Floating markets are a rarity that you can spot only in Thailand. These markets are the remnants of an age old tradition of transacting over water. A typical floating market is marked by vendors selling fruits, vegetables, local produce, meat, fish and cooked food on boats. A guided boat tour is available across many floating markets in Thailand. The popular ones are Taling Chan Market, Bang Ku Wiang Market, Tha Kha and Damnoen Saduak.
Taling Chan Floating Market
The market is situated outside Bangkok and has enough attractions to keep visitors busy for almost half a day. The market is popular for its floating kitchens were tasty sea food and meat preparations are made. Tourists can enjoy food sitting on the floor besides locals. Taling Chan is open only on weekends. A guided tour is available just for 100 bhats. Tourists can also try the relaxing foot massage for just 200 bhat. The Taling Chan floating market is accesible by the local metro. One can get down at the last station Wongwian and get a taxi for 150 bhat. It is indeed a pleasure to try the tasty local cusines which include roasted lobsters, caviars, squids, fish and clams.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Damnoen is the oldest and most popular floating market in Thailand. An early morning start is advisable to see the market at its liveliest best. The market is just an hour on the outskirts of the Bangkok city. Long tailed decorated boats fill the water body and vendors sell fresh fruits, sea food and meat preparations. Vendors also sell local herbs and plants such as orchids. The local market also sells small toys, elephants, local headache balm and the popular souvenir t-shirts. The market is famous for its local delicacies such as mini coconut pancakes, noodles and rich meaty broth.
Amphawa Floating Market
Amphawa floating market is the second most popular floating market in Bangkok. Though it is not as large as Damnoen Saduak, it is one of the most authentic floating markets in the country. The market is located 50 km away from Bangkok. The main draw is the large range of local cuisine comprising prawns, shellfish, squid and freshly caught fish preparations. The market is active from noon to late in the evening. The evening view of the water body with dozens of lit boats is a spectacular scene. Sea food is usually priced by weight and is available cheap. Customers can perch on rows of narrow steps leading to water to devour the piping hot food. There are also restaurants which has comfortable seating that faces the lake. The floating market also has rows of shops selling souvenirs, small toys and crafts work on either side of the canal. Another delight of Amphawa is a magnificent little temple that is shrouded by roots of an immense peepal tree. The temple dedicated to Buddha reminds one of Angkor Wat. The temple is well kept and highly regarded by local residents.