We had visit a floating market on our to-do list. This was our last full day in town and I thought I had seen a sign about floating markets by the water bus station so we walked over to check it out. The agent was not there but there was a lady there who was willing to let us go right away. It was more than we were expecting B900 for both of us but we decided to go anyway. After we paid, the lady who had sold us the trip went out onto the dock and started waving an umbrella around. She did it for a few minutes and eventually a long boat showed up. She had a discussion with the driver in Thai and told us to get in.
The driver then took us for an on water tour which included some of the sights we had seen the day before and a side trip up one of Bangkok’s many canals through Thonburi where there are houses on posts right in the water.
We saw Wats, the Royal Barge Museum and what we assume were parade floats for New Years but no floating markets.
At the very end of the tour a single boat came up to us with beer and some tacky souvenirs as it was 9:00am we had no interest in the beer so he tried to convince us to buy a beer for our driver! Not much of a floating market but it was quite a nice tour. We discovered later that we bought a private one hour tour which included the local floating market not the more famous and further away Wat Sai or Taing Chan markets which was what we intended.
Most tours to see things are booked through a travel agent in Thailand. They all take a commission so the price is somewhat negotiable but you need to be careful about anything that sounds too good to be true. In theory, Thai travel agents are licensed but the licenses are not always real. We needed to get to Koh Chang the next day so we went to a couple of different agents to get a price for the bus. We got the same price from two agents so we picked the one in our hotel thinking that it would be easier to complain if things did not turn out.
That done we took the Chao Phraya Express Boat north to Nonthaburi Market. A local food market which is not focused on tourists. We were almost the only non-locals there and it was fascinating. Full of all kinds of meats, spices, vegetables and food with some clothing and household items as well. We were very noticeable!
The one thing that we did not see was any flies! In fact the areas of Bangkok we were in had almost no bugs at all. We found it very odd. The only explanation I have found is that Thai people are very clean (which they are) and that the garbage is collected so frequently that the larva don’t have time to hatch.
From Nonthaburi we took the water bus back to the area around the Grand Place with the intention of doing a walking tour of the area. The area around the Grand Place was very crowded with tourists and tour groups. There was tons of traffic and literally hundreds of people trying to get across the road to the entrance. There was a police officer directing traffic but he appeared to be more interested in stopping people than cars! We eventually crossed the road but we did not even bother getting into the very long line to pay B400 to get in.
We continued on to the Amulet Market a fascinating spot full of amulets for warding off evil of all kinds. Like the rest of Thailand it was also full of cats. They pop up everywhere! From there we got somewhat lost trying to find the water boat stop and ended up walking all the way home!
We ate dinner on our street once again. The food was great but in general we found that it was better not to wait too long to eat because no one was really in a hurry to take your order or bring your food or your bill for that matter. As long as you bought something at some point they were quite willing to allow you to hang around as long as you wanted which is actually kind of nice once you get used to it. We watched the beer truck delivery. A couple of policemen showed up just after the beer truck and rode off with a case of beer between them on a motorcycle. Most restaurants are right on the street, great for people watching and in the evening the action comes right to your table as people stop by trying to sell everything from jewelry to selfie sticks.
They generally have at least one cat as well. They just hang out under the tables. We watched a local lady trying to catch one in a net. She would tempt it with leftovers and then try and catch it. The cat got at least three chicken bones and never came close to getting caught.
We ended the day with a final walk through the area.