Travel Thoughts: Day Out at the floating market and zoo, Chocolate Ville and dinner (Bangkok)

On the second day of our time in Bangkok, DramaQueen arranged with a (tour) driver to bring us to the floating market and the zoo. As a bonus, we were brought to Chocolate Ville and recommended this really nice restaurant for dinner.

We didn’t really plan our trip that well, and so we spent almost half the day traveling – the floating market and zoo were practically at the opposite ends of Bangkok! It took about 2 hours each to travel to each places! We left from our hotel at about 9am and arrived at the floating market around 1030am. Unlike the first time I went with PrincessyLee, we were brought to another corner of the floating market, but the gimmick of taking your photo and trying to sell it to you for 200 baht in the form of a customized photo-frame souvenir was the same.

There was a boat rental where it cost 2,000 baht for 1hr and 2,500 baht for 1hr 30min, regardless of the number of people on the boat. We had 4 people so it worked out to be 500 baht per person, since we went for the 1 hr ride. It would definitely be more worth it if we had more people (the boat can take up to 8-10 people I think). Unlike the first time I was there, the boat was motorized so the speed was definitely faster and more ‘exciting’.

 Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
 Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Once we boarded the boat, we were brought around the floating market. This time we also passed by the residential area of the residents that stay around the floating market. The sight was interesting: seeing wooden houses on slits on the river bank with dogs peeking out occasionally gave an insight to how life is like for the local who stay in such a watery environment. As we meandered through the waterways, we also passed by the (familiar) market area where the stalls selling souvenirs are located. If we liked a certain stall and wanted to check out the goods, all we had to do was to signal to the boatman and he would dock at the stall. Wherever we docked, the stall owners were enthusiastic (and sometimes a tad pushy) with the promotion of their wares.

As mentioned in my earlier post on my first visit to the market, the prices tend to be much higher than what you might be able to find in the markets in Bangkok and could be considered a tourist trap. But if you take into account of the currency conversion, it is not really that expensive (people need to make a living after all, right?). So this time I decided to try my (non-existent) haggling skills. For my effort, I managed to get a magnet for 50 baht less: one magnet cost 200 baht, so I asked if I bought 2 magnets could she charge me for like 300 baht instead of 400 baht and it was a success! I kinda convinced DramaQueen to buy the other magnet. Lol

After seeing my attempt at haggling, DramaQueen wanted to give it a try as well. She haggled for a stack of 6 mini elephant coin pouches for 100 baht when the markup was 330-650 baht (we visited 2 stalls)! Of course, needless to say the stall owner’s face was very ‘black’ but still she sold them to DramaQueen. The reason why DramaQueen was so insistent on 100 baht was because her dad told her he saw the same at the night market near our hotel going for 100 baht. When we went to check out the night market, he was right… but it was 100 baht for 5 mini elephant coin pouches not 6! Lol

[Click here to read about a more detailed Floating Market Experience]

After our time at the floating market, it was time for the next destination - the zoo. The journey took about 2 hours. We left the floating market around 1230pm and we arrived at the zoo at around 2-230pm! It was a long journey and there was hardly any time for lunch. Good thing we filled our tummies well during breakfast, else I couldn’t imagine how we would have lasted!

Safari World
Safari World

The zoo’s admission fee was really expensive costing us 1,200 baht per person. It was a package admission fee which allowed entry to the zoo (not exactly what we wanted to see) and the safari (this was what we actually had in mind). Due to some miscommunication, we were convinced to get the package admission fee rather than the fee to just the safari which admission fee would have just been 800 baht!

Safari World
The admission fees

The zoo in itself (where the animals are ‘showcased’) is not very well maintained. In fact, it is in serious need of an update, it looks worn and tired so much so that is a visitor does not feel happy visiting the place, what more the animals that actually have to live there! It would be good if the zoo actually put the fees to good use because nothing about the zoo was new nor updated, and it looked kinda ‘sad’. We were only in time for the bird show, which while entertaining was really nothing to rave about (you can see the same or even better at Jurong Bird Park). The only thing commendable was that the trainers seemed to care about their bird wards.

Safari World

The safari is an interesting concept were as long as you buy the admission tickets and have a car, you can drive into the open space enclosure which houses all sorts of animals (e.g. from carnivores like tigers to herbivores like deer, giraffes, zebras and buffaloes, to all types of birds). You are only separated by your car and its glass windows. We had a couple of animals like deer coming up to our car thinking we had food for them.

Safari World

The carnivores such as the tigers were although out in the open segregated from the rest of the inhabitants and from visitors. We could only admire them from a (short) distance, but it was definitely closer than if we were to see them in a zoo setting.

[Click here to read about a more detailed Zoo + Safari Experience]

Once we had gone round the safari, it was time for dinner but not before being a short stop over… we were brought to this really cute place called Chocolate Ville (plenty of photo and selfie opportunities here!).

Chocolate Ville

[Click here to read about a more detailed Chocolate Ville Experience]

Photos taken and stomachs rumbling we were then brought to this really quaint eatery/restaurant for dinner. The food was one of the best we have had over our time in Bangkok, so much so that each of us actually ate 2 bowls of rice each! The meal cost us in total 1,100 baht, pretty reasonable if you ask me. Our tummies were very happy that night. One of the highlights was the fried oyster egg omelet and the beef green curry. Yummy!

Khrua Nai Baan

[Curious about what exactly we had for dinner and the taste? Click here to read about our dinner experience]

When all was done, we arrived back at the hotel around 8pm. The whole trip, for the driver’s time, the car and petrol cost us a total of S$180, which would have worked out to be S$45 or 1,150 baht per person. It would have been better if we had more people to even out the cost but it was a lesson learnt, please don’t ever plan to visit the floating market and zoo all in the same day as they are on the opposite ends! We spent half that day actually traveling to and fro the places, so quite a bit of petrol was consumed. 
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When travel collides with a byte, a unit of information made up of bits, TravelBytez is formed: snippets of ramblings on travel, food, shopping, living and anything else that comes to mind.


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