Which floating market in Bangkok should you visit?
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
For years, one of the items on my bucket list has been to visit a floating market in Thailand. Recently, I was finally able to cross that item off my list! I chose to visit the most popular floating market in Thailand, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. While it is a hot tourist destination, as long as you avoid the gift shops, it’s incredibly easy to forget you are a tourist and get a real sense of life in Thailand. The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is in Ratchaburi province, over an hour outside of Bangkok and the easiest way to get there is by going by private car which will take you there for a day.
There is a tour which include a hotel pickup for a fair price of the floating market food tour. The van left Bangkok just after 7:00 AM, and we were on our way to the beloved Damnoen Saduak Market. Our guide, Kiki was a cheerful and lovely woman, pointing out interesting sites and giving us a history of Thailand and the specific provinces our van drove through. Once we got into the lush Thai countryside, it was just stunning—orchid and coconut farms surrounded the route our tour van took. You are driven to a pier lined with beautifully decorated long-tail boats that take you all the way to the Damnoen Saduak Market. We glided down a beautiful canal, lined with small, quaint wooden houses. The boats travel slowly enough that you can appreciate the beautiful scenery and observe the local residents who live along the serene waterway.
After about twenty minutes on the water, we arrived at the bustling market, which was vibrant and full of life. While of course there are your typical, tourist, “I Love Thailand” shirts and mugs in some of the stalls, it is easy to look past these. It is, after all, the most popular floating market in Thailand, so of course, it’s a bit commercialized, but not so distractedly. There are food stalls with some of the BEST food you will ever eat; If you don’t know, Thailand is known for its amazing market food. I definitely took advantage of all the delicious Thai food options at Damneoen Saduak Market (I was technically on a food tour, so why not?). They even have a ton of fruit vendors, which is actually quite rare for floating street markets in Thailand. If you go (and you should), I highly recommend the addictive freshly made coconut pancakes ‘Khanom Buang’ and the salty, savory ‘Guay Tiew Ruea’ or known as ‘boat noodles’. This floating market has a little bit of everything from tiger balm to small, handcrafted toy elephants, basically anything you can find at Chatuchak Weekend Market, and more!
Despite the fact that the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market can be just a tad commercialized, it is still something everyone should experience at least once in their life if you have a chance to visit Bangkok. I had an amazing time in Thailand, but this tour alone was certainly worth the round-trip plane ticket. This tour is absolutely not to be missed, especially for foodies. I had plenty of time to look around, eat (way too much) amazing local food, pick up some fresh produce, and take TONS of pictures. I even got some stunning shots of fruit vendors transporting more products into the market via boats on the canal. The tour of the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market was an incredible experience, and I will definitely make it a priority to go back on my next trip to Thailand!
How-To Access: Ride the BTS Skytrain to ‘Bang Wa’ Station, then take a taxi to the Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai). Buy a ticket and hop on a shuttle bus No.78 all the way Ratchaburi province to Damnoen Saduak. The overall travel time is approximately 2 hours, with a cost of approximately 50 Baht per trip. The most convenience way is to get a private car to travel there.
The nearest floating market in Bangkok you should not miss
During the day, the Bangkok Floating Market provides an alternate attraction for travelers. Bangkok has 16 large floating marketplaces, the most well-known of which being Damnoen Saduak. The most notable floating market in Bangkok, however, is Amphawa, 50km away from Bangkok city. However, if you have less time in Bangkok, I would suggest you to visit the nearest floating market in Bangkok which listed below is accessible by skytrain and subway.
Lat Mayom Floating Market
The Klong Lat Mayom Floating Market is located on a canal in the suburbs of Bangkok. The area is well-known for its original local cuisine and delicious fruits. There are roughly 200 sellers distributed across 1.4 square kilometers, and over 10,000 local tourists visited the market in 2013. This market is well-known for being a place to find many Thai foodies. Pitifully, it is less known to overseas travelers.
Imagine taking a ride down the canal in a boat. You are anchored to a floating market where you may sample local cooking, visit a souvenir shop, and avoid a group of tourists while admiring the environment. The Klong Lat Mayom Floating Market is a genuinely unique waterfront community that should not be missed, especially for those who love to eat! Try to find a stall near the river where you can sit and eat and enjoy the atmosphere where people ride wooden canoes in the river will pass by.
You can find authentic and traditional Thai savory and sea foods and desserts there which are hard to discover in central city. Not only places with foods, there are section where you can shop for cloth, gardening, household items, souvenirs, DIY shops, etc. The location is easy to walk and explore around the community and market.
Business Hours: Klong Lat Mayom floating market open only on weekend between 8A.M – 5P.M. If you have a plan to visit this market please go early before 11P.M otherwise it will get packed and most vendors will start to close around 3P.M
How-To Access: You can get to the market by boat around Bangkok canal system with a rented long-tail boat or you can hire a taxi to get there in 45 minutes from central Bangkok which depend on traffic. Take the MRT train (blue line) all the way to ‘Lak Song’ station and transit to taxi.
Taling Chan Floating Market
Taling Chan Floating Market was established in 1987 with the intention of developing the market as a center for local and agricultural products in the region. The location is 14 km from central Bangkok. The area is well-known among the locals but not among foreign tourists. The atmosphere is lovely. There are rows of food and souvenir shops, many stall vendors selling local cuisine, and a wide selection of Thai souvenirs. Furthermore, the market includes small wooden canoes selling food and beverages on it. The boat vendors sell a variety of products, ranging from fruits and vegetables to spices and herbs. Meals and refreshments are also available on the canoes. The flow of the river is connected to Bangkok’s metropolis water system flowing to the Chao Phraya River.
Business Hours: The market open from 7:30AM to 4PM. Similar to Klong Lat Mayom, if you want to avoid the crowd, you should get there by 10AM. It should start to get busy after 11AM. Taling Chan floating market will close approximately 3PM.
How-To Access: Getting to Taling Chan floating market is a little complicated as you need to get a taxi or private car to reach there. The other option is to get on a bus No.79. I suggest to travel by boat, the terminus is located near Wat Pho.
Floating markets aren’t quite like what you saw on TV, you have to come here and see it for yourself. You will experience the local life-style that is rare in urban area. For a one-day trip, you can visit the whole market and the exploration of the places are a chill-walk rubbing shoulder to shoulder with the local people. If you have more days in the city and no idea where to visit after your floating market tour, please see “Things To Do in Bangkok” article.
It is quite an experience to see things you have never see before, especially the foods are really unique to try, they aren’t taste like the one in restaurant that catered to foreign tourists. If you have no idea which water-mounting foods to try, check out “5 best Thai foodies” content or if you have one more day to spare read the “fun activities in Bangkok“.
These 3 amazing floating markets located near Bangkok and can easily get access by public transportation. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is located in Ratchaburi province, outside Bangkok and can reach by shuttle bus or a private vehicle. Klong Lat Mayom and Taling Chan are both the nearest floating markets in Bangkok, it should takes around 45 minutes to approach there by taxi, 1 hour time by public bus and long-tail boat. If you have limited days to spend in Bangkok I suggest you to visit these two and you can check out the floating market tour program on the page. Floating markets are well-known for rare, traditional and authentic Thai foodies and desserts that is hard to find nowadays. It is a pity if you miss them.