Tayang to Maeklong 71km
Maeklong Markets 43km
To most folk, my lack of research on my planned route would be a bit scarey. People ask me where I'm heading, and I can tell them countries, I hope to visit, but as to route and towns, despite not being able to remember or pronounce names, I've got no idea, because I don't know where I'm going to end up at the end of the day. To me, that's part of the adventure. The uncertainty. From the start I had decided that I was not going to detour all over a country to see "this amazing sight". I was going to be content with seeing what I saw. And so far that has been amazing.
However, I'm in a town that has two attractions .....so I'm told...The Maeklong Railway Market, which the train passes through half a dozen times a day..... and the floating market. So the closest floating market wasn't open today, so I followed the tourist bases, I should have been warned, 18km to the next closest. All I can say is I'm VERY glad I didn't pay the $80 for the bus tour from Bangkok that all the other visitors paid.
To be blunt, the floating market was nothing like what I expected. I envisaged loads of sellers in boats, selling fruit, vegetables, rice etc . I expected buyers, other Thai, would also be in boats...... Nope. The only ones on the water were tourists. Bus loads of them. They were taking lots of photos, and being dropped off at huge markets "on land", that were selling everything that a tourist might want, by very aggressive sales persons, at hugely inflated prices. You could get photos taken with snakes, get your photo put on a T Shirt, and drink beer. I did not see one, not one, Thai buyer, only tourists. The whole thing was so totally unlike any market I had been in in Asia. But the tourist were lapping it up.
I got back on my bike, and followed the lesser roads back towards the hotel. On the way, I came across two "closed" floating markets. No tourists, and an amazing atmosphere. Hmmmm. I certainly do not feel like a tourist.
So what are my expectations? I expect the unexpected. I'm excited about that. It makes the whole trip an adventure.
And here is something unexpected. I think I'm going to become a Buddhist monk when I get home to Hanmer Springs. Here's how it should work. I shave my head. I've got a number two cut now, so almost there. I throw away all my footwear. I buy a bright orange robe. As you all know the bright colours suit me. Every morning I stand, bare footed, outside a local food retailer, silently chanting, looking hungry (easy) and forlorn (again easy). I stay there until Nabby, or Mark, or Damien, or Glen, bring me out food....just to get rid of me. I bless them, whether they need it or not, and head off home, ringing my bells, and spinning my hand held prayer wheel. The rest of the day would normally involve debating the scripture with other monks, but since Hanmer has no other monks, I'd skip that bit. But I would decorate my house with bright golds, oranges, and reds, with lots of sparkley stuff, donated by my local followers, and drape lots more prayer flags around the section, trees, bushes and lampposts. I need to do a bit more homework on where Juliet will fit into the whole plan, being a monk like, but I'm sure we'll sort something. Yep I reckon it will work, I will need to work on "liking everyone", and "being nice to all", so that will be the challenge for me, but I like challenge. We had a Village Idiot once, and I believe there is now a vacancy in the village for someone similar. Will I need to make a submission to council Mr Councilor?
Stephanie and Vincent turned up at my hotel tonight. I thought they were at least a day ahead of me, but they'd had eight punctures in one day, so I had passed them. Heading into Bangkok with them tomorrow. Catch ya soon.