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Unread 22 Jun 18, 04:02 PM  
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Melbatb
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A Week In Bangkok - June 2018: Day 4 - Train And Floating Markets


It was a very early start after a not so good night's sleep. I had thought I would fall asleep quickly but my brain had other thoughts!

It was a bit of a shock when the alarm went off at 5.30am! I bounced out of bed (as you do!), turned the alarm off (strategically placed so I was forced to get up!), had a shower and got dressed. I fired off quick texts back home and went downstairs. I managed to quickly (and I mean 1 minute quick) eat a fried egg and noodles before the driver came to pick me up for the tour to the two markets.

His driving was atrocious- how we didn't get hit I have no idea. We met up with the tour guide, Lucky, and a couple from Amsterdam. Four others joined at the tour office.

We left at about 6.35am for the train station with a short toilet stop after about 45 minutes!



The train station was not what I had imagined! It as in the middle of nowhere down a dirt track!



The train arrived pretty much on schedule. Lucky shooed us all down to the end of the train and pretty much stopped anyone else even coming close to us! She had a tactic!



About 25 minutes into the journey she got us into the driver's cabin at the back of the train so we could see the fun unfold! Effectively the market is on either side of the train tracks and as the train comes through the sellers fold down their shelters and move in their wares.



As soon as the train passed they opened up again - litterally within seconds!



Lots of bystanders watching from the sides!



But I felt we had the best view! It really was an experience! A good one that is!



We got off the tran at the station. The one disappointment was that we didn't get the chance to look around the market.



Lucky had us marching after her to get back to the mini bus. The driving didn't improve - one of the guys worked out that whenever the bus was speeding it beeped. Let's say it was almost constantly beeping...



We then stopped at a coconut place (aka trying to extract money from you!) I don't think any of us were that bothered! For information this is the boiling down of the inners of the stems to make coconut sugar (which I do us at home...)



And I do admit to buying a pestle and mortar for J's birthday next week!



We were then driven to a long boat place. We got on one, waved goodbye to Lucky and the driver and set off on an about 30 minute ride to the floating market.



This was a lot of fun. I got splashed a lot (I was at the back!) but the boat went at some speed!



We slowed down a bit as we came into the market. We were dropped off and met by Lucky who frogmarched us (litterally - don't stop, don't look..) to a desk in the middle of the market. We could go on another slower boat ride around the market for 150bhts (about 5 euros) and buy food and souvenirs from the boat!



I, along with four others from the group, decided I may as well experience it!

The old lady rowing the boat seemed to go in totally the wrong direction against the flow of every other boat!



Maybe she was trying to get us to her friend's stall?

Eventually she went backwards to a turning, nearly got hit by a long boat and turned around and we went on a much quieter route. I don't know how the stall holders make any money as no-one seemed to buy anything.

It was worth doing if only to see the full extent of the floating bit of the market.



The whole boat trip took about 30 minutes. We had another hour at the market. I decided I needed feeding!



Playing safe, I had fried sweet potatoes. Probably not good for my diet but they were very tasty. They cost 100 bhts (about 3 euros).



I also got myself a mango smoothie! Basically mango and ice whizzed together. This was 90 bahts. It was very nice though I did have a bit of brain freeze!

I wandered around the on shore part of the market and just got a purse for 100bhts.

At the designated time everyone met up at the meeting point and we drove back to Bangkok. I think most of us nodded off until the minibus went, at speed, over a speed bump and we all woke up with a bit of a shock. I was luckily the first one dropped off at about 12.45pm.

It was well worth going - I really enjoyed myself and I thought it was good value for money!



After a rest at the hotel, I decided to go to Golden Mount - a Buddhist shrne on a manmade hill. This necessitated going on the Orange Express boat to stop 13 - Banglamphu. I then had about a 25 minute walk to the mount. Somehow I didn't actually take any photos of the mount but plenty of the view...

These gold heart leaves were on a tree near the entrance. I think there must be some significance as I saw them yesterday at the temples too.



There were lots of bells on the 318 steps up, as well as a cafe! And an annoying tour group who stopped every 5m to take every variation of selfie possible! (Miserable - me...)



The views from the top were superb! You could see the Grand Palace as well as lots of other temples (well there are over 500 of them in Bangkok alone...)



As well as skyscrapers in the financial district!



There is such a mix of buildings here - from the ultra luxurious to those seen here - in need of some tlc!

Going down was a lot easier than going up!



O had told me earlier to make sure I drank enough (he knows his mum well...) so I stopped at the bottom for an iced tea (30bhts) and a rest of my legs!



Then came the big fail of the day! My guidebook said you could get the water taxi back to Banglamphu along the canals. The wharf was near the exit of the Golden Mount.

A boat that seemed to be going in the right direction pulled up, I showed the guy where I wanted to go, he frowned a bit and said ok, 9 bhts.

The boat moved off, and turned around and went in totally the wrong direction. Google maps confirmed what I knew!

I got off at the next stop and got on the next one going in the right direction. Again I showed the girl on the boat where I wanted to go, she nodded, charged me 9bhts and off we went...



You know where this is going - we got to the stop I had started at and everyone had to get off. I assumed that they didn't go down as far as I needed and I resigned myself to walking again! Oh well!

25 minutes later I was back at Pier 13 and a boat soon arrived!



I managed to get a seat after a few stops and messed around taking photos!



I am easily amused!



And whislt waiting for the ferry across to the other side, a sunset!



Another rest was had before I set out to find some dinner. I had identified a restaurant at the end of the road that seemed popular and had veggie options. I had stir fried vegetables, rice and spring rolls. It was very good and cost 115 bhts (about 4 euros)

I gave them what I am pretty sure was a 500 bht note (I thought it was a bit much giving them a 1000 bht note) and they pfaffed around for ages with my change. When they bought it, they had given me change from 1000. I checked and I no longer had a 500 note and am almost certain that I had when I came out. I could have played stupid but even if I was wrong, for the sake of about 14 euros, I would rather err on the side of being honest so I told them I thought they had given me too much change. They seemed surprised but it felt right to me.

I came back to the hotel, had a shower and am half watching the World Cup (in thai!).

Distance walked today was less than yesterday - only 13km!


Edited at 02:25 PM.
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Unread 22 Jun 18, 04:56 PM  
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Jake71
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Sounds absolutely amazing Mel, the sights and sounds must have been tremendous, even the speeding driver was an experience I'm sure.
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Unread 22 Jun 18, 05:19 PM  
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Unread 22 Jun 18, 09:38 PM  
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christybell
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What a day...looks amazing. Your report is getting me really excited to visit!

Love that you are jumping on and off the boats (even if it goes wrong sometimes) you really are an adventurer!
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Unread 22 Jun 18, 09:38 PM  
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Quite the experience rather you than me, 😂
Glad you enjoyed it

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Unread 23 Jun 18, 02:30 PM  
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Melbatb
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Originally Posted by Jake71 View Post
Sounds absolutely amazing Mel, the sights and sounds must have been tremendous, even the speeding driver was an experience I'm sure.
I have come to the conclusion I could never drive over here! They have a whole set of weaving rules that I would (a)never totally understand and (b)I am hopeless at judging distances!

It was a fab day! I really enjoyed it!

Originally Posted by christybell View Post
What a day...looks amazing. Your report is getting me really excited to visit!

Love that you are jumping on and off the boats (even if it goes wrong sometimes) you really are an adventurer!
I figure that if the worst comes to the worst, I can just get off and go the other way Though the Orange Express boats are far easier to use... I am going to try the canal boats again on Tuesday! Though after what I am planning Monday, I may not

Originally Posted by mick View Post
Quite the experience rather you than me, 😂
Glad you enjoyed it

Joan
Thanks Joan - it is a Dibbers fault (Katie) that I did the tour!
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Unread 25 Jun 18, 07:19 AM  
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Fabulous day. Your Guide was definitely on a mission but how wonderful to watch the market from the train. The long boats were my most favourite thing ever-I felt like I was in a James Bond movie! Im having a bit giggle at the coconut stalls...have you not been measured for a suit yet!?! I felt we were taken to a tailors at every opportunity while moving on to the next part of a tour😮 Also did you not pick up your souvenir plate with a photo of you floating around the market!
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Unread 25 Jun 18, 08:12 PM  
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Another fantastic day, thanks for sharing x
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