Floating Market

Trip Start Sep 18, 2010
Trip End Jul 27, 2011

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Thailand is full of Germans, Israelis and Dutch it seems. I can't speak for any other nationalities, but as far as the Germans go, forgive me for saying that most of those we see are not the most reputable of travelers. You know! Loud, rambunctious, complaining, wining, annoying! Why is it that we never want to meet people of our own background when traveling (maybe I should clarify that I am speaking for Manu and I. Others might feel quite the opposite.)? Does it make us feel less exotic if we do? As for the "H&M Team", we usually both steer as far away as possible from anyone we recognize as German. God/Allah/Shiva/Buddha/Pick your Deity forbid they know we are German too! There are of course exceptions, like Jan, a young guy we shared a dorm with in Chiang Mai. He studies Chinese in China and is quite pleasant to be around. 

What does this have to do with this stop's entry? Nothing! Just a bit of rambling on my part :) There were no Germans I recall from our day trip to a Floating Market, River Kwai and Tiger Temple. 

I won't write about the River Kwai stop. Suffice to say that you could skip it. There is nothing to see that I considered worth it. Maybe people that care to see famed places just for their fame might enjoy it? I thought it was a complete waste of time. I took one obligatory photo that had nothing nice on it and c'est ca! As for the Tiger Temple, that deserves its very own entry. Stay tuned for that.

Floating Markets are a quint-essential Thai experience. Just like you see on those book covers and post cards, they are a labyrinth of narrow canals congested with small wooden boats, paddled by traders wearing those conical straw hats made from bamboo and palm leaves. You know, the ones you might have considered for Halloween before. You can buy them there. Send in your orders now! I will happily ship them for you ;) Boats are laden with fruits, veg and spices, cooked foods and souvenirs of the traditional, tacky or bizarre kind. It's a fascinating old tradition, vendors selling and bartering their merchandise on the river's arms from their long canoe like boats. Today of course, I doubt it would live on if it wasn't for the tourists. And it is them that spoil the experience a little bit for me. They make it lack a bit of authenticity. Nevertheless, a worthy and interesting trip with great photo opportunities. Much more real I felt, was a long tail speed boat ride, away from the market into the depth of the canals, passing by wooden houses on stilts where people indeed still live.

Aaaaaaaaannnnnd, I faced my biggest phobia, and got within 10 meters distance of a snake Shaista thought would be cool to hang around her neck. I even took some photos. Big for someone who wakes up screaming after seeing snakes in TV commercials, no? I didn't go as far as paying for a cobra show to see more of them and handlers doing wrong things with these slithering, disgusting animals. I still much prefer them in the form of shoes. Forgive me all you animal rights activists. You would understand if you experienced me embarrassing YOU, or possibly even hurting you, during an unexpected encounter. It has happened before.

Moving on to much more pleasant animals, the infamous Tiger Temple was next on our agenda. To be continued........ 
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Pablo on

Eeeeeh! If you can´t take Shaista any more don´t just throw her to the snakes!! So having fun in Thailand? People nice there, such a charming place. You both look so cute in those pictures. Take care my canadian freaks!!

henniterness on

Never! I'd throw her to the mosquitos ;)

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