DIY Guide to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Floating markets are popular in Thailand, and one of the most-visited is the Damnoen Saduak Floating market. It’s about 40 minutes away from Bangkok and has become a bit of a tourist trap in recent years, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a visit.
The market is filled with colourful vendors cooking up Thai dishes and selling local produce as they paddle along the river. You can find a lot of Thai fruits on the boats, while parked boats sell deep fried snacks, dried seafood and all sorts of noodles.
If you’re looking for cheap trinkets, you can find them everywhere, but this is one of the few places where you can have local meals served to you from a boat with a fishing pole.
When should I get there?
If you wish to explore the market without the hustle and bustle of tourists, it’s best to arrive as early as 7am. Most tour groups arrive around 9am, which is when the long queues and heavy traffic begins.
How do I get there?
Take a taxi to Bangkok’s Southern Bus terminal and catch bus #78. It starts running around 6am and arrives every 30-40 minutes. This bus will drop you about 1km from the market, where you will have to catch a taxi. At the market, negotiate for the cost of your boat ride.
What are the boat fees?
Cheap row boats are 200-300 baht, while motorboats cost 600-800 baht. These boat rides are about one hour long and will bring you through the khlongs and stilted houses. If you are looking for a khlong tour, the three hour boat ride from Taling Chan Floating Market would be a much better option.
Any cheap full or half-day budget tours?
Thailand budget tours will spoil you. Not only will you be picked up in an air-conditioned van with an English-speaking guide, but most likely you will get a complimentary boat ride and a chance to stop at other tourist spots.
What else can I do?
Samut Songkhram is closer to Damnoen than Bangkok. You can choose to stay there overnight and visit the Maeklong Railway Train (aka the Pulldown Umbrealla Train). From there, just take a taxi or bus to the market.
Any other tips to share? Just tell us in the comments.
Photos © Carlos Nizam.