Plan for the day
The plan was to visit Damnoen Floating Market (the largest in Bangkok) in the morning and we had a whole day to explore the market. Our flight back to Singapore was at 11 pm so we had plentiful of time for the floating market if we were to leave for Don Mueang International Airport at 5 pm. Don Mueang International Airport was 121 km from Damnoen Floating Market and the journey should take about 1. hr 35 minutes.
Our hostel was practically just next to the floating market. We walked a few steps out of the parking area, then onto the mainroad and there we saw an arch with the sign Floating market straddled over the road.
From the arch we could either turned left or right. We turned right and walked into the more “residencial” part of the floating market. It was pretty quiet we thought we would see boats full of goods plying in the waterway, but there were none. We wondered if we were too early and the “market” activities had yet to start.
We felt a bit disappointed for the lack of activities so we walked back to the arch and walked the opposite direction. A short distance later we saw a vibrant floating market. Not only were there boats floating by selling all kinds of stuffs the shops on both sides of the waterways were opened for business too.
There were many tourists on boat rides, but we felt that it was too hot to ride in the boat as most of the tourist boats did not have covers from the strong sun. Walking on the shops by the sides of the waterway was the best way to visit the floating market. We got to explore both the on-land shops and those that “float by”.
It was fun seeing all kinds of stuff being sold on the narrow boats. Some sellers were cooking /grilling food on their boats as they paddled by. As we walked on we eventually found a stall we liked and stopped for our breakfast.
It was a fun breakfast, besides the food that was offered by the “land” eatery we also got to eat those that floated by on the river boats. When we were looking for icecream, the eatery assistant helped us to order coconut icecream from a passing boat and brought it to us. The icecream came decorated with a beautiful orchid flower. The entire breakfast costed 630 baht ($28 sgd). Food taste wise was okay nothing fantastic, it was the novelty of eating in this manner that was entertaining.
By about 11 am we were done with exploring Damnoen Floating Market. The time taken to explore Damnoen Floating Market was much shorter than our expectation. After a while everything looked the same and besides the “busy” stretch where there was more activites the rest was not as interesting.
The sunlight was biting hot again and we felt so sorry for those tourists on the boat. There was no where they could hide from the sun! Even the short walk to our hostel felt terribly hot. It felt so refreshing to walk into the “chillness” of our hostel. At noon we checkout but still remained in “The Peace Hostel” cafe area to relax, play with the boss’s cat that wore a tie as a collar, we ordered cold drinks and wondered how we were going to last till 5 pm before leaving for the airport.
Amphawa Floating Market on a Weekend
Just when we were at a lost as how to kill our time (4 hours), it drawned upon us that we could do a second visit to Amphawa Floating Market. The day was Saturday so the floating market should be “alive”, it was also just a short 15 minutes drive away definitely not out of the way.
At 1 pm we arrived at Amphawa Floating Market. The previous evening we parked a bit far away but this afternoon we found a parking space nearer, it was just below some huge white tents just outside the alley that led into the floating market. We looked around and did not find any parking attendant collecting parking fee. It seemed like parking was free.
The alley was “alive”! Stalls after stalls, everyone stall was in operation, they put out huge display of food. So colorful, so “full” of smells – sweet, sour, spicy, salty and pungent smells flooded the air. So interesting so vibrant, so unlike the evening before.
On weekday this place was a “dead” town, shops and restaurants were closed, the river was still, without any activities, Now the whole place was bursting with all kinds of sounds, smells and colors. It was a shame that we would not be able to stay till sun down when this place would be flooded with lights!
We came by a store that sold wallets and clutch bags with customization like logos and names. Lin Ying got herself a clutch bag and took a long time deciding on the design and customation. The cost of a customised clutch bag was only 250 baht ($11.20 sgd).
Back to Airport
Getting back to the airport was not as smooth going as we expected. From google map it was suppose to be about 1 hr 35 minutes, but we took an hour more. We encountered some heavy traffic when we got nearer to Bangkok and when we were less than 1 km from Don Mueang International Airport the heavy traffic coupled with the too many lanes and turn-offs caused us to miss out exits twice, which meant more looping before we finally arrived at the airport at 5.45pm.
We returned our car at the Hertz parking place just beside the airport terminal 1. Returning the car was a breeze, no new scratches! We had picked up our car from Suvarnabhumi International Airport 8 days ago and returned our car at Don Meaung International airport without needing to pay the one way charges. One way charges was waive for car rental of 3 days or more.
Once we crossed the immigration we were off to a airport lounge. We tooked a peek into two lounges and picked out Coral Executive Lounge.
The food was surprising better than our expection. There were a mixture of local food and Italian food. Nice spread and very nice Thai curry!
We had a great dinner and nice coffee before getting to our boarding gate. The plane (Scoot) flew off on time and we were home in four hours.