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Posted by on May 2, 2011 | 12 comments

Thailand’s Blue Tiger: Day 10 (Scene 2)

After visiting the Crystal Palace, we were ready for lunch.  We were offered an interesting option.  As mentioned in the previous post, the Sakae Krang River, which is a tributary of the Chao Phraya River, passes thru the city and province of Uthai Thani.  Our guide offered us the opportunity to take a raft ride thru the river while enjoying “lunch”. 

Sakae Krang River Rafts

I am surrounding the word lunch in quotation marks because it was not something I consider a proper lunch.  I would rather say we were offered some snacks.  I am not sure who came up with the menu but it was probably the most untypical thing I ate while in Thailand.  The meal consisted of chicken nuggets (?), French fries (?) and wontons (at least, this is kind of Asian).  We were offered a wide arrange of fruits to end the meal.  We had rambutans, pomelos, sapodillas and rose apples.  At least, this was more exotic. Also, we had a dessert of yucca (or cassava) with coconut cream.  For me, it was an unusual combination because I am not used to eat yucca in sweet ways.    However, it tasted great.  We ended up cleaning the baskets of offerings because our companions did not enjoy the morsels so much.  Oh my!!! The sacrifices you have to do while traveling.

Colorful water house. The little house next to the colorful house is the restroom.

Let’s not talk more about food.  The point of the raft trip was to appreciate the way of life of the people who inhabit the river.  During the trajectory, you can observe numerous floating houses made of bamboo and wood.  What it’s more impressive, is that while cruising, you can actually observe people on their daily routines.  It is weird and interesting at the same time.  Locals wave and smile often from their living rooms or work areas.

Wat U-Posatharam

The Sakae Krang River has its water source in the Mokoju Peak in Mae Wong National Park. The origin of the name “Sakae Krang” is as follows. In former times, there was a big Sakae tree on an islet in the middle of the river. The village there was thus called “Ban (village) Sakae Klang (in the middle)”. The name gradually became Sakae Krang.

Long time ago, this river served as a main transportation route for traders of various nations such as Chinese, Laotians and Karens. 

Water House on Sakae Krang River

The traditional riverside way of life is evident in here.  You can observe how people live off the river.  The Sakae Krang River people subsist on agriculture and fishing.  They grow pandanus (which has and edible fruit) near their houses.  Additionally, swap morning glory is cultivated around their houses.  They cut the youngest parts to be sold at the market and feed fish with the rest.  I didn’t try morning glory but I saw it on some menus.  Apparently, it tastes good.  Anyway, Thais can make anything taste good.

Water plants and houses on the river

Gourami, a big fish, is raised in floating baskets.  This fish is sold by the kilogram at a very good value.  Moreover, the province is famous for the succulent gourami that comes from its waters.

Country view from the raft

From the raft, Wat U-Posatharam is visible.  This is a small temple which Rama I once visited.  Uthai Thani was the hometown of the first king of the Chakri dynasty (the ruling dynasty).  The temple is from the Rattanakosin Period (the same period when the old part of Bangkok was founded) and shows Thai and Western architecture styles.

Area were locals raise gourmari (a fish)

People in their daily routines

If you visit Uthai Thani, a cruise thru the Sakae Krang River is a must.  Try to book a ride if you want to absorb another face of Thailand.

View of the houses from the raft

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  1. Very interesting post about a part of the world I have never been too. The pictures are great and appear as I would have imagined. The fishing nets were very interesting!

    • Christy, these rafts usually stop and people can explore the area. They also offer longer trips along the river. We just had about an hour and that is why we didn’t stop.
      Ruth recently posted..Thailand’s Blue Tiger- Day 10 Scene 1My Profile

  2. Some very interesting homes along the river. As for the food, I like the unique fruit choices but that meal was awful!! Why would you get nuggets and fries on a raft trip in Thailand?! Hopefully, you at least enjoyed the rest of the raft trip.
    Jeremy B recently posted..Budget travel deals of the week May 3- 2011My Profile

    • I am not sure why they served that type of food. When I heard about the choices, I wasn’t really convinced to take the trip. However, it was that or eating at a pizza place in the center of town.
      Ruth recently posted..Papillon Photos- Luzhi Water Town- ChinaMy Profile

    • Ben, that is true. I think we can still find traditional ways of life in the United States. The other day I was reading about the Gullah in South Carolina. There are also traditional Native American areas. I would love to learn more about their unique cultures.
      Ruth recently posted..Papillon Photos- Suzhou Museum- ChinaMy Profile

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