Floating Market in Songkhla

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.

8 responses to “Floating Market in Songkhla

  1. “It seems to be the latest fashion for local districts in Thailand to open a “floating market”.”

    Yes, but very few seem to have grasped the concept of not opening them at ridiculously early hours in the morning. I may actually be up in time to visit this one.

  2. I would agree. It makes a nice change for there to be a floating market that opens on the afternoon and evening. Damnoern Saduak not only opens too early, but it is so far from Bangkok. When we went we had to get up at 5 a.m.

  3. Looks like Steve’s gotten himself a dream job with TAT. Congratulations 🙂

  4. Stephen Cleary

    Another great blog there from Richard, brill to get off the beaten path – one thing which a lot of the folk at the TAT are targetting.

    Hello Bergen: Richard and me got a good connection with the TAT and forwarding some of our stuff for their new blogwebsite at http://www.tourismthailand.org
    But, it ain’t really a job! Just, as we love getting off the beaten track in Thailand, giving each other a helping hand in promoting the Kingdom.

  5. Bergen, if you look at the name in big letters under the title of this blog you will see it is written by Richard Barrow.

  6. >> One of the local administrators showed us around.

    >> All of the vendors were so friendly. They all smiled for me whenever I took any pictures.

    I would not expect less.

    >> 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.

    >> I would love to go back there again.

    How can we be sure this is true anymore?

    Sorry to have to say this, i really like to read this blog.

  7. Eric, are you saying my views are impartial now if I don’t pay for the visits? That is not really true as I have both critisized TAT and places we have visited if I didn’t think they were good value for money. I said exactly that about Samphran Elephant Ground and Safari World even though we were shown around for free. After our TAT trip to Suphanburi I said I had some concerns about the dragon museum and the two price system. On our forums I have several times critisized the TAT and will in fact soon be writing a blog on their effort (or lack of it) to promote Thailand in the new electronic era.

    I understand your concerns but please be assured that if any of us don’t think a tourist attraction isn’t worth your while to travel there then we will tell you. As to this floating market, I was walking around taking pictures long before we met the local official. The vendors were genuinely smiling all the time and happily posing for pictures. They didn’t know we were media. And they didn’t know we were coming as it was an unscheduled stop after I spotted a roadside banner for the market. I really would go back to this one again if I had a chance.

    After doing these travel blogs for so long, it is just nice to be able to visit some of these places without having to spend a lot of money. It is not cheap for us to bring you these blogs. At the weekend it cost me 1,200 baht just to go and see the monkeys swimming in the sea in Samut Songkhram. I did this for a blog that will be posted this week. I don’t get paid for researching these tourist attractions. It is my own money that I have been spending here for the past five years so that our readers can make a decision as to whether it is worth them spending their own money.

  8. Richard,

    Thank you for your quick response and detailed explanation. I feel a lot better.

    I’ll wait to read your report on the monkeys in Samut Songkhram, i see this province very often and saw the monkeys in the plants near the road.

    Keep up the good work.