The myriad attractions of Bangkok, the vibrant capital city of Thailand, are famous across the world. What is not as well-known is that it is also a city of contrasts where modernity exists in harmony with ancient traditions. The bustling metropolis, with its soaring skyscrapers, is also a treasure trove of ancient temples, beautiful art forms, and historical monuments! Modern shopping malls stand proudly next to busy lanes dotted with food carts and small stalls. These sell everything from apparel to cosmetics to herbal remedies. The floating markets of Bangkok are a must-visit when you are in this part of the world! Here are the top floating markets to check out.
Located a short drive from the city, Amphawa, a prominent floating market in Bangkok, is a shopper’s paradise. Browse at your own pace through the colorful displays of apparel, beautiful works of art, and craft items. You are sure to find some interesting souvenirs for friends and family back home! Set on the Amphawa canal, this market is quite popular with foreign tourists. Opting for Bangkok’s Must-See Weekend Floating Markets Private Day Trip can be a good idea. With this tour, you can see two of the famous floating markets as well as some other attractions at your own pace.
Khlong Lat Mayam
With its traditional feel, a visit to Khlong Lat Mayam floating market should top your list of things to do in Bangkok! It is a great place to gain insights into the local community and Thai culture in general. Located around 12 miles (20 km) from the city, it features among the three biggest floating markets in the area. While here, sample exotic Thai dishes such as snakehead fish as well as other specialties like shrimp. Unlike a lot of the other floating markets, this opens around 9 am and closes by 4 pm, giving you ample time for leisurely exploration.
Bang Nam Pheung
The floating market of Bang Nam Pheung, located on the outskirts of the city, is also famed for its exotic food. Popular with foreign tourists, it is at a distance of 12 miles (20 km) from the city. A taxi would be the best way to get to this bustling riverside market. Besides being famous for lip-smacking Thai desserts, Bang Nam Pheung is also a treasure trove of clothes and traditional Thai decor accessories.
More of a local market than a tourist hangout, this is one of the floating markets in Bangkok that still clings on to its air of authenticity. The picturesque setting with coconut trees lining up along one side of the canal while typical wooden homes make up the other end makes the trip worthwhile. Perfect for getting a glimpse into the life of the local community, this floating market opens quite early. As the market is nearly 46 miles (75 km) away from the heart of the city, you will have to start soon to see it at its busiest time.
Taling Chan floating market is one of the smaller ones but, being closer to the city makes it quite popular with visitors. Besides the delicious food that you get to snack on, this market is famous for the fantastic foot massages you can find here! Do not forget to pack your insect repellent when you head to this market as the mosquitoes there can prove a bit of a bother.
An excellent example of the country’s cultural diversity, Muang Boran floating market is also home to the Ancient City. The Ancient City is an open-air museum that showcases the rich heritage of the different regions of Thailand. Replicas of famous landmarks found in these regions are at the museum. An added advantage of this floating market is that it opens at 9 am, unlike the early morning hours of most other such markets. Thus, you do not have to drag yourself out of bed as the sun rises!
With a history of almost a century and a half, this is among the oldest floating markets in Bangkok. An extremely traditional market, the wares found here are more of the type sought after by locals rather than tourists. A great place to tingle your taste buds with authentic Thai food, don’t miss out on sampling the noodles and seafood delicacies here. Open from around 8 am to 5 pm, it will take you a little over half an hour to get here from the heart of the city.
Among the older floating markets of Bangkok, you can see the Chinese influence at Wat Sai. One advantage of this market is its proximity to the city as you only have to travel about 12 miles (20 km) to get here. Catching a bus or a ferry is not just the quickest and cheapest means of transport, but it also lets you experience the way locals live. This market opens early and closes late, around 9 pm.
Located close to the more famous Amphawa market, Bang Noi has a rustic vibe that might not appeal to all visitors. Thus, it sees fewer tourists and attracts more locals. This particular floating market, open only on the weekends, sees crowds of people right from early morning. Apart from the usual displays of fresh produce and food, you can come across an array of unique souvenirs here. Show some patience in sifting through the collections, and you are sure to come across something that you will want to take home!
Held in the canal adjacent to the manmade island of Koh Kret, this floating market in Bangkok is at a distance of only about 7.5 miles (12 km) from the heart of the city. It is known for its collection of pottery items and cutlery that can be quite appealing. Buses and taxis are the quickest way to get here and, you can explore from 6 am to 6 pm. Afterward, you could also wander around the island that has plenty of clay pottery workshops and get a closer look at the craftsmen at work.
Given its proximity to the Tha Jeen River, Lam Phaya floating market in Bangkok abounds in fresh fish alongside produce and other wares. Displays of handicrafts and clothing pop up amid the food items. Locals here prepare delicious home-cooked delicacies and offer them for sale. Sampling these can give you a taste of authentic Thai cuisine that is different from what you get at most restaurants. There is also a museum close by that showcases the lifestyle of the community. Locals have donated most of the artifacts in the museum, and this makes it unique.
Khwan Riam market gets its name from the characters in a Thai novel. One of the new markets in the city, you can find a range of traditional food at this market. Boat noodles is one of the local delicacies that you must try when here before finishing up with some dessert. This market is located between two temples linked by concrete bridges that make for a great photo opportunity too.
Bang Khla, a weekend floating market, is situated along the Bang Pakong River. While the existing market is relatively new, the site has been home to floating markets for centuries. Floating along in a boat, looking at the wares on display, it is easy to lose track of time. Situated at a distance of around 62 miles (100 km) from the heart of Bangkok, this floating market does not see crowds of tourists. Thus, you have the advantage of exploring it at leisure as you mingle with the locals.
Bang Nok Khwaek
With a history dating back over one hundred years, Bang Nok Khwaek is a floating market in Bangkok that still retains its old-world charm. The authentic Thai vibe complemented by the excellent variety of cuisine available here makes it every tourist’s dream come true! Open only on the weekends it is a good idea to get here early as the market closes in the afternoon. With not too many tourists around, it is excellent to enjoy your small boat ride in peace.
A famous floating market in Bangkok, Damnoen Saduak is also one of the largest. Enjoy glimpses of the locals arriving on their fruit and flower-laden boats. Bargain, pick, and choose the best of fresh produce that is available in plenty here. One of the best ways to explore this market to the fullest is with a private tour such as the Floating Markets of Damnoen Saduak Cruise Day Trip From Bangkok. In this tour, you get to cruise down the canal in a narrow, long-tailed motorboat and get up close with the vendors. Much further from a lot of the other floating markets, Damnoen Saduak is worth a visit. The best time to soak in the authentic ambiance of this floating market is early in the morning!