22 February 2013
Thailand’s floating markets
The old, almost toothless face was only one witnessing sign of a tradition of floating markets that had not completely disappeared, displaying some genuine remnants of a lively past. The old lady – or was it a man, I could not tell, for the sun had wrinkled her face so much – was smiling all ears, to no one in particular, seemingly happy to slowly paddle her wooden canoe on the calm canal, simultaneously cooking what looked like Thai dumplings (see the pictures towards the middle of the album – it's not the cover picture I'm talking about :-). Other canoes would be laden with an array of fruits and vegetables, sometimes sold by extending a long pole from the boat to the shore – notice how women protect themselves from the sun with wide-brimmed straw hats niftily attached to their heads.
Most products are today sold from stalls on the roads adjacent to the canals. But the appeal of those floating markets can still be vividly felt as throngs of Thai people – and tourists – rush there on the weekend, tasting (weird-looking but delectable) fruits, eating (sometimes over-priced) homemade biscuits, or savouring originally-made ice-creams (those metal cylinders in the picture).