A unique market with cruise service and the award winning performance
31.10.2009 - 07.11.2009 32 °C
Travelling Thailand is never boring. Apart from its unique cultures, food, endless inexpensive shopping options and interesting sights and beaches, the tag "Unseen Thailand" seems to be a very suitable theme for this Land of Smile that also have variety of activties that are distinct from its counterparts within South East Asia. One of the example are the floating markets. Nevertheless, floating markets are not just unique to Thailand as these can also be found in Ho Chi Minh City in the Mekong Delta though they are less popular if compared to the ones found in Thailand. Recently, I was in Nakhon Pathom, Bangkok and went to the Don Wai Market. My last visit to Nakhon Pathom was a visit to the Phra Pathom Chedi, one of the oldest and biggest wat in Thailand. To get to Don Wai Market, it takes about 1 hours journey from Bangkok city by car. This market specialty is the sale of steamed marinated ducks and also the deep fried pork knuckles. You will find many stalls within the market that sell such food which can be mouth-watering if you are still deprived of your breakfast or lunch. The market are divided into 2 sections, the one on the left which have vendors involve in the sale of ready cooked, fresh, delicious thai/chinese varieties including desserts while on the right side of the market, there are vendors who sell fruits and also piers for a river cruise along Nakhon Chaise river. There are several cruise services available and its cost THB60 per person for a 1 hour 30 minutes cruise. Many floating restaurants were also set up along the river which go in tandem with the market. The place have been designed in such a way where all the food stalls are being placed fronting the walkways and the restaurants at the rear of these stalls so that the people can buy or order their food from these stalls and get to enjoy them from the restaurants facing the river. Also, the river cruise not only for your to enjoy the sights of the different style thai houses found along the river banks and vegetable farms, you can also buy the food from the market and bring it along to the boat during the cruise to eat them for breakfast or lunch depending on the time of your visit and cruise. Don't worry about having difficulty in eating the food you buy on the boat. There are table and chairs available on board and you can enjoy your food and the good snenaries along the river. The cruise will take the passengers all the way up to a wat, The Wai Rai King where the Buddhists can pay homage here. There is a fishing pond at the dock getting down to the temple where you can buy some dried bread to feed the abundant of cat fish. This wat signals the turning point back to the pier in Don Wai Market. Go early to Don Wai Market to avoid the busy crowd which can get you down and extermely exhausted coupled with the mid day heat, you would swear you had been here early in the morning. Its worth a visit to experience good food, pleasant cruise and a unique thai culture.
Another distinct Thai culture is the Theatrical Pupettry show or Lakorn. You can have access to this at the Suan Lum Night Bazaar. The show shocases the story of the Birth of Ganesha. To sum up the show, there are several personae involved:
1. Isuan, Brahma and Indra - the senior gods
2. Taraka - the senior demon
3. Kamathep - god of love
4. Kongka - godess of water
5. Visukam - the god
6. Warrior - deity and demons
7. Uma - a deity, reincarnation of Satee, Isuan's late wife
8. Kalee - a frightening, monstrous woman with 4 arms Uma, transformed by anger
9. Kumarn - a deity child who later becomes Ganesha
10. Ganesha - son of Isuan and Uma
11. Buangbuat - a giant serpent also known as Naga
12. Vichaya - Lady in waiting
The story starts with Isuan mourning for the death of his wife Satee. He has been down and loses his strength in governing the universe. Taraka, the demon seeing Isuan's grief situation, trying to overpower Isuan to overthrow him from his position. He engaged Brahma to turned him invincible. Brahma then thought that the only person who can kill Taraka is Isuan's son, but he is currently childless with the death of Satee. Brahma meanwhile granted Taraka his wishes.
With the powers obtained from Brahma, Taraka invaded heaven with his troop of demons and defeated Indra, the senior god. Indra then went to see Brahma and told him what happened. Brahma upon hearing the situation, instructed Kamathep to make Isuan fell for Uma, the reincarnation of Satee so that Isuan will have a child from the reunion.
Isuan went for a retreat and provided Uma with a spear. Knowing the absence of Isuan, the demons invaded heaven once again. Vichaya, Uma's lady in waiting informed Uma to have her doors guarded. Uma quickly gets Kongka, the water goddess to bless her with a child from the water. This was when Kumarn, a large child was born. Uma gave Kumarn the spear from Isuan and ask the child to guard the palace.
When reaching the palace door with Visukam after his retreat, they met with Kumarn who stopped them from entering the palace. Isuan was furious and instructed Visukam to send the child away but Visukam failed in doing so. Isuan who gets very angry kills Kumarn after spearing his head off. Uma who witnessed the incident was shocked and grieving in pain for the loss of her child. She turned very angry and changed into Kalee, a frightening, monstrous 4 arms woman. Isuan was shocked with this and consoles her by promising to bring Kurmarn back to life. Isuan instructed Visukam to go to the north and brought home the 1st living thing he encounters.
Visukam returns with a severed head of an elephant. Isuan then connects the elephant head to Kumarn's body and Kumarn's returned to life and was renamed Ganesha. Indra tells Isuan to get Ganesha to go and fight off the demons who were invading the heaven.
While the gods and demons were battling, Indra and Ganesha arrived at the scene of the battlefield and joined the fight. When the demons were defeated, Taraka, arrived with both Taraka and Ganesha engaged in war of words Taraka would like to know who Ganesha was and so Ganesha told Taraka that he is the son of Isuan and Uma. Taraka wouldn't believe it because Uma couldn't be possible given birth due to her being an ascetic. They continue with the battle and Ganesha instructed Buangbuat to surround Taraka who then kills Taraka with the spear.
Finally, the secene of the show ends with Ganesha sits on the great serpent with all gather around him to pay homage to his success in defeating the demons.