I’ve had the fortune of visiting Thailand twice, and on my first visit in 2008 I did all the “touristy” stuff, including touring the famous floating market, Dumnoen Saduak. (I’ve seen the name more commonly listed as Damnoen Saduak, but I have a photo of the sign spelled with a “u” instead of an “a” taken at the market itself, so I’m sticking with that!) It’s a cool place to see, but to be honest it was so touristy that it actually put me off quite a bit. I guess my expectations were outdated, but I was expecting to see a real market in use by real people. However the truth of what I saw is that it’s almost entirely there for the tourist, and my tour boat guide magically managed to take me to all of his friends’ shops, where I was plied with trinket after trinket. I had to ask the pilot repeatedly to take us to a food market, but I didn’t have any chance to buy any food myself. It’s like he really didn’t want me to see the “real” market and literally steered me away from it. Also it was something like a two or three hour ride from downtown, which really made for an unexpected start to the day.
If you go, be prepared for the long drive and have a guide you can communicate with. I do have lots of great people photos from the tour, so in that regard it’s worth it. Just limit your expectations.
As you can see, I’m starting to play with the format a bit. This will continue to evolve, but I’ve added in a proper caption with the camera and exposure info, which, considering this is a photography blog, I guess that’d be nice to share ;-)