Category Archives: Bangkok Day Trips

Cycling Along Saen Saeb Canal in Bangkok

One of the canals that I haven’t explored much yet is Khlong Saen Saeb. This canal dates back to 1840 and connects the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok to the Bang Pakong River in Chaochoengsao. Unfortunately you cannot take a boat ride along the entire length any more due to various water gates. You cannot even go out into the Chao Phraya river. In Bangkok, there is a boat service that goes from Pratunam (which means watergate) and Phan Fah Bridge all the way east to Wat Sri Bunruang on Ramkhamhaeng Road. If you don’t mind the smell, then this is a quick way to visit some of Bangkok’s main attractions. It is a kind of hidden artery of Bangkok as not all tourists know about it. To ride the entire length only costs about 20 Baht.

They have been talking for years about extending the boat service further out of Bangkok from Wat Sri Bunruang (see map) all the way to Minburi. In fact, it was in the newspaper earlier this year that the boat service would open from August 2012. So, at the weekend, I decided to go and take a look for myself. What I found was perhaps a dozen new piers along the canal. All of them finished, though some looked like that they needed a new coat of paint. Between Wat Sri Bunruang and the Outer Ring Road bridge, they had also finished a concrete walkway on both sides of the canal. The budget for this was hundreds of millions of Baht. To me it looked like it had been finished for along time. Some stretches were overgrown and badly neglected.

This stretch of the canal is about 4 km long. I first cycled along on the southern side and then came back on the other side. If you plan to cycle here yourself, I would suggest that you use the northern side. There are less of these bridges and your way won’t be blocked by long grass or overhanging branches. Can you see the runner on the right of these steps? This is for pushing your bike up on. However, it is too steep and too close to the side to be much use.  A local that I spoke to said that they like this new walkway as they can come out here in the evening to exercise and enjoy the cool air. However, she said that the steps were too steep for the elderly and so they couldn’t walk too far. At one bridge, I came across some locals who were using a slab of concrete to make a gentle slope up and over. Obviously they were doing this for their motorbikes.

The second section of the canal, from the Outer Ring Road bridge to Minburi already has piers but they haven’t started on the concrete walkways. These are the old ones which are dangerous in some places and non-existent in others. I asked a number of different local people along the canal when they thought that the boat service would start. They all gave me different answers from a few months to next year. But all of them made it clear that they do no want the boats to start running until the BMA have finished the concrete walkways on both sides. They also said it needs to have lighting all the way. The budget for this is estimated to be about 500 million Baht. If they do it, then it would be great for both commuters and cyclists. However, they also need to allocate a budget for maintenance. Sadly this has been neglected.

Click here for my map of the route that I took. I will be continuing to explore the canal in coming weeks. This picture is at Wat Sri Bunruang and this boat is about to depart for Pratunam in Bangkok. I will start my next journey by bicycle from this point. I want to see how easily I can get into Bangkok from here.

Jesada Technik Museum in Nakhon Pathom

Literally in the middle of no-where, in Nakhon Chaisi District of Nakhon Pathom Province, there is a sprawling private transport museum for lovers of any vehicles, both on land and in the air.  This large collection of vehicles can be found at Jesada Technik Museum and is the brainchild of Mr. Jesada Deshsakulrith, a Thai businessman. The museum first opened to the public in 2004 though Jesada bought his first vehicle back in 1997.

I was completely lost when I stumbled upon this red double decker bus from London and the yellow school bus from America. Beyond no doubt, I had arrived. Jesada Technik Museum is ironically not served by any public transport. You will have to find your own way there from Nakhon Chaisi (see map). It is open every day from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Mondays. Surprisingly there is no entrance fee to the well kept museum though donations are welcome.

The inspiration for the museum came after Jesada visited automobile museums in the USA and in Europe. He decided to collect antique and hard-to-find cars for his own collection. He started with a 1958 Bubble Car bought in Switzerland. His collection has now grown to 500 pieces which includes Airplanes, Helicopters, Tanks, Buses, Sedans, Bubble Cars, Motorcycles, Tricycles and Bicycles from around the world. There would have been a Russian made submarine as well but it apparently sunk while on the way to Thailand.

It is a credit to Jesada that all of the vehicles have been kept in excellent condition as you can see from these pictures. Not only on the outside but the inside as well. The upholstery is in very good condition. Also don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a “dead” museum as many of these vehicles are in good working order and have taken part in car rallies. I have also seen one of the red double decker buses out and about too at charity events. They actually have three London buses, one of which is open-topped.

The transport museum is probably not worth visiting on its own. Best to do it in conjunction with something else in the area. Visit our Thailand Photo Map website to see what else there is to see in Nakhon Pathom Province. Nearby is the riverside Thana Market which is a great place to have lunch.

15 Floating Markets Around Bangkok

Klong Suan 100 Year Market

(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].

Wat Lampaya Floating Market

(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].

Bang Phli Floating Market

(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].

Pattaya Floating Market

(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].

Wat Takien Floating Market

(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].

Rangsit Floating Market

One of the latest markets for people from Bangkok can be found at Rangsit Floating Market. It is just north of the city on the Rangsit-Nakhon Nayok Road. It is just a short distance from Future Park and is not too far from Dream World.  I went there for the first time at the weekend. It has been open since March 2009 but I hadn’t heard of it until someone on Twitter suggested that I should go there. I am glad that I did.

It’s not really a floating market like foreign tourists would imagine it. It is true that there are a couple of boat vendors selling food. However, the majority of food is sold from normal stalls. Having said that, technically it is a floating market as the whole thing is on a series of linked flat barges moored to the banks. Anyway, it is good, open-aired, clean and has a nice atmosphere. For a weekend I was actually expecting large crowds, but it was to our advantage that, unlike other markets, we were easily able to find some seating.

I usually say that you judge a good food stall by the crowds. I think that in this case we have some delicious food being sold in a great location but suffering greatly from bad promotion to the public. I don’t think that many people outside of Rangsit really know about it. Which is a pity as the food was good. I don’t normally eat that much but I had three full meals here. Two of them were from this vendor that sold 12 different kinds of pad thai. My favourite was pad thai made with green papaya (see here). Very unusual but surprisingly good. The other was crispy noodle pad thai (see here).

It is probably not worth going all the way here for this one market. But, you could visit here on the way back from or to Dream World. Or if you are going to the shopping mall at Future Park. On this trip we also visited the Thai Royal Air Force Museum which is not that far away. However, I definitely want to go back again to try some more of the variations of pad thai. Noodles are also very famous here. In fact, they have a museum dedicated to the history of noodles. Unfortunately this is only in Thai.

The floating market is open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can get there by buses 538, 559 or 188.

Map showing the location of Rangsit Floating Market:

[cetsEmbedGmap src=,100.635624&spn=0.109101,0.154324&z=13&iwloc=0004a2994814976b2032a width=450 height=425 marginwidth=0 marginheight=0 frameborder=0 scrolling=no]

Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market

Another one of those riverside markets in Bangkok that isn’t visited much by foreign tourists is Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market. It is in the same district as the more famous Taling Chan Floating Market. I had never been there before and when I visited last Sunday I was expecting to find a quiet market. I guess the first sign for me that Lat Mayom is a popular place for locals to visit at the weekend were the numerous car parks. In 2007 it deservedly won the Thailand Tourism Award for Community Based Tourism.

It is probably best to go early as it got very crowded as the morning progressed. Like other markets, it is only open at the weekends and public holidays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. I was there shortly after 9 a.m. and even though some stalls were still being set up, it was easier for me to park and then explore the market. When you arrive you will soon discover that there is more than one area. There are numerous stalls around the car park, in an orchard and also along the canal bank.

Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market was set up in November 2004 after the local community saw the success over at Taling Chan. However, this one prides itself on being more of a green market. It is famous for organic vegetables as well as freshly-cooked food and home-made desserts. You will find vendors selling food on both the land and on boats along the canal. The stalls in the orchard area sell mainly local products and souvenirs under the OTOP banner.

The highlight of any floating market for me is the opportunity to eat some delicious food. Lat Mayom certainly didn’t disappoint. There were plenty of large eating areas that were served by vendors on both the land and on boats. It is always best to come here hungry so that you can snack as much as you like. There are so many temptations here. My favourite was Kuay Tiaw Kua Gai bought from a boat vendor. This is a wide noodle cooked in a pan with chicken and egg.

A visit to a floating market wouldn’t be complete without a trip on a boat. This is the best way to explore the local communities that use these canals as their life-line. If you want to just explore the immediate area then you can go on a small flat bottom boat for only 10 Baht each. There are no seats, just a cushion. You can also join a longer tour on a bigger long-tailed boat. This is what I did. The 90 minute boat tour costs only 50 Baht per person. They will leave as soon as they have at least 15 people.

We travelled quite far on our trip. We ended up in a small community where we disembarked so that we could explore on foot. We were first taken to an old house alongside the canal where we were told some of the local history. We then walked a bit further to visit Sawangchan Homestay. Here we were able to buy some food and refreshments being sold by the local people. It is a good idea to help support them. From here we continued on until we reached the canal again for our return journey to Lat Mayom.

Map showing location of Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market:

[cetsEmbedGmap src=,100.414417&spn=0.013651,0.01929&z=16 width=450 height=425 marginwidth=0 marginheight=0 frameborder=0 scrolling=no]

Klong Lat Mayom Floating Market is located on the Bang Lamad Road (off Bang Khae-Bang Bua Thong Outer Ring Highway) in Taling Chan, Thonburi, Bangkok

By Bus: Take No. 146 to Kanchanaphisek Road and alight at the offices of Samakom Chao Pak Tai (Association of People from the South).
Then take a 15-minute songthaew (Rod Fai-Wat Pu Theun route) to Bang Ramat Road.

By Car: If you’re driving, take Kanchanaphisek Road and turn onto Bang Ramat Road when you see the sign for Natibunditiyasapa (the place where Thai law students sit examinations for admission to the Bar). I also saw plenty of meter taxis here if you don’t have your own transport.