Saturday, July 26, 2014
Water first and last
It's an authentic place, still mostly frequented by locals, and well worth visiting - as are some of the houses that we were taken to, actual homes of polished teak and airy spaces surrounded by gardens and muddy creeks and canals where turtles, catfish and snakes hang out. There was a lot of snacking along the way, of things like freshly-fried fishcakes, sweet sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves, crunchy guava, pink juice made from flowers. So much food, being prepared and cooked! You wouldn't think there were enough mouths in the country to eat it all - but there's very little waste, at the end of the day.
Speaking of that, after a sadly hurried dinner where we were greeted by traditional dancers, ours finished with a soothingly cooling night cruise along the river to Asiatique. It's a former warehouse converted to shops and stalls, lively and busy, with a theatre where we went to a Muay Thai show. That's kick-boxing to you, not the real thing with blood and bruises, but a slick and stylised version that tells the history of the country and the sport, with a bit of a love story thrown in. Our initial jaded cynicism about cartoon-style sound-effects was soon blown away by the energy and enthusiasm of the young men leaping and tumbling about the stage, and we were all captivated by the performance.
For the 2D version of the market visit, watch Duncan's report.