26 February 2015. Bangkok, Thailand.
The road sign on the Khlong (canal) said we were 2 kilometers from wherever it was we were supposed to go. I was fascinated by the road signs scattered all over the canal. They were indications that the canals were, or probably still are, used as one form of transport. From light research, I learned that Bangkok was once named the Venice of the East due to its crisscrossing canals. Apparently, old Bangkok did its trade on these canals on board small boats, hence the floating markets, which are now mainly tourist attractions.
It was this floating market that we wanted to see when we decided to leave the Grand Palace for another day. We allowed ourselves to be led by this one man who told us we could see a floating market a few kilometers away from the Grand Palace for a 20 baht tuk-tuk ride. We saw boats selling wares, alright, but there were only three boats which led us to dub them as floating sari-sari stores.
We decided to take the long-boat ride just as well having been informed that the floating market we saw on pictures was a good one hour away from the city. We haggled with the boatman and he gave in to our haggling skills reasoning that we looked like Thais anyway. You could say that this tour was a blessing in disguise of some sort because we saw that other side of Bangkok - house on stilts on crisscrossing canals.
The tour ended with a splendid view of the temples by the river, and a sampling of Bangkok's street food.