[Sponsored post] Visiting a Thailand river market in Bangkok was definitely on my list. But there are quite a few boat markets near Bangkok. So when I stumbled on Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market thanks to my friends over at 2 Food Trippers, I knew this one was amazing. It’s a little bit outside, so here are my tips on how to get there, when to go and what to do.
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[su_gmap width=”640″ address=”Khlong Lat Mayom Bangkok”]
Best Time to Visit Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market
Khlong lat mayom is only open on weekends from 7am to 5pm. The earlier you visit, the less people are strolling the market. And the more space you have! Especially between 12pm and 2pm, it gets insanely crowded.
After 2pm, the masses seem to disperse so you can focus more on sampling the food and not having to check where you are going and not be pushed with the flow of the crowd.
Read this too: What to Do in Bangkok in 3 Days
The Food at Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market
Khlong Lat Mayom may not be exactly the postcard ready floating market. There is only one small canal and most vendors are in stalls on land. But that means, it is all the more foodie based! And the food here is absolutely diving, affordable and there is tons of it!
Classic Thai dishes can be found aplenty at Khlong Lat Mayom. This includes Pad Thai, Chicken Satay, Tom Yum Soup, fish cakes and fresh tropical fruits. Since floating markets particularly delight with freshly caught fish and seafood, that’s what you should dig right in.
Buy the salt encrusted grilled snakehead fish (Pla Chon Pao) for starters. Then, grab noodles and shrimp (Goong ob woon sen) or get a seafood papaya salad. Basically create your own buffet. That’s what the locals do. They get a table, spread out their grabs and share their meal.
To refresh yourself, sample and buy some of the freshly squeezed juices and teas. Even better if you decide on a smoothie for extra fiber. The ripe mango smoothies are simply the best!
Read this too: Sweet Tooth? These Are the Best Chiang Mai Cafes
Is a Floating Market Boat Tour Worth It?
That depends on which one you take! You can of course get tempted by the big signs for tourist boat tours. There are quite a few places you can hop on a boat.
However, ask for the basic price and don’t get blinded by the tour offers if you are on a budget. We were obviously looking for the boat and a boat ticket salesman caught our searching look and directed us to his laminated price sheet.
It ranged from 700 to 1200 baht! That’s quite a lot if I only want a short trip and don’t want to make it a few hours long.
We had spotted a big banner hanging from the ceiling that advertised a round trip for 100 baht and took that instead. You pay in cash, get a ticket stub and hop on board.
The water can be somewhat choppy as the engine gets revived up quite a bit during the trip and particularly during the turns. The boat drivers seem to have quite some fun with that.
Just go with it and enjoy the fresh breeze and splashes of water. If you want, squeal with joy like other passengers did.
During the one hour long tour, we had two stops. Each lasted 20 minutes. The first was at Wat Sapan(วัดสะพาน), which I a praying site. It’s not a big temple but pretty. Plus, there are some more food stalls around (including donuts).
Next was an orchid farm. It was a small one and you could walk between the rows of purple and yellow orchids. Beware, the ground can be slippery. It was pretty too. By the way, khlong means canal.
I personally enjoyed the floating market boat tour. It was great for feeling a fresh breeze after the heat of the floating market and you get to see the neighbourhoods with “floating houses”.
How to Get to Khlong Lat Mayom Market
By Public Transport
I have to be real with you. Getting to Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market by public transport can take up to two hours from Siam Centre. That’s because there aren’t any direct connections. You can take a series of buses. Or take the BTS and then change into buses. In short, don’t do it.
One of my favorite areas to stay in Bangkok is Krung Thon Buri and I took a Grab car from there to Khlong Lat Mayom. It took 20 minutes in total. If I had opted for a Grab bike ride, it would have been slightly faster and only a little bit cheaper. The price was 170-181 THB.
If you are staying in the city centre, Bangkok’s North or East, there is a good alternative. Take the BTS to the last station, which is Bang Wa on the Silom Line. From there, you can order a Grab car.
Grab is a free car app like uber but even more affordable (and with better availability). You can pay in cash or save your credit card details. It can only be used when online, so get a local sim card with internet. Getting onto the public wifi in Bangkok is something that is somewhat tricky.
Address: หมู่ที่ 15 30/1 Bang Ramat Rd, Bang Ramat, Taling Chan, Bangkok 10170
Phone: 02 422 4270
Read this too: Where Photographers Should Stay in Bangkok
What to Wear at Khlong Lat Mayom
Khlong Lat Mayom is mostly covered and shady, so you are not exposed to direct sunlight. (Still, sunglasses and sunscreen are highly recommended especially for the boat tours in the open. Leave the hat, it might fly away.)
Still, it does get quite hot due to the hot food and open cooking places everywhere. (And during our visit, most fans weren’t working.)
So you will want to wear light, breathable clothing. Note that if you visit the temple during the boat tour, you need to cover your shoulders and knees. Take a light scarf with you and wear mid length skirts or shorts.
If you are the type to wear really pretty clothing to take great holiday photos in, maybe don’t for the floating market.
A) You will sweat like crazy.
B) You might spill food or get grease from the tables (or when passing by boiling food).
C) You will get slightly splashed during the boat ride.
D) There is plenty of mud around the orchid farm.
Speaking of mud, don’t wear white shoes. It’s better to wear comfortable slip on shoes. So you can visit to pray at the temple. And you won’t have to worry at the orchid farm. Just to name a few examples. I had to wash my sandals afterwards. That’s ok if you wear ones that you can do that with.
Top 5 Items to Pack
- Cash – No need to bring your credit card. Better come with enough cash. Rough prices: Pad Thai is around 40 THB. Milk tea and juices are between 20 and 30 THB. Dessert 20-30 THB. Big seafood meals can run around 150 THB.
- Wifi – It’s possible to hail down one of the taxis and get a ride back to Bangkok’s centre. However, if you don’t want to run the risk of the taxis being preordered and not stopping for you, get a sim card or a portable wifi hotspot. This way you can order a grab car whenever you want. And you can orient yourself in the market (or find your friends) with GoogleMaps.
- Tissues – It’s hot. You’ll sweat. You might need to wipe your mouth and hands after eating. We had a hard time getting napkins, so it was good that I brought tissues. Maybe even pack travel sized hand sanitiser for good measure.
- Small bag – I wore my Herschel backpack as I do most days. It was kinda in the way. Plus, at times I was literally pushed forward because Khlong Lat Mayom was that crowded. It would have been easy to pickpocket me. Better wear a small bag for your cash and hold it at your side.
- Travel insurance – As always, you can’t leave for a trip without being insured. This not only includes your health and coverage in case of a sudden illness or accident, but also your luggage for instance. Luckily at World Nomads, you can take out insurance even after leaving. Check rates here.
Is Khlong Lat Mayom the Best Floating Market in Bangkok?
I believe it really is. It’s not as popular as the rather underwhelming damnoen Saduak Floating Market outside of Bangkok. This means, there are less tourists (though it is still crowded). And therefore it is less touristy.
You can find amazing local fare, fresh fruit and hop on one of the river boats for a tour around the area. It’s well worth it! If you want to have a local show you around, check out the Khlong Lat Mayom day trip with TakeMeTour.
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