Day 11 – February 11, 2014
This morning we opted to go to the floating market about 85km away from Bangkok. There used to be a floating market right in the city, with merchants on small boats that floated up and down a canal, but it disbanded a few years ago. I had heard that the new floating market was very touristy, but we were getting a bit desperate to get out of Bangkok so we thought we’d give it a chance.
Once outside of Bangkok the roads opened up and we sped along. We arrived at a small dock and hired a long tail boat to take us through a small village to the market.
The village was built along the waterway, usually half on land and half above the water, with greenery crowding around every chance it got.
When we got to the market we disembarked and made our way on foot through the stalls and along the waterway. Some vendors were on boats, but most had stalls and almost all sold the same tourist trinkets at inflated prices.
It was disappointing and only a couple things were worth haggling over. In all we spent more time getting to and from the market than actually at the market itself.
In the evening we boarded our overnight train at Hua Lamphong train station, a beautiful building designed by an Italian architect.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with an overnight train, but it turned out to not be so bad. We had been forewarned that the train food was horrendous so we already had provisions for the night. On each side of the aisle two seats faced each other that were mostly comfortable and roomy. There were luggage shelves to keep your belongings close and it was all pretty clean, even the toilet.
At around 8pm one of the stewards came around to make up the beds, complete with sheets, blanket and pillow. There were even privacy curtains that were hung and much appreciated.
To my surprise it was fairly quiet on the train, except for the train itself. I had expected loud chattering from fellow passengers but I guess everyone on our carriage was super tired because as soon as those beds were made it was quiet. I woke a few times in the night (as was expected) but was usually rocked back to sleep.