Seeing the floating markets was one of the things I was most excited about during my stay in Bangkok…
…so I nearly died when – finally, after a multitude of random detours along the way – Ning (the accidental guide) said the few little words I’d been waiting to hear all day, “now I take you to your speed boat, you travel to the markets just like James Bond yes?”
FUCK yes – I had an image of whizzing down the river on a state of the art speed boat, the wind blowing in my hair… possibly a martini in one hand…
An image that was immediately shattered when I came face to face with my ride.
A canoe – with an engine.
Don’t get me wrong, it was the most beautiful, colourful canoe I’ve ever seen… but a canoe all the same. Mentally logging how brown the water was as I clambered in like a baby rhino, I was pretty sure that this wasn’t James Bonds preferred mode of transport…*
Besides being convinced we were about to capsize twice, crashing into (what I’m 99% sure was) a sewage pipe and nearly killing a man fishing his rubbish out of the river – the speed boat was easily my favourite part of my Bangkok adventure and something I would recommend to anyone visiting Thailand.
The floating markets themselves were so much better than I expected, not necessarily for the actual stock (I was in the market for a fake Mulberry bag etc… turns out you need to go to the local markets for this as I, devestatingly, found out on my way back to the airport) but the general atmosphere; the colour, the hustle and bustle and the taste of the Bangkok way of life was literally incredible. I could have easily come home with a whole new wardrobe (if I wasn’t already teetering on the edge of my luggage allowance) but I settled for a beautiful dress (the fruits of my first attempt at haggling), if anyone asks it’s from an expensive boutique in Sydney…
*Evidently, the exact same type of canoe was used in the ‘Man with the Golden Gun’, but not being a boy or a lesbian I wouldn’t know that.
Disclaimer: I don’t, in any way, assume that all James Bond fans are men or lesbians. Swear down.
The fruits of my first Floating Market haggle