Summer 2012: Bangkok Day 4 Part 1

We had to be up at 6.30am for the pick-up for our half-day tour to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, outside of Bangkok. I found the half-day tour deal on Groupon earlier on in May and thought it would be a good idea to do a bit of sight-seeing apart from the usual shopping and eating. (The tour retailed at S$18 per pax from GM Holidays.)

Our hotel was the first stop hence we had to be up the earliest. The tour bus subsequently picked an Australian couple up from the Sukhumvit area, then came back to the Chitlom area (ie. the area we stayed in) for a group of Indonesian tourists. Did not really get their order of pick-ups... In between going to Sukhumvit and Chitlom, we stopped by Lebua at Silom to pick up a couple, but waited for close to 45 minutes to no avail. I was quite surprised we even waited for that long as I thought tours were usually quite rushed and if you're late, the bus will just go ahead. But I guess it's good the tour bus tried to wait for them. The tour guide even tried making calls from the lobby up to the guests' room. (She did so for us too. At a very unearthly hour of 6plus. T.T)

The tour guide was a young Thai lady who spoke decent English. She seemed quite new on the job as she kept repeating facts (as if we were hearing them for the first time), and her efforts at interacting with us were very minimal and a little awkward. Maybe it's just me, but I've never really liked the idea of tour guides. (More of a free & easy person!) Or I've just never really had a good tour guide. 

Our first stop was a coconut farm, situated outside of Bangkok. We travelled for an hour odd before reaching this place. It reminded me of the Gula Melaka (palm sugar) farm I visited in JB a couple of years back. 

Coconut toffee candy! Not overwhelmingly sweet. Bought back two packets of it for my friends & family!

On the left, coconut toffee. On the right, coconut sugar. VERY SWEET. I was cringing the moment I tasted it.

Their working area. Quite small and kampong-like actually.

Saw this cute puppy hiding below a table nearby! So cute! T.T

We saw the other tourists gamely posing with the coconuts so Audrey decided to give it a go.

Success! But her hands had ants after.

This is my feeble attempt at looking excited at the amount of coconuts. Didn't want to pick them up because of the ants. :x

Thereafter, we got back on the bus and came to an area where we could board a long tail motor boat which would bring us into the heart of the floating market. The trip on the long tail motor boat took 15 minutes. The trip was rocky, wet but very scenic. 

Obligatory shot to prove we made it there.

Once we reached the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, I believe we had to pay a little extra to get onto the little paddle boats. Just a heads up, before getting on the boats, the tour operator will snap a photo of you and attempt to sell you your photo on a plaque for about 200 baht later on. 

The floating market is SO packed, boats are literally side by side all the time on the canal.

Obligatory self-shot!

This lady sold me a straw hat you see me wearing in the picture before. She quoted me 750 baht initially (?! That's about S$30), stating the band on the hat was made of leather. So I decided not to get it (for real), but she thought I was trying to get a lower price, so we starting bargaining to and fro till the price hit 200-250 baht. Moral of the story: ALWAYS BARGAIN.

Lady who sold nice honey chicken wings. You can also bargain for this!

Bored tourists.

Uncle with mad load of items on his boat.

And look! Audrey and I found coconut ice cream at the floating market! Our eyes were literally like O.O when we saw the sign.

Overall, the floating market is quite an eye-opening experience, but a lot of the stuff they sold on the boats were extremely pricey and touristy. (You'd be better off getting them at roadside stores within Bangkok.) I would say it's worth going once just for a look-see, but it's somewhere I'd definitely not go back to. 

PS: I broke this up into two parts cos' Picasa wasn't cooperating and refusing to let me upload the photos. The second part will consist our visit to the Elephant Camp (YES WE RODE AN ELEPHANT.), and dinner at Ruen Malika, a royal Thai cuisine restaurant. 

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