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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

An Exciting Visit to the Train and Floating Markets Outside Bangkok

On our second day in Bangkok, we met our great guide, Amy, from Trails of Indochina, at 7 am outside our hotel, Anantara Siam, and drove nearly 90 minutes southwest of the city to see the Train Market. Every day in the morning, a train runs on tracks between a bustling outdoor market. We walked along the tracks and viewed the bins overflowing with fish, squid, meat, pork, chicken, fruit, clothing, you name it. Then a horn blows and the shop owners quickly move their bins away from the tracks as visitors scramble behind a red line with very little space to spare so they don't get hit by the moving train. It's a frenetic yet exhilarating display of humanity in action, yet even more insane when you realize the train is only carrying tourists looking down at you with their cameras. I'm sure at one time, the market supplied genuine passengers on long train rides with produce for their ride. Anyway, we tried an assortment of tasty fruit, like rambutans and longans (similar to lychee fruit), sweet finger bananas, juicy mangosteens, and a wonderful mango smoothie.

Then we drove another 15 minutes to take a longboat on murky canal waters past houses on stilts to the Floating Market. In one of those rare Anthony Bourdain-like moments, there was a woman cooking pad thai in a large wok over a propane tank in her longboat in the mass of boat traffic, diesel fuel spewing everywhere. So we had to sample and it was probably the tastiest pad thai I've ever tried. The noodles were so fresh they practically melted in your mouth. Every bite I'm thinking "this is so yummy, am I going to get sick? I'll have one more bite." Then we walked over to a market selling souvenirs and more food stalls selling coconut pancakes, barbecued pork kebabs, and sticky rice, squeezed out from a small plastic bag. All delicious and, for the record, my stomach was fine the entire trip to Hong Kong and Bangkok. 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 02/20/19 at 06:00 AM
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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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