Paew Floating Market Dumnoen Sakuak

The main part of todays outing was to see the floating markets. We got into a boat with a huge motor on the back and went for a cruise around the canals. We finished our cruise at the floating markets. The markets used to be where the farmers would sell their produce. Today its just for the tourists.

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Most of the things for sale are in the buildings next to the canal, but you can still buy some things from the boats.

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One woman was cooking coconut pancakes. We tried them. Very sweet.

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After the tour it was time to return to our hotel. Thanks to Bangkok traffic this took hours. In the end we left our tour minivan and caught the sky train to the station near our hotel as it was quicker.

Coconut Farm

On the way to the floating markets we stopped off at a coconut farm and were shown how to make coconut sugar. I didn’t know there was such a thing. The coconut trees yield 70 coconuts a year and produce fruit for 90 years. All the coconuts are picked by hand, no machines. I demonstrated how to climb the bamboo pole to reach the coconuts.

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The coconut sugar isn’t produced from the coconut. Its actually from the flower stem that the coconut grows from. The farmer cuts off a piece of the flower stem and juice flows out. They tie a container underneath it to catch the fluid.

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The fluid flows better at night. So each evening the cut a little more of the flower stem to get more juice. They stop cutting just before the coconut seed so that the coconuts still grow.
They take the juice and put it into three vats. First warms it up, then hotter, then hottest.

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The hottest have a basket to stop the fluids from escaping when boiling.

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The fires are kept going by burning coconut husks.

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Once the cooking process is gone they stir the mixture to cool it down.

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Once it starts getting thick they put into small bowls to set. The finished product is coconut sugar. It a brown powdery substance that is sweet like sugar.
Also at the farm they had some gibbons, and a pair of squirrels.

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Maeklong Station

On this mornings tour we went to a different market. The markets sold fresh food and flowers. Really fresh. Like the crabs and fish were still moving fresh.

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This smells were almost overpowering. And not in a good way. But the really interesting thing is that these markets are run on a working train line. They actually stuff on the train track.

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Here comes the train! Time to remove the awnings.

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Woo woo train passing

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And in about 10 seconds of the train passing the awnings are up and its back to business. The heavy carts are on wheels which allow them to be quickly rolled away from the passing train.

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Bangkok sights and MBK

After our temple tour we asked to be dropped off the the MBK centre. Its a huge shopping centre of, I think, 6 floors. While its enclosed and air conditioned like a shopping centre inside are very small shops, more like stalls. And in many of the shops you can haggle the price. The 4th floor is just electronics equipment.
When we’d had enough shopping we walked to the nearby Sky rail (train) station. Our tickets cost 25 baht (30baht= $1 AUD) to get us back to our hotel which was only 4 stops away.
Traffic in Bangkok is crazy. To many cars and too many traffic jams.

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Saw this post office box and thought it was amusing

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Power cables look crazy here too.

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Bangkok city temple tour

We were picked from our hotel lobby in the morning for our half day temple tour. Our first stop was at the temple that housed the golden Buddha. The temple was built to celebrate the birthday of the current King of Thailand. The story we were told is that a very big Buddha statue was made of concrete and it was decided to be moved. But during the moving process a crane broke and the statue was dropped cracking the concrete. It was only then that they discovered that the statue, underneath the concrete, was made of gold. Ages past the gold had been covered in concrete to stop invaders from taking the treasure. But the knowledge that it was gold underneath was lost.

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The second stop was to see the giant reclining Buddha. And this statue was giant.

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On a lot of the statues people attach gold leaf as tribute

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In this temple was information regarding the origin of Thai massage. There used to be lots of statues in the position on massage but over the years they have been damaged so only about 20 remain. This was my favourite.

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Last stop on the tour was a temple that had a lot of Buddha statues in all the different poses. This was my favourite because he has a little belly. Like me 🙂

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