Day 23, Bangkok to Amphawa

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Today  we said goodbye to Axel and Bruce and welcomed Ben, Anne and Lori to our second trip, down the Thai coast. Oh . . . and we signed a new set of waivers too!

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TommyH decided to rent an e-bike for the second half of the trip but went for the economy version . . . no battery!!!

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We started the day going to the oldest floating market in Thailand. Sort of a misnomer because the market items are mostly on land but you float through the market in a series of narrow canals. Think Venice but at 100 degrees!!!

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But the locals do float around . . .

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. . . buying their daily produce . . .

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While the the tourists beat around in flat boats overpowered with V6 or V8 car engines.

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Local residents by produce from vendors who boat down the canals, home to home, to anyone who is waiting for them.

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This vendor had lots of produce and probably lots of good neighborhood gossip!

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This man is testing a solar powered canal boat, a prototype costing $20,000! People are looking for quieter options than the noisy tourist boat engines currently used.

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Here is the electric engine for the new approach; no gas fumes, no noise, no overpowered engine. Nice!

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Big marketing program to eliminate plastic bags.

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After a walkabout in the market, we met for snacks and to watch the tourists and local color. This site was the former location of an opium den!

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Chinese New Year is almost here! Decorations are going up and preparations are being made. This “oven” is where people will burn colorful papers  and food in memory and honor of loved ones who have died.

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There were many policemen here today doing their annual inspection  of the market. While they were there to ensure compliance to rules, many of them never appeared to leave the restaurants along the canal! Barb and Anne snagged this gent for a photo.

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Tourist boats headed down a narrow side canal to the concentrated area of vendors.

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Busy!

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Colorful, noisy, crowded!

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You could find tasty satay….

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… or homemade soup…

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… or fried bananas.

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Colorful lanterns to bring in the New Year!

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Now it is our turn! We boarded two boats to tour the bigger canals.

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We boated past many different kinds of homes, like this ramshackle one.

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And lovely ones with topiary trees!

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Unique lodging at a river resort—giant concrete tubes converted to guest rooms.

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At the end of our boat tour, our trusty guides and bikes met up with us to get us back on our steeds.

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Today’s ride was a lovely one through banana and coconut plantations.

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The area is ditched to get water to the plants.

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A monitor lizard keeping watch over the coconuts.

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Farmers are the same worldwide: to bring them into a meeting, you offer great food! Coffee cake today!

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Another fancy Thai decorated truck. This one had so many lights on the front that it must need an extra generator!

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Busy beehives; don’t get too close!

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Life size soldier sculptures at the quirky Wat Bang Kung.

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Looks like this soldier is battling with a government official!

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Tommy H offers the local horses a treat.

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This gentleman biked by selling whirligigs.

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This temple is famous for the four banyan trees that completely surround it.

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Inside the temple.

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This community is also getting ready for the New Year.

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A quick ferry ride to our hotel, and it was time to relax a bit and get ready for dinner!

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