under the coconut tree

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Swimming elephants and floating women

I've always wanted to go to the floating market but never realised that it was a 2-hour drive away from Bangkok! It was definitely a long (and early) ride for a market that opens for less than half a day.

We were warned by friends and family alike that the market has turned extremely touristy in recent years. So we were prepared to jostle against tides of tourists but were extremely lucky to be mingling only among the locals out having breakfast. Guess it pays to be the early-birds!

There were 2 sides of the market - one of which sold hot food and fruits to locals while the other dabbled more on arts and crafts catering mostly to tourists. In addition, you still have many river traders that paddled up and down the canal hawking their wares. A rather delightful market experience but boy, was the whole place hot and humid!!
The four ladies taking a break by the canal to catch up on gossips.
A scene of the floating market.
Traffic jam at the canals.

We stopped over at Saiyok Elephant Park before making our way to the Tiger Temple. Slightly out of character, we succumbed to being "tourist suckers" and paid for an elephant ride. In fairness, it was my first time sitting on something so big and hairy!! :p Well, the jungle "trek" was a mere 20-min walk through the bush, down a valley and just to give us a cheap sense of adventure, a foray into the River Kwai.
KL considering a career change. He didn't get vey far, the elephant absolutely refused to budge!

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