On a recent layover in Thailand to continue our work with UXO (unexploded ordnance) in Laos, a few of us at ASI seized the opportunity to venture outside of Bangkok for a day. What we found was the Damnoenssaduak floating market. Consisting of an intricate network of canals, it’s a writhing medley of commerce where everything from exotic fruits to touristy kitsch are hawked daily.
Named after a historical canal of the same name, the original Damnoenssaduak was constructed under the order of the King Mongkut. Known to westerners as the obstinate king from The King and I, the real-life Mongkut was in many ways a much more nuanced character than portrayed in film. His reign, from 1851 to 1868, was time of great change in Siam (modern-day Thailand). As Siam was facing the increasing pressure of Western expansionism, Mongkut took measures to modernize his country both culturally and technologically while retaining its national identity. During his lifetime he earned the nickname “Father of Science and Technology” and to this day he is revered by the people of Thailand.
Under his reign, modern medicine was brought to Siam and the country’s first non-government run newspaper was published. Women’s rights were drastically improved and forced marriages were banned. He introduced modern geography and commissioned a series of canals built throughout the country. In a day when the main form of transportation was foot, the canals were a small revolution in transportation.
Being from a company that named one of their vessels after Nikola Tesla, the so-called “Godfather of the 20th Century”, it was easy to appreciate the innovations King Mongkut championed as he navigated his country through a tumultuous time in history. After all, it’s largely due to the work of that other innovator, Tesla, that we were here sitting in the bottom of a small boat in the first place. Without the technologies he championed, without his contributions to our collective understanding of electromagnetism, we would not be where we are today.
Armed with refined versions of many of Tesla’s innovations, we are ready. Ready to help entire countries rid themselves of their unexploded ordnance problems. Ready to explore our Earth’s great oceans, uncovering secrets lost to time.
Ready to march forward to a new and exciting tomorrow.
Ready to help and assist you.
Whether it means helping you clear a waterway of UXO so you can begin construction on your bridge’s foundation or collecting core samples in New York Harbor and performing the necessary laboratory analyses needed to get you your dredging permit.
We are here to help you.
If you are ready, and would like Aqua Survey’s assistance, contact us today.
And if not, at least check out this video of our visit to the floating market. In it you can watch Senior Environmental Scientist Don Nazario as he shops for a few souvenirs for his two daughters and haggles with the locals.