper), 2nd class B438, B728 upper deck, B798 lower deck

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