I was passing by many wooden structures and platforms, houses, temples and monks during my boat trip on the canal of River Chao Phraya (meaning River of Kings, in local English) in Bangkok. And then I saw this.
After alighting from Skytrain at Saphan Taksin BTS station, I got into one of the touristy boats, which was to lead me closer to the life on the banks of River Chao Phraya. Though river was not very choppy, the boatman ensured that the river water splashed on me due to its speedy maneuvers. Luckily, my camera lens, stay hidden somewhere! I was right there, about to entering the canal, leaving the river for the rest of Bangkok. Now I was enjoying another fascinating and enchanting facets of Bangkok – Life on the River Chao Phraya.
A river boat vendor on her small boat approached my boat and asked if I wanted tea and coffee. Till then, I was bemused, enjoying the beauty of the canal and the life alongside. Politely, I said, “mai ow Krup” (meaning ‘I don’t want, thanks’ in Thai language). I saw more such boat vendors, selling food items, fruits like banana, traditional Thai hats made of bamboo, souvenirs, and various hand-made items. I was wondering at the endurance levels of these vendors (Enjoy more posts related to Endurance here). Against all odds of weather, they are out on their small boat with their produce, hunting or rather, i should say, looking for their potential buyers. Life on a boat is not easy always, however thrilling it may sound to us – for a trip down there. What about low tourist seasons, when there will be lesser tourists for the canal boat ride, meaning reduced buyers? They are out there, with lot of grit and determination to make most of the day. For them, River Chao Phraya is their life. (In India, River Ganges is the source of life to millions). I had heard of sea-sickness, but never of river sickness.
When you are on the river tour in Bangkok, you must not miss the floating market which is another interesting attraction of the tour. With an extension of wooden platforms from the ground on the river bank, there are many food stalls, selling grilled Thai seafood and street food, noodle soup, drinks, fruits, ‘som tam’ (green papaya salad), souvenirs and much more for the bargain. Boat vendors parked along with the stalls. Tourists hovered on the platform, savoring the Thai seafood.
I was sitting there in my boat, thoughtful, amazed at the endurance of these boat vendors when I saw this lady nodding and waving at me. Was she inviting me to her boat? Was she just enjoying one of the many tourists on the canal? Or had she read my mind and appreciating my thoughts?
What do you think when you see such vendors during your travel? Do they amuse you? Or do you just ignore them? Do they not make their living solely based upon travelers like us?
Also, read here about the enduring story of these Mexican Mummies who have been part of this museum.