Private Guided Tour to Train Market and Damnoensaduak Floating Market
, 6 2019
Hmmmm. Let me start by saying that our Guide, Sophie, the car and the driver were all great. However, I hadn't checked how far out of town these tours were and a four hour round trip was a waste of our precious and short time in Thailand. My fault, my bad.
So, onto the tour. One of the first questions that Sophie asked us when she got into the car was why had we picked this tour? I replied that I had picked it based on Internet reviews. Her wry smile and response that we shouldn't believe everything that we see on the internet set my initial alarm bells going.
On arrival at the floating market after 2 hours in the car, the transition to the long tail boat was easy, although the lady taking poor quality pictures of my wife and I in the boat was visibly annoyed when we didn't want to buy them from her. Sophie was very informative about the construction of the canals and the market and very helpful in navigating our way around. Unfortunately, the floating market itself was stall after stall of exactly the same cheap and nasty tourist tat with nothing in the way of "authentic" market goods. All in all, an experience I could fully have done without.
Moving onto the Train Market, about another 30 minutes drive after the disappointment of the floating market. We arrived 30 minutes early and were fortunate enough to bag trackside seats at a small café that served excellent Mango and Sticky Rice. Over the next 30 minutes, the place became very crowded prior to the train arrival. When the train did arrive, it was very similar to what is shown on the YouTube videos, stall holders pull their awnings back, a train arrives and people stand in front of it. Interesting, but not as good as the Mango and Sticky Rice. I think the way to do this one, is to get on the train in Bangkok and do the whole journey, on the train, there and back, stopping for a Mango and Sticky rice at the terminal before heading home.
All that remained was the 2 hour trip back to Bankok.
Would I book this tour again, or recommend it to friends? Absolutely not. There are better, more authentic floating markets to visit, closer to Bangkok. Would I book with this tour operator again, Absolutely. They were punctual, clean and informative. However, I would speak to them before booking a tour to ensure that I wasn't wasting my time.