Mostly frequented by vistors on day-tour packages, the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is blighted by a proliferation of tourist tack and dust-catchers.
Despite it not being the authentic experience one hankers for as a traveller (and really, what can remain authentic when every single sightseer wants off the beaten path?), there still are beautiful moments floating along the canals.
A scene that stays with me is the one where a Buddhist monk paddles through the market, collecting food alms from the stall-owners. He stops at a stall where a woman and her little boy kneel with folded palms while the monk makes a blessing. It is a tender instance of pure faith suspending the banal bargaining for magnets and elephant-shaped keyrings.
There were so many other pictures to be made but I forgot to pack a spare battery for my camera. I shot the following images with my phone.
Walk along an artery like Sukhumvit Road; the Skytrain omnipresent above your head, the buildings striking up and down like piano hammers. Ignore the city’s supra-urban excesses, its love for sale, its hovering haze. Look for its ghost houses, the intricacies of its worship, the sensitivity of its wai, its beguilingly balanced cuisine. And it will not be the city imposing its will upon you, but you soaking up its humid vitality until even your hair coils into springs.