Almost every first-time traveler to Bangkok, Thailand has the idea of visiting a floating market in the city’s surrounding area. Unfortunately the large majority of tourists change their minds due to the distance between the city and the floating markets or due to the price of a tour. Besides, if they want to take part on such a tour, they have to wake up at 5:00 and most of the tourists sleep a lot during their holiday.
But the experience of exploring a unique floating market is worth waking up early and paying the price of a tour. There are several floating markets around Bangkok, the closest one being located at about 12 km of the Siam Paragon. In case you are interested in the best floating markets around Bangkok, read the following guide.
Amphawa Floating Market
The second most popular floating market around Bangkok is the Amphawa Floating Market. Unfortunately it is located about 90 km of Bangkok. It is lively and cute. You will find great souvenirs, sweets and food here. There are numerous tiny wooden houses here, lined along the canal. You don’t have to get there early. If you arrive around 9:00, you can still beat the crowd.
Bang Nam Pheung Floating Market
A small, but lively floating market around Bangkok is the Bang Nam Pheung Floating Market. It is located about 20 km of Bangkok. A taxi might be the only way to get to the market. In spite of being a small market, the food products are very colorful. It is located within an untouched natural sanctuary named the “Lung of Bangkok”.
The floating market is local, but not traditional. In other words, it’s set up for Thai residents, but not to handle daily life tasks like floating markets were once used.
In reality the market is especially for Bangkok residents to escape work and busy city life for the day – a Thai tourist attraction just on the outskirts of Bangkok.
Talin Chan Floating Market
Located about 12 km of Bangkok, Talin Chan Floating Market is one of the best floating markets around Bangkok. It is open all day and it’s very attractive among tourists. A large local market is also attached to it. There are small longtail-boat cruises which take you around the market. You will find everything on the market. Exploring it is surely a great experience.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
This large and popular floating market is about 100 km southwest of Bangkok in Ratchaburi province. Photos of this vibrant market featuring many small boats laden with colourful fruits and vegetables and paddled by Thai women wearing bamboo hats, are among the most often published in travel magazines and brochures of Thailand.
The Damnoen Saduak canal was ordered to be built in 1866 by King Rama IV of the Chakri Dynasty to facilitate waterborne travels between Ratchaburi and Samutsakhon Provinces. It was finished and opened to the public in 1868.
Nowadays, apart from providing transportation, Damnoen Saduak canal also provides local farmers with adequate water for agricultural purposes. A number of canals were dug to connect with it by local peasants to get water to splatter their land. As the excellent quality soil along the canal is very fertile, the area has a high potential for producing various kinds of fruits and vegetables.
Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market
If you are looking for an authentic market which is not so touristy, the Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market is the place to go. You’ll find here all kind of fruits and sweets. It is located no more than 20 km of Bangkok, which makes it very attractive.
Set in a relaxing spot out in Bangkok’s rural far western reaches, Khlong Lat Mayom boasts a colourful atmosphere and some outstanding food. The fairly young floating market is very popular among locals but little known to travellers.
Like the markets at Bang Nam Phueng and Bang Khla, just to name a couple, Khlong Lat Mayom sprang up only in the last 10 years as a venue for showcasing locally produced products while bringing some extra cash flow into the area. Unlike the markets of Amphawa and Damnoen Saduak, Khlong Lat Mayom is set along a decidedly quiet and narrow canal, so don’t expect photo-ops of a boat vendor traffic jam.
Yet Khlong Lat Mayom ironically has a more authentic feel than the floating tourist trap of Damnoen Saduak, and a handful of vendors do prepare food like hoy tort (fried oysters with egg) on small boats that float in the narrow canal beside the market. Still, most of the vendors and several eating areas are on land.
The market spans a tightly packed but fairly large area with narrow footpaths winding past vendors sheltered by individual thatched roof huts. Although most of the prepared food is found near the canal in the main section, a quieter stretch of walkways meander into a shady orchard where locally grown produce and one-of-a-kind handicrafts are sold. There’s even an “art zone” tucked into one corner; it looks to be set up mainly for kids, but don’t let that stop you from grabbing a paint brush.
Khlong Lat Mayom isn’t lacking in food. It’s difficult to resist the smoky scents of the many types of grilled seafood offered in the market, including salted river fish, jumbo shrimp, crab, mussels and many other types of shellfish.
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