Bangkok Part 2
One of the places we wanted to see while visiting Bangkok was the Floating Market. This required joining a tour for a day because it was about 1 hour out of the city and an organized tour seemed like the best choice. We were able to book this at our hotel and the price was quite reasonable. By going on a tour, we also got to visit some other unique places along the way.
Our first stop was to see how coconut sugar was made. I really don’t like coconuts but the sugar was awesome. It was still warm from the manufacturing process. The fact is, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as sugar from coconuts so I picked up a bit of new knowledge right at the beginning of this trip. Oh and I ate far too many sugar samples.
After this brief stop, we were on our way to the canals where the Floating Market was located. The boats were fun but kind of tippy. Our driver had to adjust the load balance a couple of times to keep us level. Another thing was that there are no real seats. Just a board on the floor and another one for the backrest. Not real comfortable and by the end of the ride, we were a bit sore and ready to get out. Our final destination on this ride was the floating market.
When we finally got to the floating market, it was still reasonably early, about 11 am. There were already quite a few other tours there but it wasn’t too busy. It was a lot of fun wandering around seeing the different offerings. Of course, it has been transformed from a traditional market to a big tourist attraction but it still holds onto the traditional overall feel of what it was probably like pre-tourist era. By mid afternoon though the crowds got to be a little much but I would still recommend seeing this. Just be sure to get there in the morning.
After a couple of hours, we got back on our bus and started the trek back to Bangkok. There was however, one more stop. We were going to see a working teak wood furniture factory. I was looking forward to this as I’ve seen some examples of the carving skills back home at import stores. There were not a lot of people touring here when we arrived so it was much more relaxed as we walked around and inspected the work.
After the factory tour we headed back to Bangkok. It had been a very interesting and fun day overall and I’m really glad we used one of our four days in Bangkok to venture out on this tour.
The final site we wanted to see was the Royal Palace. When I say final, I mean the last site we had time to go to on our short stay. A few more days would have been nice to have but that wasn’t the case. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a real early start on the day we went to the Palace. To get there from our hotel, we first had to walk to the skytrain and ride it to the river where we caught one of the tour boats. Then we road up the river to the dock close to the palace. It was only about a ten minute walk from the docks to the Palace entrance. Once we got to the entrance we realized that we should have left the hotel a lot earlier. The place was packed. It was difficult moving around in many of the areas and trying to get some pictures that were not full of tourists was difficult. But I did get a few decent images. The lesson here was ‘get an early start’.
All in all, I have to say we really enjoyed our visit to Bangkok although we both agreed that 4 days was not enough time. I would definitely love to go back for at least a full week if not two and perhaps explore more of Thailand outside of the city. I have seen a lot of images from the rural areas and it certainly has whetted my appetite for much more.