A Travellerspoint blog

October 2015

Baan Silapin, The Artist's House

Thai Puppet Show

rain 27 °C

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Boarding the boat at Taling Chan Pier for canal tour and to get to Baan Silapin

Other highlights at Taling Chan Floating Market other than the seafood treat is the canal tour which include the stop at the Artist's House (Baan Silapin) near Wat Thong Sala Ngarm (Thong Sala Ngarm Temple). There are 2 options for canal tours, one that is a public boat tour where the boat will depart once it is full but require some waiting time for the earlier boat to finished its round and returned to the pie. The second would be private boats which could also be shared with few others (good for couples) offering more privacy and comfort.

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Canal tours at Taling Chan Floating Market. Fish feeding was included as part of the fun activity

After about 20 minutes canal tour which wooden and semi-wooden houses could be seen along the canals, (sadly some of which on verge to collapse while some had already seen collapsed and disappeared) as well as witnessing how the community along the canal involve in daily activities, the boat arrived at the Wat Thong Sala Ngarm pier for visitors to get to Baan Silapin to watch the Thai puppet show themed under the Hanuman epic, which according to Thai myth was a Lopburi monkey with appearance wearing a crown on his head created by Lord Shiva, the Hindu God and also a devoted soldier of Rama, another Hindu God.

BAAN SILAPIN AND SURROUDING AREAS
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Under Thai myth, Hanuman was not believed to be God but a flirty monkey who likes to seduce women as well as a powerful character who could demolished millions of demon armies. To reach Baan Silapin from the Wat Thong Sala Ngarm pier, visitors will pass through some traditional wooden canal houses with some of the house owners involve in coffee shop and food business, souvenirs trade and fish food sale for fish feeding as there were many fresh water fish in the canals (interesting colourful fish food were on sale apart from the bread). Walking on the edge of the canal along the front wooden walkways of the traditional old wooden house brings back the nostalgic of olden era of Thailand. There were some interesting sights along the pathways leading to Baan Silapin and within Baan Silapin where an artist was seen showcasing his great drawing skills, a post box structure and 2 human structures in red and white along the edge of the wooden pathways in front of Baan Silapin.

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Thai puppet performers paying respect to Hanuman and Thai Puppet Master before the start of the show @ Baan Silapin

Before the start of the puppet show, the performers wearing in black attires and black masks were seen holding the Hanuman puppet and paying respect to the Thai puppet master. The stage was a simple courtyard of a wooden canal house with lush plants on the surroundings with an open concept. Guests watch the show from the covered living hall where seats such as long bench, sofa and chairs were arrange for seating. During show time, the seating area was noted to be full and insufficient to accomodate the guests. So, crowds could be seen standing and seating on the floors in front of the stage. The puppet show was just incredibly amazing on how the performers were so skilful in controlling the puppet to each of the Hanuman's actions as if the Hanuman was a real life puppet.

THE THAI PUPPET SHOW PERFORMANCE @ BAAN SILAPIN, ARTIST HOUSE
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As in Thai myth where Thai people thought Hanuman was a flirtatious monkey, the show at Baan Silapin include the performance that showcased how Hanuman did the tricks in seducing the mermaid Suvannamaccha. It was also believed under the Thai myth, as a result of the union between Hanuman and mermaid Suvannamaccha, a baby half monkey and half mermaid was born. I remember I have watched the show before at the Louis puppet theatre in Suan Lum Night Bazaar, which has since closed and moved to Asiatique? At the end of the show, visitors could donate to the performers for their good and skilful performance and opportunity to have close photography sessions with Hanuman and the performers.

THE CANAL TOURS AT TALING CHAN FLOATING MARKET AND AT BAAN SILAPIN (ARTIST HOUSE) AND ITS SURROUNDING AREA
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Posted by kidd27 09:33 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Taling Chan Floating Market

rain 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
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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.

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The boat vendors @ Taling Chan Floating Market

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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.

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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.

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The Taling Chan Pier @ taling Chan Floating Market. Boat tour service along canals of Taling Chan available as well at this floating market

Posted by kidd27 07:49 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Talad Or Tor Kor (Or Tor Kor Market)

One of the best fresh market in Asia?

overcast 27 °C

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Main entrance to Or Tor Gor Market

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Spacious, brightly lit and clean interior @ Talad Or Tor Gor

If you ever thought that fresh market is a place which is wet, dirty, stinky, forgettable and unattractive, you just have to think again. Talad Or Tor Kor (or Or Tor Gor Market) yet again bring you another amazing experience which definitely fits in just nicely into the Kingdom of Thailand tourism tagline Amazing Thailand and Unseen Thailand. This fresh market located adjacent to the infamous bizarre tourist bazaar known as Jatuchak market is the "never go wrong" place to be for some of the best authentic Thai food experience as well as to get some of the most fresh food items for home cooking and for restaurateurs who need to get fresh items for the ultimate great taste in their cookings.

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Enjoying pork satay and crispy pork at Talad OR Tor Gor

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Or Tor Gor market has one of the best crispy pork available in Bangkok and Thailand

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Isaan style pork sausage at Or Tor Gor market

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Sweets and cakes at Or Tor Gor market

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Food court area at Or Tor Gor Market

It was said that many fresh food ingredients available at Or Tor Gor market had drove many of those well-known in food business in Bangkok and other provinces in Thailand to get their "secret items" in preparing their food at this market. That was not a surprise indeed, really! You just have to come over to Talad Or Tor Gor, step your foot into the market premise and check it out for what was said. The market, not only well established as the ultimate market to obtain best and fresh food ingredients, it is also a fresh market that was very well organised with regards to the stalls and vendors set-up, clean and hygienic as well as bright and spacious leaving a vacant hall in the middle of the market with benches where visitors could rest, relax and enjoy the ready to eat food bought from the market vendors.

FRESH TROPICAL FRUITS @ TALAD OR TOR GOR INCLUDING PINEAPPLES, DURIANS, GUAVA, POMELO, MANGO
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The markets are divided into few sections which include a food court section with tables and chairs available for dining purposes, fresh fruits section which have varieties of tropical fruits available, including the famous gigantic Thai durians and not forgetting the attractive shining and yellowish fresh mangoes, which always associated very closely with the mango sticky rice, one of the "must-try" Thai dessert, the vegetables of all kinds sections, dry-food items sections, seafood sections and household and consumer items section. I came over to Or Tor Gor market to experience myself one of possibly best fresh market in Asia or South East Asia, maybe.

FRESH VEGETABLES SECTION @ TALAD OR TOR GOR
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SNACK FOOD SECTION @ OR TOR GOR MARKET
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Variety of "nam prik" (chillies) at Talad Or Tor Gor

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"Khao rad gaeng" (rice with curries with choice of other food items) available at the Or Tor Gor market food court

MOUTH WATERING READY TO EAT SEAFOOD AT TALAD OR TOR GOR
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I did mentioned that Or Tor Gor market also offers a good choice of genuine Thai foods and I was here to taste them including the fresh, crispy and tasty roast pork and the pork satay. Satay or grill skewer pork dip into the sweet peanut sauce. Satay is not only unique to Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia if you thought it was because in Thailand, you can taste the delicious pork satay as well not quite widely available in that countries mentioned. The pork satay meal also served with toast bread, cut cucumbers and cut onions which also being dip into the peanut sauce before finally ends in the mouth. Other than best crispy roast pork and pork satay, other famous choice of food in Or Tor Gor market include the "khao rad gaeng" or rice with selections of curries. It is not exactly rice with choice of curries but also with wide selections of other food items including fish, pork, chicken, eggs, vegetables and other items cook in variety of style and taste. I craved for the crispy roast pork to the extent I bought from 2 different vendors and also try out the pork satay which overall was satisfactory and up to my expectations.

FRESH SEAFOOD SECTION @ OR TOR GOR MARKET
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Crispy pork best eaten with sticky rice @ Or Tor Gor Market
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Posted by kidd27 06:12 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

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