One morning while still in Bangkok, the gang woke up early to head off to the Grand Palace. I met a tuk-tuk driver out in the alley near our hotel and he shared that his brother ran a trip out to a local floating market. I’ll admit, I was excited. I had wanted to try a floating market ever since I saw one on TV ages ago. Well, I had accepted the fact that I would probably not be able to see one on this trip because of all the other exciting things we had planned (and I know I’ll find myself in Bangkok again, so no big deal). Lucky for me I was travelling with a great group of people because they were fine with adjusting the plans a bit.
The driver drove for about one or two hours out of Bangkok to a little hut area. At this area, we jumped into a long boat that would take us to the actual floating market area. The ride was peaceful. I sat in the front with Vince, and Sunia was in the back near the driver (or captain?) and with Joseph. As we cruised the waterways, buildings were lined up on each side upon the shore (again, pardon my lack of technical terms—I don’t know what they would be called). At one place, they were cooking up some pad Thai, so we hopped out and split some. It was fun to watch the people sail by in their boats, looking at us out of ours chowing on the local delicacy. Once are mini feast was done, we jumped back into the boat to continue our “expedition”. We sailed by shops where workers tried to sell their wares. The boys seemed to enjoy shopping much more than us girls, which I found quite entertaining. You could haggle with these stalls so I tried my hand at it. I actually was able to knock a price down from like 400 baht to 200 baht. I was proud of myself. I found a few things here and there that I wanted to purchase. For example, I bought a horse marionette, whistle, and a fabulous hat.
At one hut, we got out to walk around a large shop. If you took interest in anything, a person would descend upon you and all of a sudden you were “friends”. The person would not leave you alone until you agreed on a price. I found this whole process tedious, but again, it worked to my advantage since I was able to get the prices down. There was a local man putting globs of some strange substance out on a board. I waved me over, and ever curious, I went. He handed me a small glob of the stuff. So, naturally, I put the substance into my mouth. When in Rome, right? It was heavenly. I didn’t know what it was, but I brought the other three over to taste it as well. I went on a search to try to find it in the store. The brown glob was actually coconut sugar! I bought a bag for the low price of 50 baht! It was delicious. If you ever see any coconut sugar around, you must try some. The only thing you’ll regret is the fact that you’ll eat too much.
After a few hours of sailing around, trying food prepared on the sides of the river and shopping, it was time to head back to our vehicle. There are multiple floating markets in and around Bangkok. If you find yourself in the area and you have time (there really is a million things to do here), a floating market is a great way to relax and try new things.