10.10.2015 - 10.10.2015 27 °C
Floating markets have been a trademark in Thailand's tourism products ever since Damnoen Saduak Floating Market gained its foothold as one of the unique canal boat tour which incorporates the food sale to tourists on boat or sampan in particular the ever popular Thai national dish, "somtam" or Thai papaya salad, Thai soup noodles (any soup noodles not confined only to boat noodle which I had written previously), Thai desserts, mango sticky rice, pad thai (stir fry noodles), fresh tropical fruits and souvenir items. As such market gained its popularities among the tourists, the trend of setting up other floating markets to capitalised on the growing interests of tourists with such tours came into the mind of Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
THE MAIN ENTRANCE TO TALING CHAN FLOATING MARKET
Ever since the establishment of Damnoen Saduak Floating Market followed by Amphawa Floating Market, canal tours have today become top things to do while on vacation in Thailand. One of the closest floating market to Bangkok is the Taling Chan Floating Market, now being promoted by TAT to Bangkok visitors due to its short distance from the metropolitan city. Though this floating market has not yet gained much attention from tourists at present, hopefully in coming years, it will and that TAT will be putting much more efforts in developing the market so that it will be on par with that of the Damnoen Saduak's popularity.The market currently attracts quite a number of locals and Thai visitors though a small number of foreign tourists could be seen here as well. The market starts with rows of vendors selling range of items mostly food and souvenirs along the small lane leading to the main Taling Chan boat pier where motorised boats could be boarded for a canal tour. Just before the boat pier, there are some few food vendors mostly seafood traders with items available include the grilled fresh water fish, large size prawns , crabs, clamps, shells, somtam (Thai papaya salad) and pork satay. There were tables and floor seating sections available for food diners over here. A handful of food vendors on boats could be seen docking along the canal including the pork satay and somtam vendors.
The boat vendors @ Taling Chan Floating Market
Grilled seafood at Taling Chan Floating Market
Whether the tourism authority would like to maintain the present situation at Taling Chan Floating Market or otherwise, it could also serves as one of a good option for tourists seeking a much more less crowded and relax atmosphere. It may not have a strong character depicting a great tour products but overall, it is still a place to venture in seeking for something new and different kind of floating market experience. Seafood is definitelythe main highlights while at Taling Chan and the dining area would be quickly filled-up with diners craving for the fresh grilled fish, big prawns, clamps and crabs just before lunch hour. When I arrived after noon from Or Tor Gor market, the dining place was already crowded and packed. As I already had my satisfied meal at Or Tor Gor market, I decided to give seafood lunch a miss at Taling Chan Floating Market which was regrettable.
The street market before the entrance to Taling Chan Floating Market
Nevertheless, the experience of dining beside a river is interesting and if not for my full stomach, I would have ordered some wonderful grilled fish, prawns and crabs, squeeze myself into one of the dining tables, enjoying the riverside atmosphere while waiting for the food to be ready. For some, this may not be a real floating market experience but I would think that this could be indeed a nice experience with the absence of the huge tourists crowd. I feel more relaxed and peaceful without the hustle and bustle of people cramping the place. Floating market offers fun and interesting experience to travellers and if TAT think that preserving the current Taling Chan floating market crowd size would be good, then I am all out to support it. But perhaps more boat vendors could be added to include other than canal tours, some boat shopping options as well as boat dining could be included as part of the floating market activities to add more colours to this place. Here at Taling Chan floating market, unlike Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, you would not see visitors hiring boats to cruise through the canals to do some sightseeing tour and food and bargain hunting for souvenir items. Boat tours are available but not for food and boat shopping along the canal. The tour is for sightseeing along the canals and include a final stop at Wat Thong Sala Ngarm where Artist House or Baan Silapin is located. This is not any house but a traditional wooden canal house used as a stage to perform the Thai puppet show. This is one of the surprise package for the Taling Chan boat tour and I would say it was a wonderful experience in understanding the variety of Thai culture and myth as well as to gain some insights into the life of community of the canals in Thailand.
The Taling Chan Pier @ taling Chan Floating Market. Boat tour service along canals of Taling Chan available as well at this floating market