Floating Markets of Bangkok

Bangkok was once known the as the Venice of Asia due to its extensive network of canals. Life then was populated in the areas adjacent to the rivers which made floating markets the hubs of the communities in the central plain of Thailand for centuries.

In present day, the floating markets are well supported locally and mainly serve as tourist hot spots. It is a great way to experience riverside shopping, taste some authentic flavors and buy some fresh and organic produce sourced from nearby farms and local orchards.

Feast your senses to some delicious sights and aromas as dishes are cooked and prepared by the vendors from their floating kitchens located right on their boat. What was impressive was the speed at which the orders were prepared and served to customers.

You can Indulge in traditional Thai delicacies and don't miss the classic and spicy papaya salad (Som tum) freshly made with spices pounded in a stone mortar. You can also sample boat noodles and traditional Thai dessert such as mango sticky rice and coconut rice dumplings (Khanom krok).

Do walk around and scout for locally produced merchandise such as handicrafts, Thai silk, paintings, hats (Tip: remember to bargain).

Floating markets play an important role socially as they help in the promotion and preservation of traditions that have existed for centuries.  Economically, floating markets help to improve the standard of living by generating jobs, income and employment opportunities

Notable Floating Markets: 

Damnoen Saduak floating market located in Damnoen Saduak District (Ratchaburi Province) about 100 kilometers southwest of Bangkok is the largest floating market very popular with tourists. It has hundreds of vendors on small boats selling local produce, local cuisine, trinkets and handicrafts. Though a very commercialized tourist spot, this floating market provides opportunities to takes pics of endless array of boats and observe floating market culture.

Timings: 06:30 hrs to 11.00 hrs (open everyday)
How to get there: Take a bus from the Southern Bus Terminal (Bangkok city centre). The journey takes around 2 hrs.

- If you are hiring a taxi for the entire journey, ensure to fix a price for a return trip before you leave.
- Best time to visit is early morning and don't forget your selfie stick.

Amphawa floating market located in the Amphawa District 72 km from Bangkok (Samut Songkhram Province) is an evening market and not as large as Damnoen Saduak floating market but the experience is more authentic as it is very popular with locals.

Timings: 16.00 hrs to around 21.00 hrs (Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
How to get there: Take a bus from the Southern Bus Terminal (Bangkok city centre) to Samut Songkram town and then hire a local songthaew, or shared taxi, to take you the rest of the way.

- If you are hiring a taxi for the entire journey, ensure to fix a price for a return trip before you leave.
- Another popular activity in Amphawa district is firefly night cruise available all year round.

Other floating markets you might want to visit are Bang Nam Pheung, Khlong Lat Mayom, Wat Sai, Taling Chan.

Have fun exploring and we will leave you with some pro tips to remember when visiting these floating markets:

- If you are traveling by boat, be sure to find one with some cover for shade as the weather is pretty hot.
- Go for local products and food and steer away from items mass produced for tourists.
- The waterways get crowded and so if you are traveling on boat, keep your hands close to you to avoid getting fingers trapped between boats.


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