Our guide, Ms. Aom and driver Mr. Andy picked us up at 9 AM. They drove us out into the countryside to see some things.
First stop, after a 1 hour ride, was the Maeklong Railway Market to see the arrival of the train. It is an interestingly very popular occurrence with the locals. Nicknamed Talad Rom Hoop which means Umbrella Pulldown Market, it is one of the largest fresh seafood markets in Thailand and is centered around the tracks. Whenever a train approaches, the awnings and shop fronts are pulled back from the rails, and replaced once the train has passed. Average speed of the train is 18 miles/hour making it one of the slowest trains in Thailand. We got there just a few minutes before the train arrived, and people were mobbed across the tracks trying to get a picture of the train as it arrived. Once it stopped in the station people lined up to get a picture of themselves in front of it. The market itself was full of many different and interesting foods. Ms. Aom bought a variety of different foods for us to try. Some were good, others we never tried.
|Durian, the stinky fruit|
Next stop: the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. This market represents how the Thai people once shopped, but now mostly caters to tourists. The vendors load their boats up with souvenirs and food (some cooking it right on their boats) and line the canal. The buyers float down the canal in their boat, stopping to buy wares along the way. After we passed through all the vendors, stopping long enough to buy a couple of fans for Linda and me, we floated through the canals where people live.
The heat was stifling at each stop, but Mr. Andy always had a cold bottle of water and cold packaged washcloths waiting for us every time we returned to the van.
|Water buffalo that hang out at the temple grounds|
|Cute neon sign at the men's restroom|
Ms. Aom took us to an open air restaurant for a late lunch where we had some yummy Thai food. It was better than last night’s dinner and much cheaper.
Last stop was the bridge over the River Kwai.
The drive back to the city took 2 hours. We arrived around 9 PM and crashed!