The floating market in Damnoen Saduak

Trip Start Oct 31, 2012
Trip End Dec 12, 2012

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Monday, December 10, 2012

Today's day trip is to Damnern Saduak for the floating market. Again, I’m up at 4 am, this time at the Southern Bus Terminal before 5 for the first bus out, which will take about 2.5 hours to get there.  The place is touristy, but said to be less so if you get there before the tourist buses do, and I wanted to also avoid the return traffic and hope for some good lighting for my picture taking.

Several hundred years ago, the then-king decreed that man-made canals would be created to help with the transport of goods; there are a number of locations similar to this one outside of Bangkok, but this particular site has become the one most tours go to visit.  With cars and other means of transportation to move goods, the canals lost their use until someone came up with the idea to reinvent them as tourist attractions.  I hire a boat to take me through the canals for the standard one hour tour and, due to the early hour, there are only about two other tourist boats also plying the canals with me, of which I like..        

My driver is a complete asshole.  What should take one hour to travel up and down the canals takes him only thirty minutes.  When I tell him to slow down so I can take some pictures, he speeds the boat up, where most of the images don't come out.  When he stops at locations that have nothing to see, I tell him to go, but he just sits there, or works the boat over to where friends are so he can have a conversation with them. 

Since I hired the boat for just me, I was taken aback when he stopped to take on another passenger – a woman who had just given birth and was being transported home with her newborn baby.  I didn't mind the extra passengers, but thought it better not take away from my time, as I get only one hour, therefore we better not go our of our way to get her to her destination. 

The woman spoke English, so translated to the driver what I was trying to get across.  Even with her, he didn't cooperate, and all she wanted me to do was buy tee-shirts from the souvenir shops that line the canals -- actually all the shops along the canals are souvenir shops.  After he dropped the woman and her baby off, he continued his little antics.  When he saw me getting mad, he just laughed.    

In the end, after a wasted time and visit, I let him have it in a way that you don’t have to speak one another's language to understand, though I'm not saying what I did.. I tried complaining to the ticket office and the woman who was matching tourists with boat drivers, but she couldn’t be found, and the ticket office didn’t care, as it was busy selling tickets to the tons of buses that had just arrived with tons of tourists.  I did tell other travelers not to get in his boat, as they would regret the time spent with him.  They ignored me.

So, back I went to Bangkok, which, like the day before, took about twice as long to get back.   Some pictures did turn out, but not as I would have wanted them.  In the end, I try to make the best of it. but that asshole ruined that part of the day for me. 
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