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Saturday, January 11: Day 264 – To Market, To Market

Today we have scheduled a private tour to visit a railway market AND a floating market.

We got to sleep late and have a leisurely breakfast together. Our guide, Thai, arrived in the afternoon and was eager to show us around.

The railway market was about 1½ hours drive from Bangkok.

Mae Klong Railway Market

Our group was ready to explore this market that has been here for over 30 years!

We walked along the tracks and saw much interesting produce for sale.

Mangosteen is the queen of fruit and durian is the king of fruit. They are eaten together.

Durian is fresh in the summer but still smells bad. My question is if it smells bad went it is fresh, how can you tell when it’s rotten?

“You just know.”

Durian makes you feel hot. Mangosteen makes you feel cool.

Thai told us some safety precautions.

When you are at the market, don’t smell the flowers because flowers are used for offerings.

Be careful where you step as there is produce low on the ground.

Be aware of crowds. They can inadvertently push you into the train or you might try to back up, and there is no space due to the crowd.

Stand 3 feet away from the tracks since the train overlaps the tracks.

Be aware of protruding backpacks or camera bags that can get caught by the train.

Before

We paid a small fee to stand in one of the stores to wait and watch for the train. We drank some refreshing coconut water. Thai said that these type of green round coconuts are for drinking. Other coconuts that are smaller and more elongated are used for cooking.

During

All of the sellers have brought their umbrella awnings back and rolled their trolleys back out of the way. They have tracks of their own.

“I hear the train a comin’, it’s coming ’round the bend…”

After

Everything returns as it was like nothing had ever happened.

Bang Kung Camp

This tree-covered Buddhist ordination hall was known locally but just revealed to the nation of Thailand about ten years ago. I imagine this is what Angkor Wat in Cambodia looked like when it was discovered. It took 100 years to unravel Angkor Wat. One could see that this building would be damaged if the trees were removed.

One of the kings who fought against Burma, present day Myanmar, trained his military here.

Statues illustrate every Thai fighting move. Each has a cool name. One move is the “crocodile tail”.

Amy and I tried our best to replicate this one.

The previous king ruled and lived for a very long time. He was much loved. He was also born on Monday which is the color yellow. The current king was born on Monday so the royal color remains yellow.

If a person wants to show respect and honor to the last king, he might wear a yellow shirt that says DAD.

Mothers Day is the Queen’s birthday so it changes when there is a new queen.

The number 5 in Thai is ha so 555 is ha ha ha! That is the Thai way to say lol.


Amphawa Floating Market

There are always so many interesting things to see. These are colorful fruit popsicles.

Unique purses made out of flexible rubber look like fish.

Check out the video of this dunking booth:

We saw some amazing rubber band shooters made out of wood. They were beautifully and realistically carved. I wanted to buy one but they were costly, and it would be difficult to carry one in your luggage…carry-on or checked.

There was even a wooden gun that had a magazine and could shoot 20 rubber bands in rapid succession like a machine gun. She had a gallery of soda cans to shoot at.

Here is the machine gun video:

We ate Thai food right next to the waterway.

They even had live music.

Searching for Fireflies

After dinner, it was beginning to get dark, and we boarded a long boat to look for fireflies.

If you want to come along with us on the Mae Klong River under the bright orange wolf moon, click on this short video:

Fireflies live on the lampu trees. This tree is used for charcoal for cooking. Many trees have been cut down. They are leaving these trees so that the fireflies can continue to reproduce. In the past, there were many more.

Watch this video to see them twinkle.

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