Floating Market Bangkok
One of the image before coming to Thailand for me and many travelers are the beaches, temples, and floating market, OK, massages too. Many of these floating markets are today very popular and have lost their authenticity. Quite a distance from Bangkok and early wake up can discourage a number of tourists but still can visit three of them which are open late afternoon and are close to the city. if you traveling on the low season you will have the advantage to not be surrounded by hordes of tourists.
Samut Songkhram Amphawa
A popular attraction for both Thai and foreigners. 75 km from Bangkok, Amphawa (it means district) located in Samut Songkhram (Samut means ocean and Songkhram war) which is the orchard, grapes, lychees, guavas, jackfruit, pomelo and lot of coconuts plantations. Several salt farms in Samut Sakon, the neighboring province, and Samut Songkhram whose combined production makes this region the largest salt producer in the country, but it’s also the smallest province of the country where the Siamese twins were born. Each province of Thailand has a symbol, the one of Samut Songkhram shows a Garuda above a drum on a river. The Thai word for drum is Klong, referring to the river Klong (Mae Klong).
It’s not really a floating market but few small boats where you can order seafood, huge prawns, shellfish, squid grilled, and enjoy eating on tiny tables along with little beautiful wooden houses, bars, restaurants, and souvenirs shops. Very busy around the central bridge. Many visitors spent only the day and back to Bangkok late afternoon. Most of the shops and restaurants close at 19.00 – 20.00
Longtail boat tour, temples, and the island are organized – 50 baht. But I prefer to rent a boat 600 baht, after negotiation, I got it for 400 baht/3 persons, including island tour, the Wat Bang Kung (temple in a banyan tree) a historical place, and also a Muay Thai boxing academy, and a mini zoo, camels, horses, peacock, deer. Around 2hrs. You can go for an island tour only as well.
On the late afternoon have a walk around to the lively local market. Small carts in the street crab egg salad, ice cream sandwiches, a lot of Thai sweets, fruits, and other arrays of local food.
I recommend to stay for a night and maybe you can have a chance to see the firefly, a tour is organized. Also, allow you to experience the early morning offering alms to the monk and then leave to visit Tha Kha floating market. Many Guesthouse, hostels, resorts, and homestay. I always stay at baanrak amphawa, a small hotel along the Klong at a reasonable price.
Very busy market at the weekend. Open on the weekday but few vendors.
How to Get There
From BTS Mo Chit, minivan 80-100 baht same van to Damnoen Saduak as well. First trip 05.00
By bus and van from the southern bus station (sai tai mai) 1-hour drive to Amphawa 05.40 – 21.00
By taxi faster, bargain (1200 to 1600 baht) around 1 to 2 hours
But I think the best and enjoyable way is by the Train market
Tha Kha recommended
Get up early to enjoy the sunrise(06.00), and after offering alms to the monk, to wakes you up, a 15 minutes tuk-tuk ride to this lovely floating market. There you can have a Thai breakfast in a peaceful and fun atmosphere. Tha Kha is a small community life market, local trade, still far from the tourist’s trap, still, keep a character of authenticity and vendors are very friendly. If you visit a floating market, this is the one. And please go for the rowboat tour –Tour Pai Reua, ทัวร์พายเรือ – not later than 07.30, change of scenery guaranteed. 200 Baht/boat, 45 minutes.
Every Saturday – Sunday. Weekday only 2nd, 7th, and 12th days of the lunar calendar
Be there at 06.30 – 07.00 no tourists
Open 06.00 – 14.00
To Go There
Take a Tuk-tuk from Amphawa 300 baht, 2 ways. Ask your hotel to book the day before. Keep in mind the tuk-tuk driver are not punctual. On your way back give him the time you wish to leave, and don’t worry he will be there. For those who arrive from Bangkok to Mae Klong railway folding umbrella market can take a songthaew, 15 minutes ride.
100 km from Bangkok, close to Amphawa, belong to the past and is not a real floating market anymore, but a nice place for photographers. Try to be there before 07.30. from 09.00, is very crowded when hundred of tourist buses and longtail boats arrive from everywhere, then it becomes more of a “bumper cars” style amusement park than a floating market
Floating Market Close to Bangkok
140+ years old market, one of the oldest. 30 km from Bangkok. Wooden walkways and shophouses. Some boat vendors
From Bearing BTS station hire a taxi, around 30 minutes to Bang Phli. Not many tourists
Open 08.00 – 16.00
Khlong Lat Mayom
Mean gooseberry tree. The most recent but lively floating market not too far from Bangkok. Khlong Lat Mayom is more a local market, only a few small boat vendors prepare cheap and good local dishes, try the fresh coconut, rice flour sweet and icy sugar in a bamboo. Have a walk around the area, wooden houses, orchard, and a slow lifestyle along the canal. Boat tour for a pleasant change of scenery – minimum 3 persons, 10 baht/person. 40 minute.
It’s a very popular market with locals at weekends, try to be there early
how To Go There
20 km from Bangkok. Take a taxi from Bang Wa BTS station, 100 to 150 baht
Weekend only – open 08.00 – 16.30
From there you can take a songthaew to Taling Chan outside the market, “Talat Nam Taling Chan”
Taling Chan close to Khlong Lat Mayom and Bangkok
Very close to Bangkok, small but busy, short boat trip on the Klong, 69 baht. A lot of food, a nice escape from the city and for a lunch along the riverside
Best Way To Go There
Of course by taxi (250 to 300 baht from Sukhumvit Asok on a Sunday) but why not by the Express boat from Saphan Taksin station or other piers to Phra Pinklao bridge (12) and then a short drive by taxi.
Open 08.00 – 16.00
Another small and very local market is Bang Nam Phueng on the island of Bang Krachao
The floating markets despite all the tourism marketing remains an attraction that deserves a visit.
Which one is your favorite?
I hope this will be useful to you in planning your next trip to Bangkok. If you have any questions, I will be more than happy to help you out