It seems to be the latest fashion for local districts in Thailand to open a “floating market”. The other week we had news that the Bangkok administration will open a floating market in Min Buri. Then, last month, I went to see the Pattaya Floating Market. Now, another floating market has just opened in Songkhla Province in the deep south. We flew down there at the weekend to check it out.
Klonghae Floating Market is in Tambon Klonghae in Amphoe Hat Yai (also spelled haadyai). It has only been open about three months but they already have an impressive array of vendors selling food. One of the local administrators showed us around. At the end of the tour he asked me if I had any suggestions to make it better. However, I was pretty impressed with what they had done so far. A good sign of success is crowd size and there were certainly a lot of people there.
What impressed me the most was the large number of vendors selling food and the variety of snacks on offer. You could easily come here every day and never get bored with the food. We were scheduled to visit a restaurant afterwards but I was too tempted with the delicious food on show. It is a real shame it is not in my area as I would love to go back there again. All of the vendors were so friendly. They all smiled for me whenever I took any pictures.
The floating market is open on Friday to Sunday from 3 p.m. until about 9 p.m. If you go earlier you can hire boats to go for a paddle and they apparently also have boat tours of the local area. The market seems to be in the middle of nowhere but they said you can take local transport from Hat Yai City. I think this place will become popular with Malaysians who drive up to Hat Yai for the weekend. I didn’t see any Westerners here at all. Many thanks to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) for flying us down here and also for showing us around. We were put up at the Centara Hotel in Hat Yai.