Thailand is filled with great shopping malls and restaurants – but the country’s floating markets have a special style and atmosphere that is hard to replicate anywhere else. The main floating markets in Thailand are located in and around Bangkok, and are a joy to visit. Make sure that you come with an empty stomach, since eating is the main objective!
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
In a country filled with beautiful markets, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market stands above the rest. This market is the largest of its kind, as well as the most popular. It’s located an hour west of Bangkok – and we advise you to get there early if possible. As a popular destination for tourists and local people alike, Damnoen Saduak tends to get crowded toward the middle of the day. Don’t worry if you get hungry on the way there; its vendors prepare delicious food that is ready to serve, including pad-thai, noodles, and stir-fry dishes, as well as ice cream and fruit for dessert. If you’d like to make your trip extra special, boat trips are available – but keep in mind that they are intended to be scenic, and won’t be moving very fast.
Amphawa Floating Market
Amphawa Floating Market is a similar distance away from Bangkok, and just a bit further south from Damnoen Saduak. The popularity of Amphawa is on the rise, and visitors include a greater number of locals – so if you’re looking to add authenticity to the experience, then this is your place. Seafood is particularly popular here, but there’s plenty else to discover among the colourful group of vendors as well.
Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market
The two floating markets listed above are located outside of Bangkok, but Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market can be found on the western outskirts of the city itself. It’s popular among locals, and has relatively few tourists, so you might be one of only a few foreigners there when you visit. Khlong Lat Mayom is relatively small, and has only a few boats because the canal itself is narrow. On the plus side, there is plenty of food – including an entire side of the market dedicated to vegetables and fruits, while the other areas have vendors selling snacks, sweets, cheap clothing, home décor, and many other kinds of items.
Other floating markets in Thailand
Other cities have their own floating market as well. Pattaya, a pleasant city on the country’s eastern seaboard, has its own floating market a few kilometres south of the central shopping area. The market is split into 4 sections, representing each region of the country. As you explore the different sections, you’ll find countless types of local-style dishes to eat. Indeed, you can get a complete and satisfying experience from this floating market in Thailand.
Although the Bangkok region is home to the most famous floating markets in Thailand, this distinctive style of shopping is embraced by much of the country – even as far south as Hat Yai, near the Malaysian border.
While malls, restaurants, and street vendors serve up quality food, there is something uniquely memorable about buying food from a boat. It’s simply an activity that you must experience in person, and the above list can show you some great places to start.