A Bangkok Floating Market. Khlong Lad Mayom. Part 2.
For 100 Baht per person (roughly around $3 USD), you’ll be able to take a three hour boat ride through the channel system in a traditional Thai long boat. I’ll admit, this is probably one of the most touristy things you can possibly do when you’re in Thailand, but its a ride you’ll want to take if you ever visit Khlong Lad Mayom. I say this because the intricate channel system will get you to places you will otherwise probably never visit on foot or taxi.
The first thing you will notice is how narrow the boats look. If you’re a big person (which I’m not), you’re going to want to sit closer to the middle-end and take up a whole bench for yourself. I’ve never actually seen a boat capsize, but you never know and probably don’t want to take an unwanted dunk in the water. And of course, remember to take your camera out and prepare to take random pictures of the temples, animals, and the serene Thai backdrops.
There is no denying that you’ll be presented with probably one of the most peaceful and beautiful sights in Thailand you’ve ever seen (so far). On my ride, we had passed by Buddhist monks sweeping the floors of the temples in their bright orange robes, villagers fishing on the banks, and children excitedly glancing at us as if we were a limited-time-only aquarium exhibit. It was a very peaceful ride, except for the very few times some asshole would speed past us in their speed boat. Like I said, the boat is very narrow and the channel not too wide. If you ever encounter this dude, make sure you grab on to the boat and hope you won’t be wringing water out of your clothing in the next five minutes.
One of the most memorable moments of the ride for my wife and I were the short stops at the outdoor markets and the tour of the orchid farm. In fact, the sights and tastes of those moments still linger freshly in my mind, which is why my cravings for a particular fruit will never go away until the day I go back to stuff my mouth full of it.
On the banks of the water were trees with lush, shiny red rose apples hanging from their branches. As soon as we got off the boat, I took my wife’s hands and quickly walked over to the beverage hut located a few meters inland. We ordered some coconut water with shavings (which is what I am eating in the picture above) and a small plastic bag of sliced rose apples. These are small bell-shaped fruits which are shiny red in color with a thin waxy skin. They are juicy, crispy and taste like a combination of sweet grapes and honey crisp apples.
We walked down the aisles between the colorful and fragrant orchids. I had never seen so many orchids in my life (and I love taking my annual trips to Longwood Gardens). There were orchids growing out of pots on tables, hanging on walls and ceilings.
In the end, the floating market for us wasn’t about purchasing food and souvenirs while floating down a small canal like many expect to do after watching travel shows on these Thai wonders. For my wife and I, we wanted to leave our hotel rooms and travel to other parts of Bangkok and Thailand without having to rely too much on Taxis and tour guides. We loved our trip to Khlong Lad Mayom market and I hope to go back one day in our near future.