Our visit to the floating markets continued with a paddle boat ride through the floating market itself. Our skipper was a middle-aged Thai woman who handled the boat with seeming ease. She didn’t speak English, but we were able to communicate with pantomime pretty well.
She navigated us through the canals while the shop owners called out highlights from each of their shops. Shopping this way was an intriguing experience – on the one hand, you can get away quickly if you’re not interested. On the other hand, you can get sort of stuck at a stall if your communication with your skipper is not good.
Most of the stuff in the stalls was similar to what we’d seen elsewhere. There were a few exceptions: more wood carvings were available, including of incredible ships and even some… um… fertility symbols. It was hard to get any sense of the clothes on display because of the angle of the boat.
The most fascinating part to me was how many paddle boats plied the water selling food. Some of them were carrying full vats of hot oil for frying! On a wooden boat! Some sold full plates of to-order Pad Thai or fried rice. Most of the paddle boat vendors seemed to be women, many of them middle aged or older. They were all lovely and smiled when we went by.
After our paddle boat ride, which lasted about 25 minutes, we had more time to explore the market on foot. Check back tomorrow for more pictures from our jaunt through the markets on foot.
Title quote: Benjamin Franklin