Floating and Railway Market
This was one of the most unique tourist destinations that we’ve visited. At this railway market, vendors line up right alongside the railroad tracks to sell all sorts of daily items like fish, vegetables, and fruit. When the train passes, which happens twice a day, vendors pull in their awnings and move away from the tracks. After the train departs, the awnings come out again and people fill the railway passageway - it’s as if nothing ever happened.
Later in the morning, we stopped at a floating market where vendors are cruising around in wooden canoes. The entire river was packed with boats. While we didn’t take a ride in one, we did pick up some scrumptious coconut ice cream.
Bridge On the River Kwai
Adam watched the movie “Bridge Over the River Kwai,” which subsequently motivated us to drive 2 hours northwest of Bangkok to see the WWII-era bridge built by prisoners of war for the Japanese army. Thousands died building the bridge in horrible conditions. Walking over the bridge was powerful, but the weather was incredibly hot and we wouldn’t have managed without our trusty sun umbrellas.
Thailand’s Debt Crisis
When we reached the Siam History Museum, we found that the entire place was closed for renovation. We were a little bummed because it was so hot outside and we were looking forward to a nice, air-conditioned indoor activity. A passerby saw us and mentioned that they have an exhibit open in a side courtyard so we made our way over. The exhibit was a 4-room overview of Thailand’s Debt Crisis in the 1990s, which occurred after a run-up in the economy between 1985 and 1995. The implications of this crisis left Thailand with a massive debt burden and prevented significant steps toward modernization.
Adam went a little overboard and purchased 3 custom-made suits, including a tuxedo, while we were in Bangkok. Adam found one of the most highly rated suit-making shops called Raja’s Tailors near Suk Soi 11. The place has been there forever and has an incredible reputation for service and quality. When we walked in, we were greeted by a young man named “G” – he’s the grandson of the original founder and runs the shop today. We went back for 3 fittings, with the last one on our final day in Bangkok. G treated us to dinner at Indique, his family’s recently opened modern Indian fusion restaurant. We met G’s father there. He is a magician and showed us several magic tricks throughout our meal.