Bangkok has a main river that runs through the city that is called Chao Phraya River. The river is alive with people, food, culture & millions of Cat Fish. We drove out to a outer suburb & hopped on a river boat to go to a market. On the way to the market we stopped at little wooden jetty’s for coffee, to buy thai sweets from a factory & feed the cat fish. The first stop was for coffee from a Thai cart. The kids got chocolate milk & I got a black coffee served on ice. My coffee was nothing fancy, in fact it was freeze dried Nescafe which I would usually turn my nose up at but it was actually really good, maybe it was because it was served in these cute pottery containers. Each drink cost of only 25 Baht which is not even $1, we now have 5 of these containers to lug around Thailand because the kids were so taken by them.
After our drinks we set off again in our rickety wooden boat to our next destination. It was really interesting riding along the river. There were little wooden houses on stilts built over the water lining the river. The only way to get to these properties is by boat.
We went up a smaller side river & stopped at a small floating market which was in one of these wooden houses. It was also a factory where they made traditional Thai sweets from egg & sugar. There was what we would call make shift boilers with simmering pots of sugary syrup. It was very primitive compared to what we are used to & you would think quite the safety hazard! In the front they had a market selling the product, then there was a guy breaking hundreds of eggs into a bucket while he was watching his boiling sweet mixture.
Out the back there was a huge shed with a few Thai ladies making the sweets out of the mixture that the guy in the front was concocting. They were then packing them into little foam trays with cling wrap over the top. They gave us a tray to try, it was sickly sweet (especially when I don’t usually eat sugar) & the texture is quite different to what we are used to.
The boys had a great time trying out some new treats. One of the boys left with a big bag of lollies & the other a huge back of biscuits. The two older kids have their own money that they have saved so they have been buying what ever they like. They have been purchasing a lot of food & laser lights! I am turning a blind eye!
We were then back into our little wooden boat & we tooted up the river a little more. There was very little communication going on during this trip as our boat driver did not speak english & we don’t speak Thai except the four words I know! I had no idea where we were going or what was going to happen next but we were happy to go with the flow. We pulled into a shed type place on the water which had lots of vendors selling food. They also sold food to feed the Cat Fish, it turns out that is why we stopped at this location so that the children could feed the fish. They bought their fish food from a lady in the shed oh & a bag of caramel pop corn each for 10 Baht.
You have never seen so many Cat Fish swarming for corn chips slash fish food! We had a very excited nine year old on our hands.
We were then back into the boat & off to the next place, which as it turned out was our last drop off point. We landed back on a little wooden jetty at a market that sold all manner of things. I was mostly interested in the food that was on offer. There was a lady selling these most amazing Thai Fish Cakes for 40 Baht & they where served with deep fried green leaves & cubed cucumber. I still am unsure exactly what the greenery was, but it was very enjoyable.
There was a vendor there selling tempura flowers. There was every flower that you can imagine including the beautiful purple orchid that they have here in Thailand. The flowers were sold by the bagful & served with a skewer & a sweet Thai sauce. I was curious as to how the flowers would taste so I tried an orchid, but to me it just tasted like batter & was not as tasty as they looked.
Finally we finished off our day out on the river with some lunch. I chose my all time Thai favourite dish that you can buy here on every corner & you know that it will be exactly the same each time, papaya salad. There was a lady in the market with her pottery bowl & salad ingredients ready to go. She mixed me up a papaya salad on the spot for 30 Baht. It was the perfect way to end the river adventure!
Next we are off to Chiang Mai in the far North of Thailand.