Many people have done it already. It is not a hidden gem in the wise traveler’s itinerary, but taking a trip to the Nonthaburi wet market never gets old.From Saphan Taksin hop on an orange flagged express boat for (currently) 15 bath (up two bath from last winter) to the terminus station in Nonthaburi that is 11-km up the river. The trip takes an hour and 15 minutes. Note that the tourist boats don’t go there.Nonthaburi is a province north of Bangkok with about half a million people. But it is basically still part of the Greater Bangkok area. What it is not: is not as polluted, not as crowded and not as rushed a Bangkok. So, the second largest city in Thailand – way bigger than Chiang Mai with 160,000 people – is not a tourist-oriented place and worth a fun excursion from the big modern city life.
It’s a great place to explore and experience Thai everyday life. The authentic local habitat starts right down the road from the ferry pier (about 400 m) on the right. Entering the fresh produce market, the traveler is hit by smells, aromas and sights of the “real” Thailand. The faint-hearted should be warned…
The market offers anything from fresh fruit, vegetables to fish to green-lipped mussels and meat in all sizes, shapes and forms as well as live cats and dogs and other animals. While it’s fun, it’s also exhausting.
Humans and animals agree.
If the market is not exciting enough, there is always the option to take a quick detour on the way back to the ferry and take a peek at the Bangkok Kwang Central Prison, part of the Department of Corrections, aka Bangkok Hilton. But that… is for another day.