Our second day in Thailand was devoted to a day of touring.
The first stop on our itinerary was Damnoen Saduak Floating Market which was 2 hours away. Instead of joining a tour group, our friend Kathy introduced us to Alisa from Bangkok who leased us her super duper comfy van with driver for the day. We spent less on the van rental than what one person would have paid in a tour group.
The Toyota Commuter seats 10 very comfortably. We were amused with all the lights on the ceiling. We slept during the entire 2 hour drive since we left the hotel at 6:00 am. It was too early and too cold that’s why as soon as we sat in the van we nodded off into la la land.
This picture reminded me when large parts of Manila was under water from Typhoon Ondoy.
The best part of the floating market was trying different food and sweets offered along the canal. Our first purchase was a bowl of hot noodle soup which we shared. Surprisingly yummy.
Thai noodle soup – 30 baht
Next was a cup of Thai coffee which was strong and sweet. Can you believe this was the only Thai coffee I had for the entire trip? It’s because in other places I noticed they used instant coffee. What’s the point?
Thai coffee – 20 baht
These were crispy crepes were filled with a meringue mixture and topped with orange shredded coconut. Through research I learned these sweet tacos were called khanom buang and are a traditional Thai dessert sold by vendors and restaurants all over Thailand. Really, really delicious. I wish we bought more.
khanom buang – 40 baht
Hmm balls that looked like Japanese takoyaki. I wondered if these were sweet or savory. I took a bite and it was soft and sweet but with a savory onion filling. It reminded me of the Philippine puto or rice cake. Again through research I found out that these were coconut pancakes or pudding. It was pretty good too but I liked the crispy crepes more.
khanom krok – 20 baht
Our boat’s driver patiently waited while we ate and ate. After that he took us shopping even against our will. As our boat neared a shop, the shop owner would hook our boat and drag us to his store. Look this guy does it even without looking.
I have a deathly fear of snakes. I don’t know what made me tell my friends at the beginning of the boat ride that if they should see any snakes to warn me in advance. And they saw a giant snake. Thankfully I was looking the other way when they saw it. I thought they were joking. They took this picture which I just saw when I made this entry. Yuck!!!
When we disembarked from the boat we had to pass a series of stalls selling clothing, hats and souvenirs before reaching the exit. At the end there were a couple of boats parked selling more food. Last chance!
It was a very enjoyable boat ride along the canal. The water was murky but it wasn’t stinky at all. The best part was all the snacks we got to try. Yes it was very touristy but it showed a real part of the way Thai people live and do business. You should not miss going to the floating market.
Damnoen Saduak in Ratchaburi is about 109 kilometres south of Bangkok or approximately 2 hours drive.
How to Get There
By Car: From Bangkok you can take Highway No. 4 (Phetchakasem Rd.) and turn left at Km. 80 for another 25 kms. along Bangpae-Damnoen Saduak Rd.
By Bus: There are public buses both air and non air-conditioned leaving from the Southern Bus Terminal. Pinklao-Nakhonchaisi Rd. for Damnoen Saduak every 40 minutes from 06.00 hrs. onwards. Fare is around Baht 49 (one way) for air-conditioned (tel . 435-5031) and Baht 30 for normal buses (tel. 434-5558). The most suitable time to be at the market is from 08.00-10.00 hrs.