The Amphawa Floating Market is located southwest of Bangkok where local vendors sell fresh seafood, Thai drinks and desserts, clothing and souvenir items. It is among the oldest floating markets in the country and is famous for its relaxed shopping environment. The market caters mainly to locals but over the years is largely frequented by tourists who are looking to experience the market at night. The unique appeal of Amphawa floating market is that it is open well into the night when it lights up with the riverside shop lights. It operates only during the weekend and can get pretty hectic.
Timings - 11 AM to 9:30 PM (Fri-Sun)
Marketed as a major tourist attraction and a marker of Thai culture, the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is among the most popular floating markets in the world. Over one hundred years old and located around 100 KM from Bangkok, this market is Thailand's most famous floating market and is always jam packed with local vendors and enthusiastic tourists. James Bond fans will recognise it as being part of certain scenes from the 'Man with the Golden Gun'. More of a tourist park than a local market, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is filled to the brim with visitors every day which might deter those looking for a more quiet and traditional experience.
Timings - 7 AM to 12 PM (Sat-Sun)
Located close to Bangkok and also to Taling Chan Floating Market, Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market is one of the newer floating markets in Bangkok. It was primarily opened to cater to the needs of locals rather than for tourism and prides itself in selling high-quality local produce and sweets. There are also shops which sell stationary mainly for kids.
Timings - 7 AM to 5 PM (Sat-Sun)
Taling Chan Floating Market is one the more easily accessible floating markets in Bangkok, located very close to the capital. Around an hour and a half bus ride from downtown Bangkok, this floating market retains its charm due to lack of heavy tourism. Visitors could spend half a day or even the entire day here, indulging in a variety of activities such as a longtail boat cruises, shopping for local produce and even food tasting. The freshly prepared seafood is one of the highlights of Taling Chan Floating Market.
Timings - 7 AM to 5 PM (Sat-Sun)
One of the newer floating markets in Bangkok, Bang Nam Pheung Floating Market is on the smaller side among the floating markets. Located on a canal which feeds into the Chao Phraya river, it is reachable via a bus ride or taxi from central Bangkok or a ferry ride from Sukhumvit road which is the cheapest option of the three. This floating market is not very tourist-centric and does not host many vendors either. Mainly known for Thai food and sweetmeats, you can also indulge yourself in some reasonably priced massages and locally made health products.
Timings - 7 AM to 2 PM (Sat-Sun)
Although more on the lines of wooden shop houses along and within the canal than a floating market, the Bang Phli floating market in Bangkok has boats which ferry locals and tourists through the shops. The market is relatively easy and cheap to reach by BTS, taxi or a boat ride along the canals of Bangkok. The vendors mainly sell local produce and affordable, delectable Thai food. Learning some Thai is recommended as the locals are not very fluent in english. October is a great time to visit this market during Rab Bua or the lotus throwing festival in Bang Phli district, as locals line up along the canal to throw fresh lotuses during the boat parade.
Timings: 11:00 AM - 5:30 PM (Closed on Mondays)
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About an hour to an hour and a half hours worth of drive away from central Bangkok, Tha Kha Floating Market is on the complete opposite spectrum from its nearby sibling the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Arguably one of the most authentic Bangkok floating markets, it caters to mostly locals with tourists being an uncommon sight. Set along a rural klorng (canal) and characterised by a canopy of coconut trees on one side and rustic wooden homes on the other, this market is mainly run by old Thai locals selling fresh produce and food. Local homemade Thai sweetmeats are a must-try for tourists here.
Timings - 6 AM to 3 PM (Sat-Sun)
One of the older floating markets in Bangkok, Wat Sai floating market was shut down for a while due to the expanding infrastructure of the city. But it is now gaining back some of its former charm and visitors. It is located within the city limits, situated around 20 KM from central Bangkok. The first thing one will notice are the multiple food stands selling Thai delicacies with the stalls filled to the brim with fresh vegetables and fruit coming a close second.
Timings - 8 AM to 10 AM (All Days)
Don Wai Floating Market started in the early parts of the 20th century mainly as a hub for pomelo and jackfruit traders. Located close to central Bangkok at about 25 KM away, the market today still continues to be a local market rather than a tourist attraction. This market is also not fully a floating market, being located on the riverbank and the boats mainly used to transport people and produce. It is one of the best floating markets in Bangkok to buy fresh seasonal fruits.
Timings - 8 AM to 5 PM (Mon-Fri), 8 AM to 6:30 PM (Sat-Sun)
Inspite of being close to Amphawa Floating Market, Bang Noi Floating Market does not nearly see as much footfall as the former. This market has a laid back vibe to it which caters to mainly locals and few tourists who are in the search for a really rustic experience of creaking wooden walk-boards and riverside homestays and diners. Bang Noi Floating Market is open on the weekends and is crowded as soon as it opens in the early hours of the day. Those with enough patience are likely to find some interesting souvenirs to take back home from this market.
Timings - 7 AM to Late afternoon (Sat-Sun)
Most of the floating markets in Bangkok and around it are suited to those who pride themselves in bartering and can endure the humidity and heat. It is advisable to take your time while looking through souvenirs and also make sure your fingers don't get jammed between colliding boats. But regardless of whether you buy anything or not, you are surely going to come back richer with memories of smiling locals and a glance into Thailand's rich history.
This post was published by Joysurjya Hagjer