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When it comes to finding unique activities in Bangkok that combine history, culture, and authenticity, my mind immediately conjures up Bangkok Floating Markets.
For centuries, Thai people have been using Bangkok’s klongs (canals) to transport and trade goods as floating markets.
See long-tail boats pile on top of each other as their owners sell everything from fresh produce to flowers to souvenirs to clothes to street food.
It’s a vibrant and bustling scene that ignites every sense; the smells of incense, the flavors of street food, the smoke from the BBQs, and the sounds of vendors bartering prices.
It’s an unmissable thing to do in Bangkok.
But what are the best floating markets in Bangkok to visit and what can you expect from each one? In this guide, we’ll be sharing everything you need to know about Bangkok’s floating markets…
- The Best Floating Markets in Bangkok
- 1. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
- 2. Amphawa Floating Market
- 3. Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market (Taling Chan Floating Market)
- Video: Klong Lat Mayom Floating Market
- 4. Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market
- 5. Tha Kha Floating Market
- 6. Wat Sai Floating Market
- 7. Wat Saphan Floating Market
- 8. Khlong Bang Luang Floating Market
- 9. Kwan-Riam Floating Market
- 10. Wat Takien Floating Market
- Before You Go
- More Bangkok Travel Tips
The Best Floating Markets in Bangkok
We always say if you’re not sure what to do in Bangkok, visit the floating markets. But which one? Here are the top 10 in the city!
1. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
- Where is it: Damnoen Saduak, Ratchaburi
- Opening Hours: 7.00am – 5.00pm daily
- How to get there: Take the BTS Skytrain to Bang Wa Station. Then, catch a Bolt/Taxi to Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai). Take bus 78 to Damnoen Saduak. It takes 2 hours each way on public transport.
The biggest and most famous floating market in Bangkok is the Damoen Saduak Floating Market. The market is colorful and bustling with friendly vendors selling everything you can think of from their boats.
Klong Damnoen Saduak Damnoen Saduak is the longest canal in Thailand and also the straightest. It was built by King Rama IV of Thailand who wanted to link the Mae Klong River with the Chinese River to open up trade and transportation.
The canal took 2 years to dig and was finished by King Rama V. It runs 32 kilometers long and connects to 200 smaller canals.
The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market has been running here for over 100 years and is the oldest and largest of Bangkok’s floating markets.
It became increasingly popular in 1971-1973 when the river became used by farmers to sell their goods. Today, it’s most famous for vendors selling fruit, which is not common amongst other floating markets.
In all honesty, it’s the most touristy floating market in Bangkok and has become somewhat of a gimmick. If you only have a short time in Bangkok and have time to see one floating market, this is definitely the one.
It’s the most lively and offers a good selection of goods to purchase, including souvenirs to take home, and popular Thai food dishes to try.
2. Amphawa Floating Market
- Where is it: Amphawa, Samut Songkhram
- Opening Hours: 10.00am – 9.30pm Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
- How to get there: Take the BTS Skytrain to Bang Wa BTS Station and then take a taxi to get to Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal. From there, catch the minivan bus to Amphawa Floating Market Bangkok.
Amphawa is a floating market that’s open until late at night, so it’s perfect for those who like to wake up late on their travels.
In fact, the views along the Amphawa Canal are stunning, especially at night when the fireflies come out and illuminate the air. In the daytime, you can see traditional Thai houses from the early 19th century line the river’s edge.
The market mostly sells food and drinks, such as bowls of noodle soup, fried sea mussels, noodles, and Thai milk tea. It’s one of the best places to try seafood such as BBQ squid and prawns from the floating markets.
It’s near the Wat Amphawan temple, which is stunning and definitely worth visiting on the way to the market.
3. Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market (Taling Chan Floating Market)
- Where is it: Bang Ramat Rd, Taling Chan, Bangkok
- Opening Hours: 8.00am – 5.00pm Saturday and Sunday
- How to get there: You can take the Chao Phraya express boat from Phra Pinklao Bridge Pier or
The Khlong Lat Mayom floating market is a more authentic, local market than a touristy market. We loved visiting here during our trip to Bangkok because we saw very few other tourists here.
The market is small but it has a real community spirit. Our guide referred to it as the market for “the local people and Thai tourists” so you’ll find no elephant pants here!
It’s one of the best floating markets in Bangkok for street food. You can find everything here from Thai desserts to Pla Pao to a bowl of noodle soup. Come hungry, because you can easily fill your stomach here.
Video: Klong Lat Mayom Floating Market
4. Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market
- Where is it: Phra Pradaeng District
- Opening Hours: 8.00am – 4.00pm Saturday and Sunday
- How to get there: Take the ferry to Wat Bangnamphung Nok pier. From there, take a taxi for 10 minutes.
The Bang Nam Phueng floating market is different from other floating markets in that it also has its stalls on land around the canal, rather than vendors selling from the boats.
Vendors rock up on their boats, pull over next to the market, sell from a stall on land and keep their stock in their boat. It’s still considered a floating market because the vendors do use the boats, but it’s a little different.
As you enter the market, you wander down alley after alley with thatched stalls on either side selling fruit and vegetables. You can also find some street food, especially BBQ meat and vegetables. The air is aloft with smoke from the grills and the sounds of locals bartering.
It’s not considered a touristy market at all and it still feels very authentic, even though it’s not really traditional. In fact, it’s seen as more of a Thai tourist attraction for Thai people, though anyone is welcome.
5. Tha Kha Floating Market
- Where is it: Amphawa, Samut Songkhram
- Opening Hours: The market is held according to the lunar calendar. It is held on the second, seventh, and twelfth days of the waning or waxing moon. It opens from 6.00 a.m. – 2.00 p.m.
- How to get there: The market is located 1.5 hours outside Bangkok, it’s best to take a taxi or drive.
Tha Kha Floating Market is another old floating market that has been in operation for over 100 years. It’s primarily used by farmers selling their fresh produce, such as chilis, onions, guava, rose apples, pomelos, mangoes, and coconuts.
It has a lively scene and is very much a local market. It’s small and never overrun with tourists, so you can really see the authenticity of the market still.
It’s a great way to experience the local people’s way of life and see how they trade goods on the river.
6. Wat Sai Floating Market
- Where is it: Bang Khun Thian, Taling Chan, Bangkok
- Opening Hours: 8.00am – 10.00am daily
- How to get there: Take the BTS sky train or MRT to Bang Wa and then take a taxi for 15 minutes. You can also take the ferry from Tha Chang
If you’re looking for a floating market that’s not too far from the center of Bangkok, then the Wat Sai floating market is a good option.
It’s located on the Dao Kanon Canal near Krung Thep Bridge, making it one of the only floating markets left in Bangkok.
It’s quite a touristy market, as many vendors sell souvenirs and touristy trinkets. You will also find that some vendors sell fresh fruit and street food.
If you are short on time and want to pick up some Thai handicrafts to take home, it’s a great place to visit. You will need to get up early though as it’s only open in the morning.
7. Wat Saphan Floating Market
- Where is it: Taling Chan, Bangkok
- Opening Hours: 8.00am – 3.30pm Saturday and Sunday
- How to get there: Take the BTS sky train or MRT to Bang Wa and then take a taxi for 7 minutes
The Wat Saphan floating market is a small but lively market just north of Bang Wa station. It’s very easy to visit this market in conjunction with the Wat Sai floating market if you’re interested in seeing more than one.
Here you will find many vendors selling street food and, especially, Thai desserts. You can get delicious cakes and sweet treats. This is the market to go to if you have a sweet tooth.
This is a popular market to visit when taking long-tail boat tours on the klongs of Bangkok, so you’ll see plenty of tourists here in their boats with the cameras snapping away.
8. Khlong Bang Luang Floating Market
- Where is it: Taling Chan, Bangkok
- Opening Hours: 9.00am – 6.00pm daily
- How to get there: Take the BTS sky train or MRT to Bang Wa and then take a taxi for 10 minutes
Much like the Bang Nam Phueng floating market, the Khlong Bang Luang market has also swapped boats for land stalls.
Although not traditionally floating, it’s still relaxed and laid-back, which is unheard of for a market in Bangkok. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle or you get overwhelmed with crowds, you may enjoy it here.
The market is next to the canal which is lined with old traditional wooden houses on stilts. You can find plenty of street food such as noodle soup and fish food to feed the catfish in the waterways.
You can also buy a refreshing coffee or Thai milk tea and sit by the klongs and watch the long-tail boats go by.
Breathe and relax…
9. Kwan-Riam Floating Market
- Where is it: Min Buri District
- Opening Hours: 7.00am – 5.00pm Saturday and Sunday
- How to get there: Take Bus 514, 173 or 27 to the market from several locations in Bangkok.
Located on the Khlong Saen Saeb, the Kwan Riam floating market is about a 30 minute drive outside the city center.
It’s a small market and reasonably new, compared to the century-old markets we mentioned earlier.
What makes this market unique is the location between two temples, Wat Bang Peng Nuea to the North and Wat Bang Peng Tai to the South.
In the morning, you can see people offering alms and food to the Buddhist monks who pass by in their boats between 7.30am and 8.00am. This is such a special sight to witness and is definitely what makes this market unique.
You’ll find many vendors selling from their boats here. Rather than the traditional long-tail boats you see at other markets, the boats here are much larger and more modern.
You can pick up delicious Thai street food here and also find some Thai handicrafts such as handbags, clothes and other souvenirs.
Top tip: Download the free ViaBus App to see live bus times and schedules in Bangkok.
10. Wat Takien Floating Market
- Where is it: Bang Khu Wiang
- Opening Hours: 7.30am – 4.00pm Monday – Friday, 7.30am – 5.00pm Saturday and Sunday
- How to get there: Take bus 15, 47, 127 or 516 from several locations in Bangkok or take the train to Taling Chan and then take a taxi for 15 minutes.
Another modern floating market in Bangkok is the Wat Takien floating market which only opened in 2009.
The market was opened as a way to restore Thailand’s traditions and former way of life, it is also a way for the locals to earn a profit without expenses, as it occupies the canal outside the temple which belongs to the monks.
For this reason, you will see more Thai locals coming here than tourists. You can find many vendors selling fruit and vegetables from their boats as well as street food, herbal teas, and Thai desserts such as the famous mango sticky rice.
It’s a small market but worth visiting if you are in the area.
Before You Go
So there you have it, those are the best Bangkok floating markets and as you can see, each one offers something different and unique.
Whatever you’re looking for at a floating market, make sure you plan a full day trip. Getting to the markets is never easy, as they are located in suburban areas that most public transportation doesn’t reach.
Before you go, make sure you plan your day accordingly. Map out where you need to go on the BTS or MRT, and where to take a taxi to and from.
Carry cash, as ATMs are hard to find in suburban areas and vendors don’t accept cards.
More Bangkok Travel Tips
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