The Floating Market
Shopping for groceries and souvenirs was certainly a novel experience today. We drove about an hour outside of Bangkok to a place called the Railroad Market. For some reason, these farmers have decided to set their wares up on the ground, literally right next to and up to the railroad tracks. They install awnings over their booths to provide shade for grocery shoppers. The amount of fruits and vegetables along with a huge variety of seafood would give any Whole Foods grocery store a run for their money. These people certainly do eat well! You walk on the train tracks while you shop. There is only one tiny little issue they have to deal with…the train comes through six times a day! The chime of the railroad crossing goes off when a train approaches. They have three to five minutes to clear their baskets and bins that may extend over the tracks. They quickly retract their awnings, and once the train whizzes through, it’s back to business as usual. It’s absolutely crazy.
If you do as search on YouTube for the Railroad Market in Thailand, you can see the train coming through!
On the next stop, we climbed into a long boat which motored us up to the narrow waterways of the Floating Market. Once there, you can walk along the sides which have hundreds of vendors selling absolutely everything, or for a few extra bucks, you can get in a paddle boat to do your shopping. You can also buy your lunch right off the river. Many of the boats are cooking right on the waterway…noodles, barbecue chicken, satay, fresh fruit, even coconut ice cream. Be careful not to point at things! If a vendor sees you’re interested in something, they will use a long pole to hook your boat and pull you over to their stall to try to get you to buy something. We were in such awe of everything that Donna and I kept saying “look at this, look at that!,” and they would hook our boat every time. We finally had to keep saying to each other, “Don’t point! Don’t point!” Side note, there are tons of wonderful things to shop for in Thailand, and it’s all reasonably cheap! We could have spent all day here. It was so fascinating!