This morning I drove over to the 100 Year Market at Klong Suan on the border between Samut Prakan and Chachoengsao. They were having their second annual market fair which will take place this long weekend during the Makha Bucha holiday. Mr. Surachai Kanasa, the Governor of Samut Prakan, was there for the grand opening. If you have never been to this riverside market yet then I strongly suggest you head out that way this weekend. The market fair runs from today until 1st March 2010. It is a great place to go to relax and enjoy a meal.
Klong Suan 100 Year Market dates back to the reign of King Rama V. The market was conveniently located on the canal that ran between Chachoengsao and Pratunam in Bangkok. With the coming of land transport and the building of highways, the importance of the market dwindled. However, during recent years, the market has been revitalised and is now firmly on the tourist trail for Bangkokians who are looking for a day out from the capital.
The market in Klong Suan is worth going during any weekend. However, as they have special activities going on at the moment it makes sense to go. It is also a good place for keen photographers as there are a number of old traditional shops with their original facades and shop signs. Of particular interest is the coffee shop and the old barbers shop. There are also some old characters there who have been running their shops for numerous decades. I think it is great that the market is a blend of the old and new. Something for everyone. Not just for tourists as local people come here to shop, much like their grandparents used to do.
Some guidebooks and tourist agencies, like the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), place this tourist attraction in Chachoengsao Province. Though really, the main stretch is in Samut Prakan Province. This is the part that I visited today. I was taking pictures of the Governor of Samut Prakan as he toured the market to meet the shopkeepers and to see the activities being arranged. However, he stopped once we reached the bridge that crossed a small canal to the next stretch of the market. This part is in Chachoengsao and he couldn’t cross-over even if he wanted to, due to the fact that he was there on an official visit. He would need to be welcomed by the Governor of Chachoengsao. But, he didn’t miss much!
I have been to Klong Suan a few times. I have previously blogged about this place at www.Bangkok-Daytrips.com. I think it would take you only 45 minutes by taxi from On Nut Sky Train station. The market is on Soi On Nut just before it reaches Chachoengsao. You can see more of my pictures from the opening ceremony today at www.paknamphotos.com. You can find more local tourist attractions for Samut Prakan at our www.paknam.com site. You can now follow me live on Twitter @RichardBarrow. I am microblogging there and you will be able find out where I go each day and links to see some live pictures.