“Your nose is bleeding.”
I’m not sure if I heard my Slovakian roommate correctly when he said this. I thought he was saying something about the blood cockles he was eating. He immediately took a tissue and was in the act of wiping the blood dripping from my nose when I came out of my confusion. So I checked my upper lip area and sure enough, I was bleeding into my Pad Thai. No wonder because it was such a sweltering day in Bangkok. We were bored in the hostel and decided to check out the weekend Taling Chan Floating Market.
Taling Chan Floating Market
Where to stay in Bangkok: Mile Map Hostel
Not far from the bustling city center is a floating market that you can reach via public transportation.
We took the BTS to Siam and waited for the bus 79 at the waiting shed/bus stop. We weren’t the only ones heading to the market on the bus and the conductor was kind enough to tell us where we need to get off.
You won’t miss the way because you only need to follow the people and the rows of stalls on the street until you reach a covered walkway filled with more rows of stalls selling plants, food, and other local products.
You’ll know you reached the floating market because the river will be visible and that you won’t be stepping on concrete anymore but wooden floorboards (careful, there are potholes and some are rickety).
You’ll also encounter the catfish frenzy on the way to the non-moving barge with dining tables and vendors on each side. When we got there, there were only a few boats selling food. They were selling mostly grilled meat and seafood, Pad Thai and other kinds of noodles, coconut pudding, and freshly made salads. You can order from them directly or choose from the vendors at the communal dining area.
There were also live animals like turtles, eels, and baby fishes. The food choices are very similar to what you’ll find on the streets of Bangkok. It’s also cheap, and filling.
Not really hungry at that time, I resorted to my ever favorite Pad Thai while my roommate dared to try the blood cockles. A few minutes after sitting down for lunch, the nosebleed happened. Good thing he had the wits to get a cup full of ice so I can apply it on my nose and head.
See, it wasn’t the first time I experienced this while on my Southeast Asia backpacking trip. The first one was while I was walking around in Kuala Lumpur where I thought that I suddenly had a runny nose. I never thought that I would be experiencing these nose bleeds since I came from a tropical country. But here I was, sweating more than the westerners and bleeding into my food. Hehe.
After resting for a bit and taking our shots, we decided to check out what’s the schedule for the boat tour. It was interesting that the lady at the counter knew some Tagalog words so we chatted for a bit while she sales talked us into joining the next boat tour which is at 2:30 PM. With nothing better to do for the day, we agreed and paid 99 Baht each for the tour.
We still had less than an hour to kill so we walked around the walkway and sat near the fountains to cool ourselves. We also walked around for a bit up all the way to the railroad overlooking Taling Chan area.
See also: First timer’s Thai Food experience
Taling Chan Long Tail Boat Tour
This tour took us around the neighboring canals (klongs) which offered us a glimpse of the daily life of Thais living beside the river. The boat was full and luckily we were seated near the front. Turns out, the lady at the counter was our tour guide. So she kept greeting me as the girl from the Philippines. Haha.
We passed by a few temples and a few neighborhoods before arriving in Niyom Orchid Farm. It wasn’t a big farm so after 10 to 15 minutes, you’d be wanting to go back to the boat to get to the next destination. We also passed by a few wildlife like ducks and even a few monitor lizards, which the tour guide refers to as crocodile. Hehe.
A man selling coconut ice cream, fortunately, was passing by so almost everyone bought from him as a relief from the heat of the sun. We also stopped by a local temple and a few tourists took the time to offer their prayers, coins, and gold leaves. Walking around the temple, we also got to experience having our future read.
One of our last stops was feeding the “giant” catfishes. They were so plump and wild, it’s definitely a fish frenzy when someone throws them bread or crackers.
We got back to Taling Chan Pier more than an hour after sunset. Tired from the heat, I and my roommate separated ways after reaching the bus stop at Central World. He had a sunset to chase while I needed a shower and bed.
What I liked about Taling Chan is that it wasn’t as crowded as I expected it to be for a weekend floating market. The locals still outnumbered the foreigners that was why I consider the experience still authentic. It’s a good way to pass the time if you’re spending a lot of days in Bangkok.
Next mission would have to be the train market!
QUICK GUIDE: TALING CHAN FLOATING MARKET
Opening Hours: Saturday and Sunday from 07.00 hrs – 16.00 hrs
Address: 1, Khlong Chak Phra, Taling Chan, Bangkok 10170 Thailand
How to get there: Bus No.79, 507, 509, and 511
Have you tried going to a floating market in Bangkok?
How was your experience?
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