Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Long Tailed Boats, Klongs and the Floating Market

We took a long tailed boat ride around the klongs to the weekend floating market, which is a bit of a misnomer as it is more of a floating restaurant really, but fascinating all the same.

Long tailed boats - perhaps best known internationally for that James Bond chase, are so called because their propeller is at the end of a long shaft or tail - see the pic. In case you wonder about the vegetation in the water it is Water Hyacinth which is considered a bit of a nuisance as it clogs up propellers and invades the smaller waterways.

We turned into a klong just past Wat Arun, once we had negotiated a lock we travelled through what looked like an upmarket area. Quiet spacious houses with lovely gardens intermixed with smaller houses on stilts. This side of the river is set to see an increase in house prices because the mass transit railway is being extended to include the Klong San and Thon Buri districts.

This couple paddle a comparitively rare private boat - well we haven't seen that many and there don't appear to be many tied up outside houses, the scooter has taken over!

Our boatman was keen for us to stop at a wooden house 'museum' so we did. We were escorted around by an enthusiastic young man who showed us the house and a small but not very productive orchid farm. Then we were treated to dancing by two girls and a fast and furious sword fight by two young men. It was all very charming.

Right, now for some floating market pics:

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