Bangkok, Thailand One

Maeklong Railway Market
Maeklong Railway Market

The train is approaching...vendors are getting ready.

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Maeklong Railway Market
Maeklong Railway Market

It's getting closer!

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Maeklong Railway Market
Maeklong Railway Market

The train has arrived and is moving slowly through the market

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Maeklong Railway Market
Maeklong Railway Market

Snake for sale or just posed on your shoulders for a great photo.

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Maeklong Railway Market
Maeklong Railway Market

Women passenger looking down from the train as it passes through.

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Maeklong Railway Market
Maeklong Railway Market

Huge shrimp

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Maeklong Railway Market
Maeklong Railway Market

Beautiful salmon

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Maeklong Railway Market
Maeklong Railway Market

Hot peppers

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Maeklong Railway Market
Maeklong Railway Market

Rather modern train

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Maeklong Railway Market
Maeklong Railway Market

Old woman vendor

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Maeklong Railway Market
Maeklong Railway Market

Yummy fish

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Market near Maeklong Railway Market
Market near Maeklong Railway Market

Nice young man making coconut sugar

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Maeklong Railway Market
Maeklong Railway Market

Yeowzza!

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Near the Floating Market
Near the Floating Market

Stirring Coconut Sugar - demonstration of how sugar was once produced.

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Near the Market
Near the Market

Man demonstrating how coconut sugar was once made.

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Maeklong Railway Market
Maeklong Railway Market

Roasted duck

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Maeklong Railway Market
Maeklong Railway Market

Dried Fish

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Fellow tourists and Tom our guide
Fellow tourists and Tom our guide

Maeklong Railway Market and Floating Market Tour

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Maeklong Railway Market
Maeklong Railway Market

More dried fish

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Near the Grand Palace
Near the Grand Palace

Wall painting

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Taling Chan Floating Market
Taling Chan Floating Market

Great bananas

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On the streets of Bangkok
On the streets of Bangkok

Beautiful fruiet

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Taling Chan Floating Market
Taling Chan Floating Market

Boater

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Cool headdress
Cool headdress

Taling Chan Floating Market

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Coconut ice cream
Coconut ice cream

Taling Chan Floating Market

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Taling Chan Floating Market
Taling Chan Floating Market

Hanging bowls for sale.

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Taling Chan Floating Market
Taling Chan Floating Market

Lady with a hat selling her wares.

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Taling Chan Floating Market
Taling Chan Floating Market

House on the trail of the Taling Chan Floating Market

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Taling Chan Floating Market
Taling Chan Floating Market

Lovely vendor.

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Rama VIII Bridge
Rama VIII Bridge

The cable-stayed bridge crossing the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand. It was built to alleviate traffic congestion on the nearby Phra Pinklao Bridge. Construction of the bridge took place from 1999 to 2002.

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Taling Chan Floating Market
Taling Chan Floating Market

Love the colorful boats.

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Taling Chan Floating Market
Taling Chan Floating Market

Fellow passenger

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Taling Chan Floating Market
Taling Chan Floating Market

Avenue

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Taling Chan Floating Market
Taling Chan Floating Market

Yellow boats

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On Steps of Bank of Bangkok Museum
On Steps of Bank of Bangkok Museum

Two nice students, college students, took my picture and I took theirs.

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Buildings on the water
Buildings on the water

Common view of Bangkok

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Taling Chan Floating Market
Taling Chan Floating Market

Woman cleaning fish for sale

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Taling Chan Floating Market
Taling Chan Floating Market

Vendor working hard.

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I arrived in Southeast Asia by flying directly from Doha to Chiang Mae, a Thailand community of about 131,000 kind, softly spoken people who are simply enchanting.  I stayed at a family-owned hotel, Chor Chiang House, where the father, Kun Gon, took me everywhere I wanted to go, by scooter or van, usually refusing any payment. 

 

I had been in Pristhina, Kosovo for five months, a much longer stay than typical because I agreed to teach English as a Second Language to native Albanian speakers working for USAID.  It was a wonderful experience and  my students were terrific!  I had a great time and even got paid!  But, honestly, I was ready to leave...it was cold, snowy...I had to buy warm clothes....you understand.

Then, suddenly, I was in the "Land of Smiles" with sun, heat, humidity, elephants, wide city streets filled with motorbikes, scooters, cars, and run open-air tuk tuks.   I was immediately smitten with traditional music with loud, energetic drums, pastoral melodies play on a pii (a woodwind with a reed mouthpiece) and the khlui (a wooden Thai flute).

Chiang Mae was a new and completely different opportunity to let go and allow myself to be enveloped in sweet, loving ambiance and peace.  Actually, I fell in love with this lovely community.

A week later, I took the day train...a 10 hour trip with serene views of rice paddies and countryside...to Bangkok, a bustling, crowded city with its own particular charm, as well as the incredible Grand Palace, the Maeklong Railway Market, the Taling Chan Floating Market, and much more.

Because the Chinese were present in the hundreds, I decided to pass up a tour of the Grand Palace, although I walked passed it through to hoards of tourists nearly every day.

The Maeklong Railway Market is jammed with vendors selling food, trinkets, snakes, and more, at the edge of the actual tracks.  And the train actually comes through the market a few times a day!  Vendors quickly pull their awnings and goods back away from the train's path to avoid disrupting their displays, and then, immediately put everything back, as if nothing had happened.  It's quite the operation.

 

Due to the vast network of canals and waterways, Bangkok and the surrounding area, were formerly known as the Venice of the East.  People relied on canals for transportation, and therefore people would tend to sell things directly from their boats, and congregate in certain areas to have floating boat markets.  Fast forward to today, and although canals are still used as transportation in areas in and around Bangkok, many of the canals have been filled in to make way for roads, and boats and have turned into cars. 

 

The Taling Chan Floating Market has survived this change.  It's very hard to describe the Taling Chan Floating Market.  Hopefully, these photos will help you understand the enormity of boating through the popular market. 

 

(For even MORE pictures of Bangkok, access Bangkok, Thailand Two Gallery HERE.)