Experience Bangkok, a city of markets, during the 2012 RI Convention
Bangkok, Thailand, is a city of markets, and for many centuries, goods got to those markets by boat. In the 1800s, most people lived in stilt houses along the waterways and bought items from the sampans that floated by.
In the 1960s, Thailand’s 3,700 miles of rivers and canals still carried more than half of the country’s freight. Today, most canals have been paved over, but if you’re in Bangkok for the 2012 RI Convention, 6-9 May, you can get a glimpse of the old Venice of the East at several floating markets. Check with your hotel for hours, and ask whether a market was affected by last year’s flooding.
Thailand’s most famous floating market, Damnoen Saduak, is a solid day trip from Bangkok, and worth an overnight stay. The popular market has several sections, some more crowded than others.
Not far from Damnoen Saduak is the Amphawa Floating Market, a quieter alternative once frequented mainly by Thai tourists, but growing in popularity among foreigners.
A bit more remote, but also in Samut Songkhram Province southwest of Bangkok, is Tha Kha Floating Market, which continues to function as a traditional market. You can also take a boat tour of the canals.
Just west of Bangkok, Don Wai Market is a great day trip for lovers of Thai food. The Tha Chin River is packed with floating restaurants and boats that offer rides.
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