Before we left NZ we booked a tour to go to one of the floating markets about 2 hours outside Bangkok. This was a great trip and a chance to see something very different. We were picked up at 6:20am, not as bad as it sounds as we keep waking at 5am! A few more people were collected and then we were off. The first hour was mostly on a free-way and often going slowly. What did we notice? Lots of utes carrying food, bikes, water bottles or people! The trip out the market took about 2 enjoyable hours
We stopped on the way and learnt how coconut sugar is made. It comes from the nectar of the flower on the coconut tree, this is then mixed with water and boiled, the husks were burnt to heat the sugar liquid which was then whipped while hot,
it then crystalises. It seems that no part of the coconut goes to waste as there are uses for the coconut ‘meat’, husks, shells, leaves, flowers and wood. Our guide Hi, also showed us how coconut cream and milk are made. The stool he is sitting on has a sharp end the coconut meat is shaved off using this and then squeezed, what comes out first is the cream, coconut cream is also made by boiling 4 parts of coconut meat with 1 part water, coconut milk is 1 part coconut and 1 part water. Coconut water is the liquid inside the coconut, you can hear it when you shake the coconut.
When we arrived we were put into long boats to access the market. This was an exhilarating ride through the narrow canals, bouncing in the wake of the other boats. When arrived at the markets we opted to go in one of the smaller boats and explore the narrow canals. These canals were all hand dug by Chinese labourers in the 1860’s. The canals today are very touristy but it was still well worth the visit, there was so much to see and so many photos to take. A few are from my little Nikon camera (loving it!) and the rest from Mike’s gear. From our little boat you could stop by a shop and buy something, there were also vendors in boats with food to
purchase. Our big spend was a super yummy and much needed coconut ice-cream served in a coconut shell. 50BHT or 2NZD each. Just what a hot day required! On our journey home we passed by an amazing sight that involved buddhist monks, children, the elderly, mats and flowers. More about that in the next blog!
We are still figuring out how to format words and pictures in this blog, added pressure comes from an intermittent internet connection and a power cut we just had. I know that we will look back at these early blogs and laugh! We are always up for new learning experiences.