Saturday, December 15, 2012

Markets of Bangkok

To be blunt I wasn't a huge fan of Bangkok. I didn't find the people to be friendly, I felt like almost everyone was trying (and in some cases succeeding) to rip me off and it was just too much for me in general. But having just left Cambodia, a country that I loved and felt comfortable in, I realize that I wasn't in the best frame of mind to be in a city as lively and intense as Bangkok. On top of that I only stayed two days, which really isn't enough time to form a proper opinion on a place. Rather than go on and on about why I didn't care too much for Bangkok I thought I'd focus on what I did like: two of its markets.

The Flower Market
I spent a very pleasant few hours meandering around The Flower Market, a local market with everything your standard market would have (produce, meat, etc.) but that specializes in amazing floral arrangements. I didn't see many tourists which was a nice change from the crazy Khao San Road and encountered some pretty friendly Thais, including a lady who actually gave me a flower she made out of rose petals after I admired her work.

The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
As the name suggests this market "floats", meaning that almost everything from bowls of noodles to bananas is sold from ladies in boats in narrow little canals. It actually reminded me of an Asian Venice.  My favourite part of the day was wandering away from the market and into the residential area where people actually live in wooden houses right on top of the river. I came across locals lounging, praying, even brushing their teeth. Because I saw no other tourists in this area it felt a little like I was "trespassing" but almost every one of my smiles was returned. Albeit touristy, this floating market was really picturesque and I'm glad I took the time to visit it.

Bangkok wasn't for me but I'm not ready to give up on Thailand just yet. I'm now on the island of Koh Tao and am loving the relaxed atmosphere and my beachfront guesthouse. Looking forward to starting my open water diving course!

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