(1) The old Klong Suan 100 Year Market in Samut Prakan Province sits alongside a canal that in the old days was the only way to travel between Bangkok and Chachoengsao. With the coming of highways the importance of markets like this one died out. However, the old shops have now been renovated and the market is now a popular place for Bangkok people to come and shop for souvenirs and to eat a variety of food. [MORE].
(2) In Nakhon Pathom Province you can find a popular riverside market called Wat Lampaya Floating Market. Most of the vendors are on land but there are a number of boats that are tied up. This is the way Thai people prefer to have their markets as there is more shade. When I was there the other year I didn’t see any other foreigners which helps to give a more authentic experience. It is also possible to join boat tours [MORE].
(3) The Bang Phli Floating Market in Samut Prakan Province is one of the oldest running markets in Thailand as it was established over 150 years ago. Like others it is more of a riverside market than a traditional floating market. However, the atmosphere of the old shops and rickety wooden bridges certainly make it worth a visit. For me the highlight here is the food but you can also join boat tours at the weekend. [MORE].
(4) When I first heard about the Pattaya Floating Market I thought that we would be getting another tacky and artificial tourist attraction built just to bring in the tourist dollars. However, I have been there twice now and the place is growing on me. The wooden buildings are built in different architectural styles and you will find that the shops in them are selling quality souvenirs and locally produced handicraft. You can also take a boat tour [MORE].
(5) The Wat Takien Floating Market in Nonthaburi is another of those places where you are unlikely to find any other foreign tourists. It is open every day but it is definitely more active at the weekend. There are a number of boats tied up along the bank where you can sit and eat some freshly cooked food. It is also possible to hire a boat to take you on a tour of the local canals to see local life close up. [MORE].
(6) The most famous floating market for foreign tourists is Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Ratchaburi Province. If you want that picture perfect postcard shot I recommend this place. However, if you don’t want any foreigners in the picture that you must go there early. By 9 a.m. there is a traffic jam of tourist boats. Most people go here from Bangkok on tours that include the Rose Garden [MORE].
(7) A famous market that is actually in Bangkok is Taling Chan Floating Market. However, don’t go there expecting a canal full of boats with vendors selling fruit and other produce. This is more a riverside market that has a number of boats tied up alongside the pier. However, it is still a good place to go and soak up the atmosphere. The last time that I visited I also joined a boat tour from here [MORE].
(8) I think probably the best market I have been to is Tha Kha Floating Market in Samut Songkhram. Of all the so-called floating markets out there, this one has mant boat vendors selling to local people. It is much like Damnoen Saduak but there are hardly any foreign tourists here. This is because it is not so easy to get to and is not on many tour routes. I also joined a very cheap boat tour from here that was really enjoyable [MORE].
(9) One of my favourite markets for food is Don Wai Floating Market in Nakhon Pathom. Although they label it this way, I would much prefer to translate it as Riverside Market. You don’t have the boat vendors like what we imagine floating markets in Thailand should have. However, this doesn’t worry the Thai people. After all, it is too hot in the sun if there aren’t any shelters. From here you can also join a boat tour of the local river [MORE].
(10) I think the Thai favourite for a market is Amphawa Floating Market in Samut Songkram. I first went here about five years ago. It was popular and crowded back then, but mainly with Thai tourists. Hardly any foreigners. But that, of course has changed as word has spread on the Internet. I like the place. There is a mixture of riverside market and floating market like you can see in this picture. It is also a good place for a homestay. There are boat tours too [MORE].
(11) A short distance north of the famous Amphawa market is the Bang Noi Floating Market in Samut Songkhram Province. This is an old market that has been around for over one hundred years. Although it doesn’t get as busy as Amphawa, it still has a lot of charm with shops containing quality souvenirs and delicious food. It is a weekend market that is open from about 8 a.m. to late afternoon. You can also join boat tours here [MORE].
(12) Another old market, a little further north on the Maeklong river, is Bang Nok Kwaek Market in Samut Songkhram Province. Although it doesn’t have the hustle and bustle of its younger cousin at Amphawa, it certainly makes up for it with its old time charm and friendly shopkeepers. If you want to experience an old Thai riverside market without the crowds then its worth spending an hour or so here. Boat tours are also available [MORE].
(13) To the north of Bangkok there are two new purpose built floating markets in Ayutthaya Province. This first one is Ayothaya Floating Market. It is conveniently next door to the Elephant Camp so you can do an elephant ride if you like before visiting the market. It is free to enter and wander around. There are shops with handicraft and souvenirs as well as lots of food. You can join boat rides and also watch scheduled shows [MORE].
(14) The second purpose built floating market in Ayutthaya Province is Ayutthaya Klong Sa Bua Floating Market. This one is only open at the weekends and is more of a kind of “dinner theatre” than a traditional market. You first buy food that you want from vendors on boats and along the bank and then sit down to watch one of the scheduled shows. Each one is different. This market has an entrance fee [MORE].
(15) Another relatively new floating market near Bangkok is Bang Nampheung Floating Market in Samut Prakan Province. It is built along a canal that flows into the Chao Phraya River. It is a good place to buy food and local handicraft. You can also rent out boats to go for a paddle on the canal. It is a weekend market that closes by mid-afternoon. Best to go early to avoid the crowds [MORE].