5 Must See Floating Markets in Thailand

by Mark Wiens on January 23, 2012 · 7 comments

Amphawa Floating Market

Amphawa Floating Market

A floating market is a market that is located next to a body of water and vendors sell things directly out of their boats.

Though some of the main waterways have since been filled in to make way for roads, Bangkok was once known as the Venice of Asia due to its extensive network of canals.

Many people got around by boat, or even went to the market to sell their goods directly from their boat.

What was once a normal way of life, floating markets throughout Bangkok have now turned into more of a novelty form of entertainment.

Floating markets are located throughout Bangkok and the surrounding provinces, and they are extremely popular to visit on the weekends for both locals and foreigners.

Nowadays the biggest attraction to a floating market in Thailand is the food that is cooked and served directly from a boat floating in the canal.

The markets also offer plenty of random trinket shopping and are just good places to walk around. If you wish, you almost always have the option of navigating the market on a personal boat tour as well.

Visiting a floating market on the weekend has become of the most popular things to do in Thailand. Here are 5 markets worth your time:

1. Amphawa (pictured above)

Easily the most popular market with Thai locals, Amphawa is an entire neighborhood community that turns into a Disneyland-like floating market on the weekends.

Tons of people escape Bangkok for the day and browse around the little stores and dine on the delicious food that is served from boats.

I was truly impressed by the parking lot of boats on the canal and the way they served food rapidly to all the demanding orders!

Don’t miss out on the grilled squid and the roasted shrimp!

Thailand Market

Damnoen Sduak Floating Market

2. Damnoen Saduak

Located about 1.5 hours from Bangkok is the most popular tourist floating market in Thailand known as Damnoen Saduak. Over the weekend, hordes of foreigners flood the market on organized tours.

Due to the massive crowds, and the over abundance of souvenirs, this is one of my least favorite floating markets.

However, if you hop in a canal boat, you can still manage to escape most of the traffic and reach some beautiful tree covered canal areas.

Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market

Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market

3. Khlong Lat Mayom

Located in southern Bangkok, Khlong Lat Mayom is probably one of my favorite market’s in Bangkok.

It’s like a garden oasis, full of green trees, cool shade, and it is in a much more relaxed environment than the two mentioned above.

Though there are plenty of shops and countless options for food, the market remains calm and low-key.

It’s a great place to unwind, and partake in a lovely meal on the edge of the canal.

Taling Chan Floating Market

Taling Chan Floating Market

4. Taling Chan

Taling Chan is famous for its fresh selection of roasted seafood.

If you show up on Saturday morning, you’ll see a bunch of tables filled with people devouring crab legs, huge roasted prawns and the all famous roasted snake head fish.

Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market

Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market

5. Bang Nam Phueng

Since floating markets are so popular throughout Bangkok, there are a few that have been recently set up to cater to the rising demand of people looking for leisure on the weekends.

Bang Nam Phueng is located in an area of Bangkok known as Phra Pradaeng.

It is a relatively new market that is yet another paradise for food lovers, and a relaxing place to walk around, take a boat, or just sit and enjoy the lush ambiance.

When you visit Bangkok be sure to visit a floating market for the day!  

About the Author:

is the author of 154 posts on Go Backpacking.

Mark was raised in central Africa before migrating back to the US for University. After graduating, he decided to continue traveling the world. On Migrationology, he shares the cultural side of travel from a slow paced local perspective that often revolves around his love for eating all forms of food. Join him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @migrationology, and add him on Google Plus.

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Categories: Features, Thailand
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7 Comments

Lane January 26, 2012 at 10:48 am

Great article. I didn’t realize that there were so many floating markets. Bangkok is a definite “must see”.

Reply

Izabella January 14, 2013 at 2:36 am

hi Mark,
just right now, i ma planning my two weeks in Thailand, checking all books and website I can find. This is the first time it is mentioned that floating markets are open on weekends only! Is it thrue? All of them?

Reply

Charles Rahm January 21, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Nice post of Mark again. I will sure check out those markets except for the touristy one near Bangkok.
Since nobody answered yet to Izabella. The one in Amphawa is worthwhile only on weekends. Because it is mostly for Thai and they work during the week. Nearby Amphawa there is one more called Tha Kha floating morning market.
I enjoyed the boat ride throught the backwaters there much more than the market itself. I have an article on my site if anyone’s interested.

Reply

Ron | Active Palate Travels July 19, 2013 at 10:03 pm

I’m in Thailand right now! I was looking through both the Amphawa & the Khlong Lat Mayom markets but don’t know which one I’ll visit quite yet. I’m going to the Royal Palace today to visit the main temple and will decide which market to visit for tomorrow afterwards! Thanks for the great list of recommendations! :-)

Reply

Sukh Mudhar September 4, 2013 at 5:09 am

Hi,

I am going to Bangkok as part of my Honeymoon and would love to go to a floating market. What is the best time of day to go and roughly how long do we need?

I want to go shopping, see the temples and floating market… all in two days… can it be done?

Thanks
Sukh

Reply

Bob November 20, 2013 at 9:18 am

Great article! I spent lots of time in Thailand as a young man working in the oil fields of the Middle East. The floating markets are great! The Thai people are amazing. I must see for anyone visiting this part of the world.

Reply

Philip Johnson February 17, 2014 at 3:21 pm

I’ve been trying to find information on the small Thai market boats (I think they’re called Khlongs) that vendors sell their wares from on the canals. They are a beautiful little boat and I’d like to build one. I’ve only seen pictures of them, and I can’t find anything on the web about their construction. Any leads would be appreciated. Thank you.

Reply

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