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Floating Market Khlong Latmayom

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Khlong Latmayon is a floating market in the North West of Bangkok, it's visited by Thai's rather than foreign tourists and so the prices are cheap, the goods are far more varied and traditional and the food is just excellent! Especially the seafood.

These markets are about selling you goods and services, rather than selling you a 'floating market experience' which is the Trueman Show like experience you get from Damnoen Saduak, the market much further away that foreigners are usually taken to.

The main stalls are on the land either side of a narrow river, only a few stalls are actually on boats and they mainly sell food and flowers. It's open Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 5pm, but stall holders start to leave earlier, and the last boat trip is at 3pm. I only spent the afternoon there, and I ran out of time, I didn't realize until after my boat trip that the market is in two halves split by the road and I didn't get a proper look at the northern half.

One of the first thing to catch my eye was these flower baskets, each one carved from a single coconut shell and husk. The price was 300 baht ($10), you can see photos on my Thai life blog for these.

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All along the river are tables and seats to eat, you buy food from the stalls, grab a table and eat at the table. The tables next to the river fill up first, I could only find a table further in the market, still never mind, the food was fantastic.

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I had a large salty crust barbecued fish, it cost 220 baht ($7), and bought some sticky rice (10 Baht) and papaya salad (30 Baht) from other stalls. I think they catch these fish right from the river, because it was absolutely teaming with fish.

There are other fun things to do too, I had my portrait drawn on a paper bag (70 baht, $2) at one of the art stalls in the market. I bought that hat at the market too.

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It's not the only arty thing to do, I found a stall that teaches you painting. The outline of the drawings are available on the wall, you choose a picture, and sit and fill in the colours with water-paints and the artist guides you on how to add shade and blend colours to learn his skills. It cost 50 baht and you take the finished work home with you.

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There's a stall selling models of famous monks, they had my favorite (deceased) monks Luang Por Waen Sujinno. Just as there are Superstar Monks now, popular monks whose teachings are widely followed, there were previous generations of popular monks.

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Of course no visit to a floating market would be complete without a boat trip. For this one, I went to a traditional house and gardens. The trips lasts an hour, and takes you to old style wooden houses, that are also homestay (like Bed and Breakfast hotels, or French Gites). These are really people opening their homes and selling wares to earn some money. These masks, for example, are an old family heirloom.

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They show you round their gardens filled with their plants and ornaments, and show you some of the older traditional things. I found candy from my childhood here, I've cataloged it on my Thai Life blog, it brought back fond childhood memories for me, and also reminds me that I need a tooth filled.

The boat trip was 50 Baht a person, tickets near where the road bridge crosses the river, on the east bank.

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The house above is for rent, 1500 Baht a night and up to 5 people can sleep in it, you can learn how to make Thai Khanom, and see the gardens and wander around the river. Tel 0870366322, or 0812069389, there are several homestays there, ranging from 300 baht per person per night, or 1000 baht per house per night. Another contact was 0896881503, you'll need a Thai friend to make the booking for you, they didn't speak English.

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The homestay I saw featured a traditional Thai kitchen, shown above. I haven't seen that in years.

To get there, I took the Skytrain to Wongwian Yai BTS station, and took a taxi. The first 3 taxis didn't know it, so it's a good idea to print out the map below. In 2012 BTS (Skytrain) and MRT (Underground) are expanding and you may be able to get nearer than Wongwian Yai BTS station.

A Google Earth KMZ file is available so you can see the whole trip (including the taxi ride from the BTS station) is here: Bangkok Floating Market Trip.

B on the map below is where the floating market is, A is Wongwian Yai BTS Skytrain station.


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