Damnoen Saduak: Floating Market

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم

اَللهُ أَكْبَرُ (٣){سُبْحٰنَ الَّذِى سَخَرَ لَنَا هٰذَا وَ مَا كُنَّا لَهُ مُقْرِنِيْنَ وَ إنّٰا إلٰى رَبِّنَا لَمُنْقَلِبُوْنَ} اَللَّهُمَّ إِنَّ نَّاسْأَلُكَ فِيْ سَفَرِنَا هٰذَا الْبِرَّ وَ التَقْوَى، وَ مِنَ العَمَلِ مَا تَرضَى، اَللّٰهُمَّ هَوَّنْ عَلَيْنَا سَفَرَنَا هٰذَا وَاطْوِ عَنَّا بُعْدَهُ، اَللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ الصَّاحِبُ فِي السَّفَرِ وَالْخَلِيْفَةُ فِي الَاَهلِ، اَللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوْذُبِكَ مِنْ وَعْثَاءِ السَّفَرِ وَ كَاٰبَةِ المَنْظَرِ وَ سُوْءِ المُنْقَلَبِ فِي الْمَالِ وَالأَهْلِ

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“Allah Akbar (3x) subhanna ladzi sakhoro lana hadza, wa ma kunna lahu mukriniyn. Wa inna ila robbina lamunqolibuwn. Allahumma inna nasalaku fi safarina hadza al birro wa taqwa, wa min amali ma tardho. Allahumma hawwin alayna safaarina hadza wathwi anna bu’dah. Allahumma anta shohibati fi safar wa kholifatu fil ahli. Allahumma inni audzubika min ma’sai safar, wa kaabati al-mandhor, wa su’i munqolabi fi al-mali wa al-ahli”

“Allah is Great (3x) Glorious Rabb (creator) who subjected this vehicle to us while we were unable to. And indeed we will return to our Lord (on the Day of Judgment). O Allah indeed we ask for goodness and piety in this journey. We beg the deeds you are pleased with. O God, let us make this journey, and draw near to us. O Allah You are my companion in this journey and who take care of my family. O Allah indeed I take refuge in you from the exhaustion of traveling, the sad sight, and the bad return in wealth and family.”

After two hours on an almost empty road, passing through the Samut Sakhon and Samut Songkhram provinces inhabited by many Burmese, about 100 kilometers south of Bangkok; yellow-green taxi driven by Suwit stopped at a white sand-covered parking lot. In addition to our taxi, many other taxi-colored, or red, or pink taxis, lined up in the parking lot; while the drivers sat casually around the round tables under the asbestos roof. Welcome to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.

Before selecting available tour packages (just cruising the river or visiting the village of elephants and monkeys) the staff invite us to go to the toilet or buy water first; after that proceeded to the cashier who guarded a middle-aged man in white. It offers several packages at different prices; different price difference also the color of the ticket. We decided to choose a two-hour cruise package with a large market, a traditional sugar factory, and a Muslim restaurant as a few of its destinations.

Finished to pay us to the dock that separates the mainland with a five-meter wide canal filled with slim ships powered machine. “Ngot, ngot, ngot,” the roar of the solar engine that coughed up a thin black smoke.

After a group of foreign tourists in front of us got a boat, then our turn arrived. A green-roofed brown boat came while a tattooed youth stood at the very back to regulate the boat. Cui is his name, a young Thai who though his hands are full of tattoos but his face and nature are friendly. After all the passengers were seated properly (not to be tilted or removing their hands from the boat because they could be hit by another boat) our boat started down a narrow canal bordered by concrete walls on either side.

Above the walls stood a lot of coconut trees that protected us from the sun. Other ships passing before us produce waves in brown water streams. While the boatmen say hello to the engine, “ngot, ngot,” the tourists inside smile at each other and wave. A few feet ahead saw a boat tied to the dock. While he was swaying, two men were busy offering young coconuts with ice. 30 Baht, it says on a chocolate board that is resting on the dock.

A next couple of meters we entered a village dominated by brown wooden shops. Each store offers a variety of souvenirs such as clothes, bags, sculptures, ornaments, tuk-tuks, to Thai silks. The all-female shopkeepers are all women (almost all men become boatmen) waving and calling, “swadi kaab, welcome sir, welcome madam.”

We decided to stop at some shops, where one of them belonged to Cui’s mother. Satisfied to see and bargain we continue our journey to the sugar factory that offers palm sugar that is similar to Java sugar. A young man was stirring brown liquid with a giant wooden handle spoon. As soon as tourists arrived he started dancing and singing; the more crowded the more becomes his behavior. In addition to sugar, there is also a coconut garden flowed with small green canals. Some tourists cross a small wooden bridge just to take pictures. We went back down the river and it was getting late.

Cui took us to a halal restaurant owned by a Thai Muslim. Once we arrived, they warmly greet us, “Assalamualaikum (peace be upon you)” then tethered our boat by the river. They welcomed us kindly so i forgot that this is not Indonesia. The warmth welcome and honouring guest are a tradition in Islam which many non-muslim have not know yet.

We ordered some amazingly delicious seafood fried rice. It’s good to see them cooking, let alone tasty, even tasty. The fried shrimp are fat and the purple squid pieces are placed on a green banana leaf that seems to have just been picked. Do not ask the scent, let alone taste. Anyway delicious.

After waving goodbye and salam, the journey  continued to Big Market which sells various kinds of souvenir and food; the difference here we can go down to the halls of the market. Once satisfied we were back on the boat. It did not feel we had been sailing for an hour more. Cui asked if we wanted to look elsewhere or go back to the dock. We decided to go back and Cui started his boat.

Back on land, Suwit greeted us with a satisfied face as he himself did the cruise. Wearing white peci (moslem hat) from Indonesian tourists; he asked for our impressions during the cruise.

“Alhamdulillah we are very happy.”

We went to the mosque to perform jamak-qasar taqdim prayer (combining two shalat in one time and cut the rakaah from 4 into 2); but had not gotten around to it yet, a Thai woman stopped us. She hurried inside and then swept the small wooden fencing mosque, cleaned the brown floor and spread the prayer rugs. After that we are welcome to enter. “Kapun kaah / thanks (for women).”

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11 Comments Add yours

  1. iArtichokeu berkata:

    Wow, wonder if the monkeys in the village of monkeys steal from tourists. I have read that many do in other countries!

    Disukai oleh 2 orang

    1. Ryan Mayer berkata:

      haha, some of them are like that but the others quite tame.

      Disukai oleh 1 orang

      1. iArtichokeu berkata:

        Oh! Good to know! I’ve never really seen a monkey on person before, lol.

        Disukai oleh 1 orang

      2. Ryan Mayer berkata:

        no kidding man?😁 the baboons of in mount uhud in mecca like to steal coke from the pilgrims

        Disukai oleh 1 orang

      3. iArtichokeu berkata:

        Wow! Hahahs. That’s crazy!

        Disukai oleh 1 orang

      4. Ryan Mayer berkata:

        uupppss…im sorry, i mean mount of light. perhaps you’l like sangihe garden of bali; a kingdom of monkeys.

        Disukai oleh 1 orang

      5. iArtichokeu berkata:

        There are many places I want to go with animals. There is an island in Japan that is full of rabbits, haha.

        Disukai oleh 2 orang

      6. Ryan Mayer berkata:

        wow, great man. if you go there soon, please share the stories, man.

        Suka

      7. iArtichokeu berkata:

        Will do! Hoping to go to South Korea soon, and Japan is just a few places away!

        Disukai oleh 1 orang

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