As you walk around Bangkok, and particularly backpacker centric areas like Khaosan Road, you see beautiful idyllic pictures of the nearby floating market. Romantic ideas of little old ladies in boats selling bananas float into your mind, and you become fascinated with a place that remains genuinely traditional. We made our way to the floating market with such notions.
After an hour and a half ride in a cramped mini bus, we arrive at the market. We are told that all business occurs at the crack of dawn, but due to our imminent late arrive and other tourists continually with no end in site, proprietors and merchants stick around for our benefit. At this late hour in the morning, 9:00AM, we take a speedboat around the village, water canals everywhere and arrive at the heart of the market.
The real center of activity is only about a half mile long, if that. I’m trying not to complain too much, but it was really touristy, and the sense of genuine tradition slips away pretty quickly. There were a couple of bright spots and saw some interesting old ladies in fact selling bananas. I think it just would have been better if she used some kind of thatched basket instead of a plastic bag to carry our goods. I guess I’m too picky, but getting more inclined as the trip goes on to get off the beaten path for some real authenticity.
Bottom line, this place is cool for five minutes at best. If the real floating market is out there, please stand up. Keeping my eyes and internet searches open. Pray tell if any floating markets have struck your fancy. Ah, and trip through a local tourist office cost 300 Baht per person.