Something you definitely shouldn’t miss are the floating markets. Boats are passing by with an abundance of colourful fruits and Thai foods. It is not only a great opportunity to savor the best foods but as well a chance to get a little insight in the real Thai culture.
Most tourists are immediately heading to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in the North of Bangkok, absolutely the best one to take the ‘post-card’ pictures. Another beautiful but crowed market is the Amphawa Floating market. However, if you are looking for something more authentic rather than being surrounded in a crowd foreigners, you should check these floating markets! These markets might not have that many boats as the previous mentioned markets but for sure, they do provide you with an insight in the real Thai culture.
1. Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market
The floating market is one of the closest to Bangkok’s city center and easily reachable (meaning you don’t need to wake up utterly early to get to the market!). It’s not a big market but it is a great venue to stroll around for a couple of hours to taste the variety of Thai dishes and get the ‘local feeling’. Artists are exposing their works while you take your time to wander around. The serenity of the market, rest and friendliness are turning this market into a special experience.
Opening hours: Saturday and Sunday, 9.30 AM to 4.30 PM (best to go around 10.00)
Location: Best to get to Wang Wian Yai BTS station (Silom line). Grab a taxi from there to the Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market (100 to 150 Baht)
2. Taling Chan
Conveniently located, just a few km from the Khlong Lat Mayom market is the Taling Chan market to be found. It’s perfect to combine the two whereas the Taling Chan is a bigger market with lots of sea foods for local prices. Locals are cooking best dishes on small barbecues including squid, crab, huge prawns and other big fishes. Guests are seated on the floors in the restaurants, looking over the river. Are you not feeling like having dinner on your knees? No problem, if you keep on walking you will find some plastic chairs to strike down for a tasty meal. A nice feature is the boat tour you can make. For a friendly price of approximately 100 Baht, you can explore the klongs (canals) of Bangkok. Tired? A massage in the shades of the threes will give your feet some rest before you move on to your next activity in Thailand’s capital.
Opening hours: Saturday and Sunday, 8.00 AM to 5.00 PM (best to go around 10.00)
Location: Best to get to Wang Wian Yai BTS station (Silom line). Grab a taxi from there to the Taling Chan Floating Market (100 to 150 Baht)
3. Bang Nam Pheung Floating Market
Another market to escape the buzz of Bangkok is the Bang Nam Pheung Floating Market. Eating along the tranquil river is just great, giving you some rest and meanwhile offering you the chance to taste Thailand’s unique dishes for a few Baht. You can easily walk around for some hours as the market is quite big. The Bang Nam Pheung village is located close to Bangkok with just a few boats but offering you a local feeling. Have a look at the video for a short impression.
Opening times: Saturday and Sunday, 8.00 AM to 2.00 PM
Location: Easiest to take a taxi to: Soi Bua Phueng Phatthana, Bang Kobua, Phra Pradaeng District, Samut Prakan, it will cost you approximately 200 Baht. (Tip: turn google maps on or show the address in Thai script for the taxi driver)
4. Tha Kha Floating Market
Secluded in the Samut Songkhram district you will find the Tha Kha Floating Market. You will need to arrange your own transport to get there which is probably the only disadvantage of the market. However it is also what makes it to an authentic market, not too commercialized yet, just a few tourists wonder around. In contrary to some other floating markets there are many boat vendors paddling around (without using an engine), it does justice to its name – Floating Market. You can taste Thailand’s fruits and vegetables or find some hand-made products. It is even possible to get a boat tour (much cheaper than in the popular tours in Damnoen Sudak) revealing the piece of nature.
Opening times: Satuday and Sunday, 8.00 AM to 11.30 AM (best to go early)
Location: On a 15 min. drive from Amphawa, tours are offered with either a tuk-tuk or by boat starting at Amphawa.
5. Don Wai Market
The local market is situated at approximately 30 km. West from Bangkok in the Nakhon Pathon area. The market can be called a riverside market rather than a floating market, inviting its visitors for lunch at the riverside. The market is over a hundred years old and exposes a wide array of foods, smells and local insights. A boat trip is a must, showing beautiful river gardens for less than 100 Baht per person (around 1.5 hours). It feels absolutely refreshing when coming from the busy city. Your trip to this market is best to combine with a visit to the Wat Rai Khing temple turning your day into a cultural Thai experience. Make sure to get there early as it gets crowded at noon.
Opening times: Open daily, from 7.00 AM to 6.00 PM.
Location: Get a taxi to the Wat Rai Khing temple and continue per boat to the market (20 Baht per cross-over)
In general it’s best to go early to avoid to mid-day heat and the peak hours when it get busy. You will be able to buy fresh and cool water on the spot but don’t forget to protect yourself with some sunscreen and/or a hat. Besides, credit cards are not accepted so make sure to carry some Bahts on you. Good luck and enjoy the cultural Thai experience of foods and locals.
For Accommodation you can make your best choice as Hotel de Bangkok or The Bangkokians City Gardern Home. The location of this hotels is in center of Bangkok near to Pratunam – wholesale shopping, connecting to Airport Link and BTS Sky Train stations.