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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture File: Thailand series at ThaiPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring interesting facts that you must know about Thailand, Thai Culture and Thai People. I’m Michael, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 17: Damneon Saduak Floating Market or in Thai ตลาดน้ำดําเนินสะดวก
Thailand's floating markets are some of the most photogenic destinations in the country. The markets give a realistic idea of what life was like in earlier times. In the past, the floating markets were where merchants, boats loaded with fruit, flowers, vegetables, and fresh produce, came to meet and trade their products with other traders. These days, however, the markets are mostly maintained for tourism purposes.
There are many floating markets in Thailand, the most well-known of which is in the district called ดําเนินสะดวก in Ratchaburi province, about 105 kilometers west of Bangkok. Due to its close proximity to Bangkok, it regularly draws many tourists.
The Damneon Saduak Floating Market has been in business for over one hundred years. Rama IV ordered that the thirty-two-kilometer canal be dug to connect the Mae Klong river with the Ta Chin river to more fluidly facilitate transportation and business. It took about two years to finish. The canal has about two hundred small branches connecting to other canals. As rivers and canals were the main method of transportation in the old days, this market had several boats loaded with many kinds of agricultural products. The vendors wore indigo-colored farmer’s shirts or เสื้อม่อฮ่อม and conical straw-hats or ฟางหมวกชาวนา, and paddled along the canal to sell or trade their goods. Though nowadays the floating market is not as vibrant as it used to be, visitors can still see how unique life was in the old days.
The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is open from five o'clock in the morning until noon. There are a variety of things you can buy such as food, produce, small wares, souvenirs, and handicrafts. The market is chaotic, colorful, noisy, and great fun. Boat tours take tourists to the market and continue down the river, with rowboats costing three hundred baht and a long-tailed boat or เรือหางยาว costing six hundred baht per boat with eight seats. Boats take visitors along the canal that eventually leads to the floating market, and along the journey there are some interesting sights to behold. You can get a glimpse into the lives of the local people, their homes, gardens, orchards, and businesses flashing past as the boat steadily continues up the river.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
What would you like to see if you were visiting Damneon Saduak Floating Market?
Leave a comment telling us at ThaiPod101.com! Until next time!