- Location: Around Bangkok, the capital of Thailand.
- Best time to Visit: November through February, though December-January are the best.
- Preferred Timing: 6.00 a.m. to 09.00 a.m.
- Nearest Airport: Don Mueang International Airport (DMK) and Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK).
- Nearest Rail Station: Hualamphong Railway Station
Thailand is a shopper’s paradise. Land or water, you are never far from shopping opportunities in Thailand. The floating markets of Thailand are unique, and are loved by tourists, earning the country the name of ‘Venice of the East’. However, if you really want to shop like the locals do, and not behave in an immediately identifiable touristy way, avoid Damnoen Saduak (Klong Lat Phli), where most international travelers flock. Travel for another 10 km. to the Tha Kha Floating market, which operates only six days a month, on the basis of the lunar calendar. Plan your schedule likewise and be ready for a wonderful shopping experience at the most authentic floating market in Thailand.
The Kingdom of Thailand has also been extremely successful in mixing tourism with entertainment and business. The floating markets in Thailand are one of the key ways to promote local business and national tourism at the same time. There are four major floating markets that the visitors will find in Thailand, each of which can easily be accessed from Bangkok, the capital city: namely Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Tha Kha Floating Market, Bang Khu Wiang Floating Market and Taling Chan Floating Market.
Damnoen Saduak (Klong Lat Phli) Floating Market
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is the largest floating market in Thailand. It is also the most photographed floating market of the country. Located in Ratchaburi province, around 80 km southwest of Bangkok, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is also the most visited tourist destination in Thailand. Here you will find goods being sold in a traditional manner — on small wooden paddle boats. It was only for the huge popularity of Damnoen Saduak Floating Market that a number of other floating markets have come up in Thailand in the following years.
In Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, one can find vendors selling various products in their paddle boats. A wide range of products including agricultural products, raw meat, fruits, jewelry, accessories, souvenirs etc. are available in the market. Majority of the customers of Damnoen Saduak Floating Market are tourists as locals prefer to go to the wet market for their daily needs. The market gets crowded as the clock ticks. So, if you catch a glimpse of the market before it gets crowded, reach there quite early.
You can visit the floating market through a tour or visit independently. However, going for a guided tour will be a wiser decision, as it will be a hassle-free affair and you can avail the services of an English speaking guide.
Timings: Form 06.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m.
How to Reach: If you are going independently, take a taxi to reach the market area. It will cost 500 Baht. There are also public buses leaving from the Southern Bus Terminal in every 40 minutes starting from 6 o’clock in the morning. The fare would be around 30 Baht for standard buses and 50 Baht for air-conditioned coaches. After reaching Damnoen Saduak, take a boat from the nearby pier to the market. It may cost 10 Baht per head.
Bang Khu Wiang Floating Market
Bang Khu Wiang is another popular floating market of Thailand located at Bangkok. Though it is perhaps the easiest to get to as the market is located pretty close to the city of Bangkok, yet the market is perhaps the most difficult to deal with as its opening hours (4 a.m. to 7 a.m.) may be inconvenient for many travelers. Natural goods, such as vegetables are available in this floating market.
Timings: 04.00 a.m. to 07.00 a.m.
How to Reach: Reach bang Kruai from Bangkok. You can take a boat to reach market in 10 minutes.
Taling Chan Floating Market
Taling Chan Floating Market is a week-end market that takes place in front of Taling Chan District Office. Many locals also visit this market quite frequently. You can find fruit, vegetables, flowers, plants, and trinkets in this market. You can also continue with a boat trip after visiting the market.
Timings: 09.00 a.m. to 04.00 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday)
How to Reach: You can reach Taling Chan Floating Market by bus no. 79 and 83 from Bangkok.
Tha Kha Floating Market
This is the most authentic floating market of Thailand and is mostly visited by the locals. As a result, you will find more natural surroundings in this market comparing to other Thailand floating markets. But the market only takes place 6 days a month, depending upon the Thai lunar calendar.
Timings: 06.00 a.m. to 12 noon (6 days a month)()
How to Reach: Taking a taxi will be hassle-free. You can also take a bus from the Southern Bus Terminal to reach Songkhram. From there, you can catch a minibus to reach the market.