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Over 30 years ago James Bond chased some villains along the canals of Damnoen Saduak Floating market in the film "The Man with the Golden Gun". Ever since, this floating market located 120 km southwest of Bangkok, in Damnoen Saduak District, Ratchaburi Province, achieved fame. Today, the floating market is filled more with Europeans than vendors & sellers.

It was a twisty long-tail speed boat ride though nearby canals and past temples & stilt houses...an unsullied glimpse into a charismatic way of life. Once we arrived at the market we got stuck in, enjoyed it for what it is: an aquatic cultural show festooned with abundant colour and souvenirs. The variety of goods - everything from rattan balls, traditional puppets and fresh fruits to embroidered handbags, noodle soup and wide brimmed bamboo hats - was impressive, and, much of what we saw, undeniably photogenic. Nice & chaotic, chaotic, the small "klongs" or canals are filled with small flat boats jockeying for position, expertly paddled by mature ladies ready to stop and bargain at a moment's notice. The sight of old ladies nimbly paddling sampans packed with tourists twice their size - and probably less than half their age - was a joy.

The original canals which now make up the Floating Market were built in 1866 on demand of His Majesty the King of Thailand, King Rama IV, to help ease communication in the province. He ordered that a 32 kms long canal be dug at Damnoen Saduak which would connect the Mae Klong River with the Tachine River. The actual Floating Market started here only in 1967

This photo is one of our first excited glimpse of the floating market....It's not a great picture (some areas are OE), but just a glimpse. Souvenir 'shop' boats selling hats rests on the sides while a lady rows her boat on the klang, selling delicious local food...

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7688 W: 324 N: 15328] (53990)
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