Damnoen Saduak, Ratchaburi
The Damnoen Saduak is a famous market for locals and tourists located about an hour's drive from Bangkok, Thailand. The floating market is a relic from a past time in lower Thailand's history, when river travel was the preferred means of transportation, earning Thailand the title of The Venice of the East. Today the tradition of selling goods from boats and riverside shops remains and has increasingly attracted larger and larger hordes of tourists; to the point that most independent travelers have erased the floating markets from their itineraries. I almost made the mistake of scratching the floating markets from my plans as well, but thanks to the Old Bangkok Inn's recommendations, I went first thing in the morning. When I arrived at the market early in the morning, the air was still cool, the dreaded touts were nowhere to be seen, and the only other boats on the canals were those full of fruit, food and handicrafts. The floating markets were very enjoyable and I was able to sample freshly prepared Thai soups and noodles, as well as exotic fruits such as Rambutans, Dragon Fruits and the forbidden Durian. By the time I exited my boat, the canals were beginning to swell with boatloads of tourists and the parking lot was hazy with dust kicked up by the large buses packed with day trippers searching for their slice of authentic Thailand.
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