One must see cultural experience is a floating market in Thailand. Good thing that there are multiple floating markets in Bangkok already! Which one is the best floating market in Bangkok for you depends on how many days you have in Bangkok and how far you want to go. Here is your selection.
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Quick Floating Market Q&A
What is a regular floating market Bangkok price for entry? Admission is free, except in Ayutthaya.
What is the closest floating market in Bangkok? Taling Chan
Can I take a floating market Bangkok tour? Yes, there are tours that combine multiple Bangkok markets
Are all floating markets in Bangkok only open on weekends? No, Wat Sai, Bang Phli and Ayothaya Floating Market operate daily.
Top 5 Floating Markets in Bangkok
Khlong Lad Mayom Floating Market
Khlong Lat Mayom was created as an answer to Taling Chan’s success in creating a venue for locally grown, organic produce and products. Since Taling Chan is in the same district as Khlong Lat Mayom, you can easily combine a visit to each.
There is plenty of food to be sampled, stocked up on, grilled and eaten on site. Take a seat along the canal and create your own BBQ menu like the locals do. Get different skewers, salty fish, sauces and meats and then start your feast.
Besides that, you can go on a boat tour and short boat trip to a temple and orchid farm with prices ranging from 100 baht to 1200 baht, taking between 90 minutes and 3 hours. You can even bring kids and keep them busy at the shirt drawing station.
Address: หมู่ที่ 15 30/1 Bang Ramat Rd, Bang Ramat, Taling Chan, Bangkok 10170
Opening Hours: 7am-5pm Sat, Sun
Read this too: What to Know Before Visiting Khlong Lad Mayom
Taling Chan Floating Market
This is the closest floating market near Bangkok but still a bit away. Plus, it is neither huge nor an actual floating market, more a Thailand river market along the pier. So don’t come with high expectations.
It is more of a low key floating market in Bangkok but you can still enjoy a river boat tour, massages and plenty of food.
Address: 300 Soi Chak Phra 17, Khwaeng Khlong Chak Phra, Khet Taling Chan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10170
Opening Hours: 8am-6pm, Sat, Sun
Read this too: WHow to Prep for Taling Chan Floating Market
Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market
One of the newer floating markets, Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market opened in 2004. The idea behind it was to provide a solution of agricultural overproduction by selling it on a market. As a result, all the sellers are locals and what gets sold and how much is regulated, too. It’s part of the One Tambon One Product (OTOP) program.
The market is still very much under the radar of foreign tourists and a real gem to explore. Fun fact: it is located along the horseshoe bend of the river (referred to as “pork stomach”), which has conserved green space since the 70s. Local farming here is entirely non-toxic.
Address: ถนน Soi Bua Phueng Phatthana, Bang Kobua, Phra Pradaeng District, Samut Prakan 10130
Opening Hours: 8:30am-5pm Sat, Sun
Wat Sai Floating Market
For a Bangkok floating market on a weekday, visit Wat Sai. It has an interesting history as the site used to be a local hub but then new road construction nearly killed the vibe. The floating market endured, however, and is thriving as never before.
Please be aware that it takes quite some time to get to Wat Sai Floating Market even though it should technically be half an hour. If you drive during rush hour, it can easily be up to 2 hours if you aren’t staying in the city centre.
Address: Address: 58/229 เอกชัย 24 Khwaeng Bang Khun Thian, Khet Chom Thong, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10150
Opening Hours: 5am-12am daily
Bang Phli Floating Market
Bang Phli is one of the few weekday floating markets around Bangkok. It has remained authentic and is very traditional, being one of the oldest Bangkok floating markets. If you aren’t after typical tourist souvenirs, this is the place to go.
Unlike other floating markets with boats, Bang Phli is actually a market with shops built on the water. Be aware that English is not really spoken, so you have to make yourself outstood with smiles, nods and “pointing”. Don’t use your fingers for pointing, but rather the whole hand with palm facing downward like you are patting something.
Address: Thepharak Rd, Tambon Bang Phli Yai, Amphoe Bang Phli, Chang Wat Samut Prakan 10540
Opening Hours: 8am-3:30pm daily
Wat Sapan Floating Market
What makes this Thailand boat market particularly unique is that is set on the former grounds of an ancient Buddhist temple. You can still see the remains of the ruins, some statues and walls.
As it is a small and super new market, you can combine your visit to Taling Chan and Khlong Lad Mayom. When it’s time for lunch, try the local noodle soups in the earthen pots!
Address: 38 Pak Nam Krachom Thong Rd, Khwaeng Bang Phrom, Khet Taling Chan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10170
Opening Hours: 9am-3pm Sat, Sun, public holidays
Top 3 Floating Markets near Bangkok
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
This might be by far THE most popular Thailand market but is it the best floating market in Bangkok? I honestly say no because it really has turned into such a tourism magnet, it no longer is traditional.
Since it is that sought after, you can take a 2 hour bus from the south bus terminal or one of the regular organised tours. What the market has going for it is its photography potential. You really get to see the typical boats along the khlongs (canals).
Address: Damnoen Saduak, Damnoen Saduak District, Ratchaburi 70130
Opening Hours: 6am-11am Sat, Sun
Amphawa Floating Market
Another popular floating market outside Bangkok is Amphawa. The market is authentic and so are the local dishes. Trying seafood here especially is a great idea (ask for Yum Magda Talay). But don’t expect them to be super cheap but affordable.
Food comes directly from the boats and you eat right by the stairs of the khlong. Next, longtail boat tours are 50baht and take you either to the island or temples. Don’t miss the tiny temple in the tree just a little away from the river. It is still in use.
Address: Amphawa, Amphawa District, Samut Songkhram 75110
Opening Hours: 12pm-9:30pm, Fri-Sun
Ayothaya Floating Market
I loved my visit of the water market in Bangkok so I was curious to see if the Ayothaya Floating Market in Ayutthaya would be any different. It was but not in a good way if you are looking for authentic.
yutthaya Floating Market was actually created for both tourism and educational purposes. It’s like an outdoor museum with live performances, short boat trips around the 20 acres area and plenty of food stalls and typical touristy shops. (I mean, you can buy shirts with Japanese words on them.) Entry fee is 200 baht and includes the boat ride.
Address: Phai Ling, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000
Opening Hours: 9am-6pm, daily
Floating Market Bangkok Travel Tips
Best Time to Visit
When visiting a water market in Bangkok, you should be looking at the weekend. Though there are individual markets that also operate on the weekend. The earlier you come, the less crowded it gets. Lunch time is generally the busiest.
I recommend not arriving at the market within the last two hours as stalls are closing up, products have sold out, food is no longer as fresh, etc.
How to Get to A Boat Market in Bangkok
The easiest way to see one of the most famous floating markets in Bangkok certainly is through an organized tour. This way, the entire planning, transport and insider tips are taken care of and you just get to enjoy your experience. Plus, you get to mingle with other travelers, which is great if you are a solo traveller.
For a Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Tour, you should schedule in 6 hours. And you get the convenience of a hotel pick up and English speaking tour guide. Of course, you have plenty of time to get on a long tail boat. Check tour availability here.
If your time is too precious to just see one market per day, get a combined tour that also includes the famous Railway Market. I have found this tour that covers Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, the Wat Bang Kung and Thai Boxing Temple, Maeklong Railway Market, Amphawa Floating Market and firefly boat tour all in one day. Check available dates here.
Other than a tour, the best way to reach any of the Bangkok floating markets is by car. Now, if you are new to Bangkok or driving in Thailand in general, I encourage you to consider using a taxi.
The most affordable way to get one is through the Grab app. You can download it for free and like with uber, you see the end fare and how far your taxi is through the app. Payment typically is in cash even though you can save your credit card details.
With grab you can also get a bike ride instead of a car ride, when available. That makes the trip a little bit shorter. But it’s not good if you have a lot of bags or a hat on you.
To use it, you would need wifi. Note that you can’t rely on having public wifi available all over Bangkok. And even where you do, you often need to sign up with a code or buy packages.
That’s why I bought my own local sim card or use my portable wifi hotspot (which works worldwide, so I don’t have to look for sim cards during short stays). You can get yours here.
By Public Transport
Frankly, forget using public transport unless it’s to Taling Chan market. It requires multiple changes between BTS and buses and just takes incredibly long. You can always take the BTS or bus to the closest station/stop and then take a taxi or songthaew.
Top 5 Items to Pack
- Mosquito Spray -With a Thailand boat market in general, be aware that mosquitoes might be looking for you. You are near the waterside! So spray yourself with repellent in advance and when you see them especially active.
- Sarong or scarf – In case you are including a church visit with your boat trip, don’t forget to dress appropriately. This means covering up your shouldersyou’re your legs until the knees. A long, light scarf or sarong is very helpful in this case.
- Portable wifi – Since public transport isn’t directly connected to the water markets in Bangkok, you need to rely on taxis. With the Grab app it’s cheaper but you need wifi to access it. Generally wifi also helps me access translation features, online maps and more travel tips. This is the hotspot I’m using.
- Small bag – With masses of people basically pushing you along, a backpack is not only impractical and bulky but also prime pickpocketing potential. I personally would choose a smaller shoulder bag that I could wear on my side and easily get the cash out. No need to bring a credit card, by the way. Cash is key.
- Sanitiser – A lot of Thai street food is finger food. To stay healthy and spare my sensitive stomach, I use hand sanitiser to clean my hands before digging in. There are some toilets throughout the floating markets but when the crowds are just too much, it’s hard getting to them. Plus, they might not even have soap.
Is Visiting A Bangkok River Market Worth It?
Absolutely! I really enjoyed my visit tremendously even though it was super overwhelming at first. Come well rested, early and with a good appetite. It’s a fascinating part of Thai culture and a great opportunity to try local food in one place and affordably.
If you are meeting with friends at the market, set a meeting point outside though. It’s tremendously difficult to find one another at the busy market. I only managed to do it thanks to my wifi (I had bought it JUST for that) and google pin dropping.
Tell me, which floating market in Bangkok would you want to visit most?
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