The Colour and the Chaos: Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Leaving Bangkok was more a sweet than bitter experience. The day before I went to the Damnoen Saduak, the tour mini van spending an hour collecting people from various hotels around the huge sprawling polluted stinking city that was already beginning to swelter and in the early morning sun. The relentless streams of mopeds, taxis, cars, trucks, buses all heading into the city in frantic, beeping choking unison, a cacophony of horns. The traffic in Bangkok is like a great noxious animal that rarely sleeps and seems to draw energy from the sun itself growing more ferocious in the heat. It is frightening, the thought of what the future holds for this huge metropolis that, if it once was the city of angels as it's name is said to mean, they have all up and flown away, leaving this city to the 'jiin', or spirits that are said to haunt it.
One and a half hours outside the city is this market that is more of a floating tourist hell where the rampant consumerism isn't cloaked under any nice veneer. But within that there is still beauty, within the chaos and clamour there are distinct pockets of calm and clarity, the traders still resonating a warmth and a human touch that defies the conditions under which they live. I was blown away by the colour and beauty around me.