Discover the 5 Best Floating Markets in Thailand
When water transport played an important role in daily life
Thailand offers a wonderful opportunity for the ultimate food crawl. No trip is complete without a visit to one of the 5 best floating markets in Thailand. It’s definitely an experience that reaches new heights. Seafood items are most favorable and are commonly dipped in sweet and savory sauces that have delightful flavors that burst in your mouth. To calm your palette, you must try the green papaya salad and be sure to end your meal well with a mango sticky rice dessert; an all-time favorite!
Floating markets all have different hours so be sure to check the one you’re visiting as some may require an extensive commute time. For the morning markets, go early and go hungry! A key strategy is to pace yourself and control your portions so you can sample everything. Apart from the food itself, authentic Thai handicrafts such as mangosteen soap, elephant embossed cotton shirts, coconut wood kitchen utensils and many other great little finds make the perfect souvenir gifts to bring back home.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Damnoen Saduak is about 62 miles (1.5 hours) from Bangkok. Open daily 7-11am, the best time to visit is in the early morning.
Established in 1866, it is undoubtedly the largest, oldest and most well-known floating market. This chaotic canal is filled with hundreds of vendors and customers in their small boats selling and buying agricultural products and food. You can rent a boat to join in the chaos, just keep your hands inside the boat at all times in case passing boats bash your fingers.
Amphawa Floating Market
Amphawa is about 30 miles from Bangkok. Open Friday-Sunday from 2 to 8 pm.
Amphawa floating market is not as large as Damnoen Saduak but it is more authentic with a mostly Thai clientele. It is famous for fresh and affordable seafood. After a meal you can take a 50 baht boat ride to enjoy the scenic banks of the canal and temples. Our tour combines this floating market with the famous Maeklong market which sits astride the tracks of an active railway line.
Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market
Khlong Lat Mayom is about 9 miles from Bangkok. Open Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm.
This market has more of a traditional feel as it is favored by the locals and is not yet a major tourist destination. This is a convenient floating market to visit. It is close to Bangkok and small enough for visitors to explore without needing a tour guide. It prides itself on having a larger selection of locally grown organic produce than the other markets. Of course, there is also seafood, barbecued dishes, snacks and desserts. If you’d like to travel a little further afield from this market, you can embark on a 90-minute boat ride that offers a great view of the canal, see orchid farms and some of Thailand’s rural life.
Taling Chan Floating Market
Taling Chan is about 7 miles from Bangkok. Open Saturday, Sunday and public holidays from 8 am to 5 pm.
Known also for being a convenient floating market to visit, it is close to Bangkok and also small enough for visitors to explore without needing a tour guide.
Khlong Hae Floating Market
Khlong Hae is in the city of Hat Yai 500 miles south of Bangkok. Open Friday to Sunday from 3 pm to 9 pm.
Khlong Hae floating market is the first and only floating market in Southern Thailand. The food and offerings reflect the mixture of Buddhist and Muslim cultures, being near the neighboring country of Malaysia. Anther impressive feature of the market is the use of eco-friendly food containers such as coconut shells, bamboo tubes, and earthen pots instead of styrofoam or plastic containers.
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