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Let your shopping spree float in the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, one of Ratchaburi’s most popular tourist attractions. It showcases the significance of the Mae Klong River to the people’s lifestyle and most importantly their source of livelihood and how it enriches the cultural heritage of Ratchaburi.

Ratchaburi is one of the central provinces of Thailand; its local meaning is “The land of the king,” which is fitting considering the breathtaking wonders the province has to offer. With over 5,000 square kilometers of land area, it sports amazing destinations of which the most exhilarating is the floating markets of Damnoen Saduak.

Ratchaburi and Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Historically, Ratchaburi was the city of the Mon kingdom dating far back to the Dvaravati period. Legend has it that “The land of the king” originated from the mythical Suvannabhumi kingdom predating Dvaravati. If you happen to love historical ruins with cultural significance, discover the amazing wonders of the contemporary city of Khu Bua.

Damnoen Saduak on the other hand is the handy work of King Rama IV in 1866 when he demanded for a 32 km canal to connect the Mae Klong River with the Tacheen River cutting through Damnoen Saduak. This resulted to an excellent arable land beside the river perfect for growing various kinds of fruits and vegetables. The tradition has been kept alive by the Thais who until today, rely on the resources provided by the river mostly from exceptional agriculture and tourism combined. The way of life of the Thai in the Damnoen Saduak is quite unique and tourists see a glimpse of how things have been in the past.

With a population of over 800,000 mostly of Karen origin and other hill tribes including some neighboring Asian nationalities like Chinese, the cultural heritage and traditions of Ratchaburi are fascinatingly rich and incredibly diverse.

The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is a world famous travel destination popular for its fresh fruits and vegetables coming right from the nearby farms in the naturally rich riverbanks. The experience of going through the market is amazingly refreshing and the people are very friendly. Hopping into one of the small manually paddled boats is absolutely fascinating more so the stunning scenery that the Mae Klong River holds. As you go past the calm waters of the river, the identity of the Thai culture is clearly evident.

Ratchaburi and Damnoen Saduak Floating Market2

The market opens daily before dawn and ends at noon. Like most of the markets in Thailand, haggling is part of the business and more often than not you get a sweet deal just by flashing your terrific smile. Once you’ve had your fair share of bargaining, don’t shy away from binging on delicious local cuisine, which are served from the floating food carts.

If you’re planning to include Ratchaburi and Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in your travel itinerary, be sure to familiarize yourself with a few useful words from the local dialect like simple phrases asking for direction. Tour guides speak in English but what makes the experience even more delightful and enriching, is being able to lose yourself in the sea of colorful goods and the thrill of haggling amid language barriers.

Our Travel Writer is Jack Van Toorn. Follow him on Twitter for more:

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Although the bank if islands to the West of Croatia maintain a reputation for youth tourism, nothing comes close to the Island of Pag, that has fast become a Mecca for the alcohol infused sun worshipping European party scene. The island itself could be described as a barren rocky outcrop, grey with slate ridges fairly inhospitable to farm animals and greenery. One may notice that as they explore Pag they come face to face with the occasional sheep road block and can spot skinny mountain goats grazing on what little grassland the island sustains, the reson for this is simply that sheep and goats can live anywhere, deserts, cliffs, volcanos … anywhere.

The long narrow island sports a few small towns, Pag town is a quaint spot, they sell a lot of cheese known as Paksi Sir and are famous for their Pag Island lamb chops flavored through time due to the sheep living on heavily sea salted grass, not a lot goes on in Pag town, and I like it that way. Much like the northern town on Novalja actually, where also very little happens, for the most part many shops stay closed over the bitter winter months, or reduce their stock to bread, cheese and essentials … but then comes the summer!


Oh what happened? Novalja is packed with sexy sexy girls and the air is thick with hormones, the market stalls replace their daily essentials with party essentials and the public transport system wakes up for the first time in eight months offering hourly trips across the island to the clubbing hotspot known as Zrće beach.

The beaches on Pag island are plentiful but relatively quiet and hold onto that local ‘don’t live here don’t surf here’ arrogance, where the rural people of Pag can live out their lives quite unaffected by the excess of party culture erupting in the once hidden cove of Simun, local Croatians born to the Island of Pag are called Pagellians … ahem, by me…. and now, by you. So now I’ll bring you to Zrće, a very different scene, aside from its lack of a cashpoint (a warning not worth ignoring) this strip of pebbles has everything a maniacal party-head would want, mega size open air beach clubs line the join between rock and beach as party boats dock daily delivering hundreds of revelers straight to their doors. Drinks are served in large vase like vessels blistering with multicolored straws, transparent of course to show off the vibrant cocktails concocted by the beautiful bar staff at club Papaya and Aquarius, the largest venues on Zrće (pronounced Zer-che if this was bothering you).


Take a stroll into these hedonistic havens and you will be greeted with free shots and the impressively white teeth of the bikini clad reps as they motion to the equally white pleather seating. There is no pressure to buy as you take it all in, intoxicated partygoers splash in the numerous indoor pools as semi famous DJ’s scratch away overhead in a suspended glass stage … then to top it all off somebody drops in, upside down, from what seems like nowhere … that’s right, club Papaya has a bungee jump crane directly overhead!

Our Travel Writer is Jack Van Toorn. Follow him on Twitter for more:

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