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5 Must See Floating Markets in Thailand

Floating markets in Thailand
Floating market in Bangkok (photo: Dean Moriarty, Pixabay)

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 traditional way of life, floating markets throughout Bangkok have become a novelty form of entertainment.

Floating markets are located throughout Bangkok and the surrounding provinces, and they are trendy 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 five markets worth your time:

Amphawa Floating Market
Amphawa Floating Market

1. Amphawa

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, browse around the little stores, and dine on the delicious food served from boats.

I was genuinely impressed by the parking lot of boats on the canal and how they rapidly served food 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 one and a half hours from Bangkok, Damnoen Saduak is Thailand's most popular tourist floating market.

Over the weekend, hordes of foreigners flood the market on organized tours.

Due to the massive crowds and the overabundance 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.

Do it yourself, or book a half-day tour starting at $24 and go with a guide. Click here to learn more.

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 markets 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 snakehead fish.

Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market
Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market

5. Bang Nam Phueng

Since floating markets are so popular throughout Bangkok, a few 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, yet another paradise for food lovers, and a relaxing place to walk around, take a boat, or sit and enjoy the lush ambiance.

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

Need more itinerary ideas? Click here for all G Adventures trips to Thailand.

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Planning a trip? Go Backpacking recommends:

Menno & Janneke

Friday 28th of April 2017

"Budget Hotel"? At $50? For that you can get luxury hotels all over Thailand. Check out our stays last year at around $20-$30 in nice, 3 star hotels with en-suite rooms, for a couple:

Airam Aseret

Thursday 27th of April 2017

Hi, My friend and I were planning to visit Bangkok on August. Is there any suggestions for a budget hotel less than $50 . What is the best time to visit the floating markets? do you suggest taking a tour package or go by ourselves to visit floating markets? Thanks! :)

marierosedriscoll

Wednesday 22nd of June 2016

An interesting place to be honest. Thailand really offers some quirky places to visit.

Menno Van Mechelen

Monday 27th of June 2016

The "midlifebackpackers" are hoping to be in Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam next month. Will be in Bangkok & these markets are definately on our list.

Wouter

Thursday 9th of June 2016

Great tips! Thanks! Planning to go to Thailand on a short term and definitely want to visit one of there beautiful floating markets.

NTripping

Monday 2nd of May 2016

I wish I'd found this post earlier... We were extremely disappointed by Damnoen Saduak market. Very touristy, even the fruits, which were sold, were cut into pieces for tourists, the water was extremely poluted :-/ Probably the worst spot we visited in Thailand.

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