No trip to Bangkok is complete without a visit to one of the many floating markets. Most people will actually make the journey and be able to face to insanely early wake up time to get to the markets (do you like getting up at 4.30am on holiday)? Why put yourself through all this pain and hassle when there are some really cool all day floating markets around Bangkok. This way all you have to do is wake up leisurely, have a normal breakfast and head off to the floating markets for lunch. So much more civilised.
Following is a list of all day floating markets close to Bangkok that you won’t have to sacrifice any sleep visiting them.
1) Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Damnoen Saduak is Thailand’s most popular floating market and is a favourite among tourists worldwide.
What we liked about it:
It’s a hive of activity and busting at the seams with all types of fresh produce. It’s colourful, loud and an assault on your senses. This is the place where you will get the best Instagram pictures. It’s exactly how you imagined the floating market would look like.
The down side of this floating market:
Although this is the most popular it is still a fair hike away from Bangkok and you will unfortunately need a 5-5.30 am start. The real downside is it’s popularity. The hordes of tourists coming here has meant that all the local vendors are geared only to selling to the foreigners, hence the market has lost some of it’s authenticity. Plus with the tourists come the scammers who will try to sell you overpriced tour packages so be aware of this before you pay for the tour. Do your homework and shop around.
2) Amphawa Floating Market
Located 95km southwest of Bangkok this is the second most popular market.
Why this is a great market
Amphawa Floating Market has retained some of it’s old world charm with tine wooden houses lining the side. It’s got a real cosy atmosphere with vendors plying their wares up and down the river. You have to get here before 10am to really miss the crowds that develop throughout the day. A highlight is the temple that has been engulfed by the large tree – keep an eye out for this.
What’s not so good about this market:
It’s far from Bangkok and getting there in the traffic can be a hassle. Plus after midday the place is a mad house. Feels like the whole of Thailand has headed off to Amphawa. The trick here is to arrive early and have a nice seafood brunch and then get one of those cool longtail boats to go exploring while the rest of the herd are setting in for their lunch – Avoid the crowds as much as you can!
3) Talin Chan Floating Market
This is the third most favoured market in Bangkok and it seems to have just the right mix.
Why Talin Chan is so good:
The real beauty of this market is that it’s only 12km from Bangkok and it’s open all day. It isn’t as big as the major markets but there are enough floating boats to justify this as a floating market. There is also a big land based market attached. Grab a longtail boat and cruise around the nearby klongs and enjoy a bit of exploring and see how the real Thai people live and work in their daily lives.
What the market is missing:
It could do with a few more boats – other than that it’s great.
4) Khlong Lat Mayom
Khlong Lat Mayom is a floating market of that is really close to Bangkok – this makes it really handy for getting there.
What We Liked:
It has a real local feel and you will find that there are not too many tourists around other than you. This is perfect! The main central market is on land but there is enough variety of Thai foods for you to sample. Combing the floating and land market is a great way to spend the day.
What’s not so good:
It’s a bit small so you will not get the same vibe and sensation as say Damnoen Saduak . This is really for the locals, so if you want that more intimate experience, head off here.
5) Bang Nam Pheung
This is the smallest yet closest floating market to the eastern part of Bangkok. Getting there is best by taxi so make sure you have your hotel write out the name in Thai for your driver.
What We Loved about this market:
It is only 20km away so this means it’s a quick ride there if the notorious Bangkok traffic doesn’t hold you up. Also there is wide variety of interesting food produce here. Located in what is termed ‘The Lung of Bangkok’ ( a nature reserve within the city of Bangkok), the area surrounding the markets is quite interesting – well worth a visit walking through the tall trees and mangrove areas.
What’s not so good:
It is a very small floating market with only 6 or 7 boats. You really come here for the atmosphere of the nature reserve. If you like the buzz of the bigger floating markets then I would give this place a miss.