floating market

Floating market is one of the most interesting places that’s a must see in Thailand. It’s a fun boat ride and shopping “haven” in one! The trick is, you need to be alert and fast enough to spot the best, haggle, pay and get the item. It takes practice to do all these things in a lightning fast mode because the boat can’t remain still for a long time unless there’s a “traffic” along the way.

I managed to buy a deliciously cut mango to fill my stomach while enjoying the boat ride and quietly observing what’s going on. Mind you, it’s nerve-wracking and at the same time, a thrilling experience. It’s amazing how the vendors skillfully maneuver their boats while selling their stuff amidst the crowded river. It’s dangerous if the vendor is not knowledgeable enough to control the boat because a collision with the “reckless drivers” may occur.

Floating Market, Thailand

thinking what to buy… 😀

After the boat ride, together with my newfound friend (a nice lady from Chicago), we went to check out items near the floating market. While I haggled with the vendors to get a cheaper price, she was smiling and later on told me that I was very good at it. When she saw an item that interests her, she requested me to negotiate and get a good price. Great tandem, eh?

Have fun with the boat ride at the floating market when you visit Thailand!

Tip:
Items at the floating market are more expensive than those located near the area.
Haggle! When they give you a price, cut the price by half or even lower and then agree at a price.
Don’t look too interested. If you can, leave if they don’t want to give the price you want. :p

tuktuk

After a tumultuous evening, I woke up wondering where to go first. As I was walking outside the Bangkok apartment, a tuktuk* driver was waiting outside and offered a ride for a certain amount. I felt a bit wary at first because my Thai friend warned me about scrupulous drivers in Thailand.
(Note: Tuktuk is a means of transportation used in Thailand.)

The tuktuk driver was persistent but not irritating. He looks convincing enough so I trusted my instincts, bargained for the fare and went off for a tuktuk joy ride. I asked Boon (the tuktuk driver) to take me to the famous Chatuchak weekend market in Bangkok.

As we were on our way, Boon was making a lively conversation, talking about the tourist spots of Bangkok. I was amazed because he sounded like he took a crash course in tourism. He’s very knowledgeable and I can see that he’s passionate with his work. Not only that, when he learned that I’m a Filipino, he rambled how great Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao is (Note: Pacquiao is a World Boxing Champion who hails from the Philippines.)

Boon is indeed a huge fan because he couldn’t help gushing how terrific Pacquiao is. He even imitated the famous Pacquiao moves. He said that whenever Pacquiao has a fight, majority of the Thai people cheer and treat him like their own.They also feel the great joy and pride whenever Pacquaio wins a fight.

Before going to Chatuchak, we made a side trip in a jewellery shop. He said that the Thai government were encouraging tuktuk drivers to bring tourist there and if the tourist buys any item, the government will give them free gasoline (I forgot how many liters).

Boon also mentioned that if I buy any item, he will not charge me with the ride. I did not take him seriously because I thought he was just pulling my leg . Anyway, I was able to buy souvenir items and at the same time joined a quick jewellery-making tour.

Boon waited for me outside the shop. True to his word, he did not ask for a single cent when he dropped me off at the Chatuchak market. He even gave me tips on how to get back to the hotel via train. Awesome isn’t it?

I related my experience to Jaa, my Thai friend, and she was surprised about the honesty and kindness of Boon. She said that she always had a bad experience with tuktuk drivers so she takes taxi most of the time. Well as they say, angels are everywhere.

Enjoy a tuktuk ride when you go to Bangkok and always bargain for the fare and for all the prices. Who knows, you will also find your angel.

Lessons Learned:
Honest people do exist
It pays to trust your instinct once in a while.