6 floating markets around Bangkok
The capital of Thailand has not only popular night markets like Chatuchak and Khlong Lod, and large commercial centers like Siam Paragon, Central World, Terminal 21, but it even has floating markets! These river markets are a must-go destinations for traveller to buy fresh tropical fruits and interesting souvenirs while experiencing what it’s like to take an essential hub of daily life out onto the water. Here is the list of top 6 Bangkok floating markets you shouldn’t miss.
1. DAMNOEN SADUAK FLOATING MARKET
Damnoen Saduak has been Thailand’s best known floating market for a very long time, but that also makes it one of the most touristy ones. It’s popularity comes, in no small part, from its use as a setting in the 1974 James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun.
It’s huge, lively, full of boats selling food and fruits, and it’s colourful – exactly how people imagine a floating market would look like, with the opportunity to capture the perfect photo to show off once back home. It’s also about 100 km away from Bangkok and, being a victim of its own success, it often seems to lack the authentic atmosphere, feeling more like a theme park than a real local market.
Location: Damnoen Saduak, Ratchaburi 70130, Thailand
Opening Time: Daily from 7AM to 5PM
2. AMPHAWA FLOATING MARKET
Amphawa is a very popular floating market in Thailand, located 90 km south-west of Bangkok. It’s cute and fun and very authentic, with many little wooden houses neatly lined up along the canal, selling souvenirs, snacks and sweets. Don’t miss the amazing little temple swallowed by a giant tree located across the river.
On the downside, it gets incredibly crowded! Past midday, it feels like half the population of Bangkok has moved to Amphawa! To avoid that, make it a morning trip, have an early seafood lunch on the river banks and get a little longtail boat cruise when the rest of the crowd just starts eating.
Location: Amphawa, Samut Songkhram 75110, Thailand
Opening Time: Friday–Sunday from 11AM to 9.30PM (closed Monday–Thursday)
3. TALING CHAN FLOATING MARKET
Taling Chan is one of favourite floating markets near Bangkok as it has just the right amount of everything you could ask for from an iconic Bangkok attraction. Located only 12 km from downtown Bangkok, Taling Chan is open all day and has just enough boats to be called a floating market, plus a large local market attached to it.
There are small longtail boat cruises to take you around the nearby khlongs (canals) and get a relaxing glimpse of the surrounding area. It perhaps lacks the old-world charm of other markets, but it has the more genuine feel to it.
Location: Village No 15, 30/1 Bang Ramat Rd, Bang Ramat, Taling Chan, Bangkok 10170, Thailand
Opening Time: Saturday–Sunday from 8AM to 5PM
4. KHLONG LAT MAYOM FLOATING MARKET
Khlong Lat Mayom is a medium-sized floating market located really close to Bangkok. It’s a really local market and you might be one of the very few foreigners around. The main market itself is on solid ground but it’s very interesting with the chance to sample all kinds of fun sweets and fruits. As it’s located just near Taling Chan Floating Market, it is better to combine both markets on the same morning.
On the downside, not being a major tourist attraction, the Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market lacks the size of the more famous ones. You might only see 10 floating vendors at the most, with no option for a longtail boat cruise to explore the area.
Location: 15-30/1 Bang Ramat Rd, Bang Ramat, Taling Chan, Bangkok 10170, Thailand
Opening Time: Saturdays–Sundays from 8 am to 5 pm (closed on weekdays)
5. BANG NAM PHEUNG FLOATING MARKET
Bang Nam Pheung floating market is one of the smallest but also one of the closest to central Bangkok – only about 20 km away. But closest doesn’t mean most accessible and a taxi might be the only way to get there. Despite its modest size, the market has a very interesting choice of food to sample and a lovely location in ‘The Lung of Bangkok’: a relatively untouched sanctuary of nature protected by a curve in the river.
On the other hand, with only about 6 boats, the market can barely be described as “floating”. You can’t get the chaotic and kaleidoscopic photos here that you would at the larger markets.
Location: Bang Nam Phueng, Phra Pradaeng, Samut Prakan 10130, Thailand
Opening Time: Friday–Sunday from 8AM to 2PM (closed Monday–Thursday)
6. THA KHA FLOATING MARKET
Tha Kha Floating Market is the smaller sibling of the nearby Damneon Saduak market. It attracts a much smaller amount of tourists and, with a canopy of natural surroundings, it’s protected from overdevelopment, so its modest size and local atmosphere are likely to remain.
The market has a number of elderly Thais in their rowboats selling fruit, vegetables, local food, and delicious sweets. The main buyers here are the Tha Kha natives (also in rowboats). People here seem to know each other very well and there are often very few tourists around.
Location: Tha Kha, Amphawa, Samut Songkhram 75110, Thailand
Opening Time: Saturday–Sunday from 6AM to 3PM