Once in a while, there is a magical moment when a place or an experience reaches deep into my soul to make an emotional impression. I had one of those beautiful moments today, whilst visiting the Taling Chan Floating Market. I’ll get to that moment soon, but first let me set the stage.
Like the Lat Mayom Market that I visited last Sunday, Taling Chan is located on the outskirts of Bangkok and is reached by taking the BTS Skytrain to Bang Wa Station and then getting a taxi (85 baht) to the market. Lat Mayom and Taling Chan are fairly close to each other, so both could be visited on the same day. Taling Chan is significantly smaller than Lat Mayom, but it is more charming and actually has a floating element whereas Lat Mayom doesn’t. There is also more of a tourist presence at Taling Chan, so many of the signs are also in English.
The taxi dropped me off close to the entrance and I walked to the large green pavilion that announces the start of the market. There are a few stalls selling plants, including orchids and bonsai trees. There are also a couple of stalls selling household goods and clothing, but most of the market is concerned with food items. And mostly cooked or prepared food.
At the far end of the green pavilion, there is a floating section that has a dining area. Floating in the canal next to the dining area are perhaps a dozen small boats on which food is being prepared and cooked. Customers can walk around the dining area, inspecting the food options from the various boats before making their choices.
After looking around at the options, I decided to get my lunch from this lady, who was busily preparing food on her boat.
I decided to order a small Snapper for lunch (cost 220 baht – less than $7). In the video below, you can see the lady preparing a similar fish for serving.
After eating my fish lunch, I wandered around the market looking at dessert options.
I decided to go with the sticky rice in jackfruit. Great decision. It was delicious!
With dessert taken care of, I picked up a watermelon smoothie and headed back to the canal. And that is where I had my magical moment. I was sitting on a wooden dock, legs dangling over the canal with catfish swimming beneath them. As I was watching the activities on the boats in front of me, I could smell the various foods that were being prepared nearby. There were the sounds of the market, clanging utensils and the voices of vendors along with live traditional Thai music playing in the background. And I was tasting my ice-cold watermelon smoothie. All senses were engaged, in a relaxing moment that stirred my soul and plucked at my emotions. Such a beautiful moment of bliss! A moment to cherish.
Photos and video cannot capture what I felt in that moment, but they can give you an idea of the setting (see below). I feel so fortunate to be able to travel the way that I do.
After savouring the moment for a while, I took a few more photos in the market, trying to capture a couple of the ladies in the boats.
Having spent about 90 minutes in the market, I had seen everything and headed back to the roadside to get a taxi back to the train station. It wasn’t a long trip, but it was an enjoyable and memorable experience that I’ll remember for a long time.