If you are going to Thailand and visiting the floating markets, it's a good idea to book a tour, so it's worth checking out a company such as TakeMeTour. Each tour is tailored to give you the most authentic local experience, which is what a trip to the floating market is all about!
Are you unsure which ones to visit? Let Feet Do Travel be your guide as we share the 6 best floating markets to visit in Thailand.
Easily the most popular tourist market, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is located an hour away from the main city of Bangkok. Open from 7am – 11 am, if you book a private tour, your whole trip will be well organized. As this market is popular with tourists, there are many tourist trap shops that will try to sell overpriced souvenirs. These can easily be avoided if you visit with a local, as they will show you the best the market has to offer and keep you safe from any scams.
You can buy a lot of fresh food here such as fruit and vegetables, but you can also grab some delicious food which is prepared on tiny boats. The many flower shops also make the market look colourful. The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is huge and you will surely have a good time here.
While Bangkok has many floating markets, Pattaya probably has the best floating market in Thailand. The Four Regions Floating Market is close to the Pattaya Underwater World and, at a staggering 100,000 sqm in size, is the largest in the Country. It is divided into four sections - North, Northeast, South, Central and each region sells goods according to the region it represents. There are a total 114 shops, and the vendors sell everything from delicious Thai food to art.
One of the most wonderful places here is the Wood-carving Museum where you will see amazing wood sculptures and artwork – make sure you take pictures! There’s also a daily culture show full of performances that you can watch.
This market is one of the best Thailand tourist attractions and is a contrast from the hustle and bustle of the main cities. To make navigating here a breeze, go with a local who will know the ins and outs of the market, from the best food spots to the vendors you should buy from.
Located 50 kms from Bangkok, the Amphawa Floating Market is the second most popular market with tourists. Its popularity is rising so much that new boats are added daily. One of the main draws here is that you don’t have to get up really early to enjoy the market by beating the crowds as it is open from noon until 8pm. You must take a boat (50 baht) to see the Wat Bang Kung temple, it looks as if it has been swallowed by a tree, it is quite a unique sight.
The Amphtawa Floating is a great place to grab a meal, seafood seems to the popular choice with fish, shellfish, squid and huge prawns available to buy. So if you like seafood, this is the place to get your fix. There’s a lot do in this amazing market, you can even take boat tours outside the market to enjoy nature in nearby canals. To find the best food, shopping bargains and fun things to do, there is a fantastic local tour, where you can even get a boat ride to see fireflies!
You can easily have an eventful day at this market and return with a lot of unique souvenirs.
If you are looking for a floating market that is quite different from the rest, then visit the Bang Nam Phueng floating market. As most shops are located on land, it is more like a riverside market and, because it is only open Saturday and Sunday, it is not as crowded as some of the other markets. It’s located on a peculiar loop of the Chao Phraya river and the part which passes through the market is quite narrow so only a few boats are available.
This market has a lot of charm … and some unique sweets which is the feature of all river markets because Thai people love their sweets and can be seen eating sweets throughout the day. Bang Nam Phueng market has many sweets, and weird looking fruits which you must sample. The people here are friendly, and owing to the shady trees, the market is always quite cool. To escape from tourist crowds, and experience true Thai floating markets, come to Bang Nam Phueng.
Make your floating market experience even better by going with a local. Since it is located in Bang Krachao or, “Bangkok’s Green Lung”, you will also get to cycle along the serene atmosphere.
Think of a floating market in Bangkok, and you’ll think of Khlong Lat Mayom which is another market close to the city situated only 15km outside of the capital. This is another riverside market, and the river portion passing through is quite narrow so can only hold a few boats at a time. The main area of the market is huge, and this is the place where you will find tasty snacks and souvenirs. The riverside section of the market is where all the fresh produce is held. Unique fruits, yummy vegetables and cool drinks, you can easily spend a lot of your time here.
Every weekend, all the local Thai people come here to shop and have a great time. Everything here is cheap and fun, and Khlong Lat Mayom is a good place to experience the charm of a floating market. Visit with a local, and you will never have an easier time exploring, observing, and of course, tasting all the yummy snacks! If you are looking for something bigger and better, the Taling Chan Floating Market is close by.
Some floating markets are overcrowded with tourists and locals that they aren’t fun to visit, other markets are so small with only a few boats on the river, that they cannot be called floating markets.
Taling Chan Floating Market isn’t like any of the other markets. There are no touristy crowds so you don’t need to get up too early and this market is a true floating market. As this market is only 12km outside of Bangkok, you can easily reach the market by catching a bus, and then a short taxi ride. For a completely hassle-free experience and a deeper dive into the local life, you can take a private day tour.
Once you’re there, you will discover that this is a wonderful place to eat seafood which is reasonably priced and it has some of the best in the country. One activity you must do here is take a longtail boat ride to the nearby canal, it is quite enjoyable and costs only 100 Baht.
In the market, you can find souvenirs and kitschy items that make for a great memory of Thailand, and of course, there’s delicious fruits, veggies and snacks. The Taling Chan floating market is one of the best places to visit in Bangkok to experience true floating market culture.
The floating markets in Thailand are one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions, so make sure they are part of your travel itinerary!
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Have you visited any of these floating markets? Which was your favourite? Is there one you have visited that we have missed? Please let us know in the comments below.