December 26, 2012
Last day in Bangkok (and last buffet breakfast at CiTiBistro nooo) and we were headed a hundred kilometers southwest to Damnoen Saduak, a vibrant district with one of Thailand’s famous floating markets! Took us about 1-1 hour and 30 minutes to get there.
It was quite a view crossing one of the bridges that go over the Chao Phraya. And at sunrise too! Glorious.
We had a short stopover at this place where we were showed how to utilize coconuts (things I already knew, being from the Philippines and everything) but the guide had most Westerners’ attentions. Thai craftsmanship is so intricate and elaborate, I don’t think we have any of those coconut lanterns here in the Philippines.
Aside from this huge souvenir place, the area also had an orchid farm which not many people paid much attention to. Orchids are an important tropical ornamental crop to the Thai. Thailand is actually the world’s leading producer and exporter of orchids!
After our short trip to the orchid farm, we had been dropped off to a small port at Damnoen Saduak. We were taken to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market through a unique route which could only be accessed by the use of a Thai Long-tail Boat.
Thailand is one of the places people like to refer to as the Venice of the East. And this particular photo reminds me of a similar photo I took while on a gondola in Venice!
One of the house gates we passed while on our boat. Even the bricks have details!
Water hyacinth everywhere! Even the Chao Phraya was filled with this plant.
And we made it- Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. It was literally a market on water, with stalls in the form of canoes.
Here are two vendors conversing while passing each other. My mom was practically yelling at the lanzones (lansones, in Filipino) vendor but it took a while before the vendor realized she was being called. The lanzones fruit is apparently called, “langsad” or “longkong” in Thailand! (Get a load of the imitation signature bags at the back!)
Vendor selling hats! And that boy is not a local, he happens to be my brother who hates having his photos taken. Can you tell? Tourists also happened to get into my shot as well. If you want to be on the water interacting with the floating vendors, you can rent a canoe! For a hefty tourist price of course! Might be worth the experience, but my mom wasn’t up for it so we had to stay at the market on the ground.
My family got separated during our stay there cause we were basically interested in many different things. I found this stall selling these cute hand-carved flower soaps! So pretty, I’d probably never use these.
Colorful Aungkana Cotton handmade from Chiang Mai!
Some roughly designed handmade leather bracelets and straps. They weren’t that pricey but I forget why I didn’t get one. Probably because I wanted one in all colors and that couldn’t be allowed, so.
Pile of champoo fruits (makopa in Filipino). I remember having had a tree of this fruit outside our house back in Palau!
And more fruits!
And more fruits. My dad was basically in fruit heaven!
On our way back to Bangkok, we stopped by another artisan place. This time it was a woodcarving shop.
The place also had a roti stall, “Rotee Lover”. Roti (above) is a variety of unleavened bread with origins from India. It’s sort of spongey and pancake-like and we got ours with strawberries and chocolate. Yum!
A from where I stand under photo. Beautiful handcrafted ceiling lamp.
I’ve been quite amazed with Thai woodwork since circa the time we were studying their art back in 2nd year college. How do you even carve this out from a single block of wood? It’s almost too 3D for my life.
This particular woodcarving is stained with color! Woodcarving is one of Thailand’s top ten important crafts and the primary material they use for these is teak, which is wood predominant in northern Thailand.
After some rounds in the wood shop watching some artisans work on their sculptures and playing around among humungous elephant carvings, it was finally time to head back to Bangkok.
We had to leave early for the airport due to Bangkok’s infamous traffic. We were there quite early but at least we weren’t at risk of missing our flight! Luckily there were so many things to see in the airport (not as entertaining as HKIA but not as dead as NAIA). My favorite was this shop which sold all sorts of dried fruit! Again, ridiculously pricey but also too pretty *.*
This pretty much wraps up my trip to Thailand. I forgot to bring Blapsi (my mushabelly who has been with me to every trip for 5 years now) so I guess that means I’ll have to be making my way to Thailand again in the near future!
Sawadee ka, Thailand!