15 Floating Markets In Bangkok

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If you’re keen to see the real Thailand, visit one of the many floating markets in Bangkok and beyond. Although floating markets are right throughout South East Asia, the city of Bangkok and its surrounding suburbs are the most famous places to visit these markets. With hundreds of wooden houses and stalls on stilts selling traditional crafts, souvenirs, clothing and more, they’re also a perfect spot to pick up something special to take home.

Visiting Bangkok’s floating markets usually involves a short minibus or public transport ride. When you arrive at a market, you’ll pay a fee to travel around the market on the water and be able to watch locals going about their daily life, try excellent traditional food and shop from the comfort of your wooden boat.

Floating Markets In Bangkok And Beyond

Top Tours

aerial view of three boats with tourists and fruit vendors

Bangkok Floating Markets – Samut Songkhram Province

1- Amphawa

Amphawa floating markets bangkok
Amphawa floating market is a hub of activity.

Amphawa Floating Market is one of the region’s most popular and is only 50 km (31 miles) from the city.

Amphawa is also one of the oldest floating markets, originating in the 17th century, so although there are increasingly modern, tourist-oriented shops, you’re likely to get a very authentic experience here.

The market sits on the Maeklong River and is particularly popular for its local seafood, which means it can get hectic around lunchtime and on weekends.

There may be a slight boat jam!

The best way to get to this floating market is to catch a bus or train from Bangkok to Maeklong, from where it is a short journey to the market.

Hop on a boat for 50 baht or wander around the old shophouses until you smell freshly cooked fish.

2- Damnoen Saduak

local floating sellers
One of the most popular floating markets near Bangkok is Damnoen Saduak. Photo: Christina Pfeiffer.

Damnoen Saduak is the most famous and popular of Bangkok’s floating markets.

It’s quite a distance from the city, around 100km (62 miles) outside Bangkok, and although it is possible to visit yourself, you’re better off opting for a tour.

The main market sits on around 30km (19 miles) of canals filled with vibrant, bustling stalls and shophouses selling everything from traditional clothing to food, souvenirs and more.

While on your boat ride, many stallholders will row their boats right beside you so you can buy fresh fruit, cold drinks, lunch and gifts.

This market gets extremely crowded on weekends, and many stalls now sell souvenirs; however, it is still the best market to visit.

Before going, beware of scams that have popped up here, such as overpriced taxis and companies that drop you miles from the market to gain money.

Recommended tour: Bangkok: Damnoen Saduak Market and Maeklong Railway Market

3- Tha Kha

Tha Kha is a hidden gem in Bangkok, around an hour from the city in Samut Songkhram province.

Tha Kha is a genuine produce market where vendors sell everything from fresh fruit, vegetables, and meat to seafood, spices and herbs.

If you do a cooking course in Bangkok, you may head here to pick up some fresh ingredients, or your teacher may have bought them here.

You can watch the traders do their business from your boat, which usually involves selling or bartering their products with others on the many paddle boats along the waterways.

Tha Kha is only open on weekends between 6 am and 3 pm, so arrive early to make the most of it.

Floating Markets in Bangkok

4- Khlong Lat Mayom

Most visitors who visit floating markets in Bangkok are keen to see the biggest and the best; however, Khlong Lat Mayom meets these criteria subjectively but is virtually devoid of crowds.

Slightly smaller than Damnoen Saduak, Khlong Lat Mayom is about 20km from Bangkok in Taling Chan and is within easy reach by taking the Skytrain to Bang Wa and then a short taxi ride.

The market is popular with locals and those in the know for its exquisite range of street food, so if you’re hunting for the city’s best Pad Thai, boat noodles or satay skewers, you’ll likely find them here.

Recommended tour: Bangkok Floating Market Khlong Lat Mayam and Boat Ride to an Orchid Farm

5- Taling Chan

a delicious display of condiments at Talingchan floating markets Bangkok
One of the floating markets near Bangkok to see is Taling Chan.

Taling Chan is another of Bangkok’s most popular floating markets and is ideal for those running short on time.

The market sits just a few kilometres outside Bangkok, and there is even a free shuttle bus from the city’s Bang Khun Non-MTR station.

It’s smaller than Damnoen Saduak and others, but at almost 7km long, there’s still plenty to explore.

As Taling Chan is surrounded by countryside and many local farms, the food here is fantastic, and you can try everything from Pad Thai to grilled seafood, mango sticky rice and banana pancakes.

The market is also well-known for its various massage vendors, where you can get a cheap traditional Thai massage.

Recommended tour: Bangkok Floating Markets and Boat Tour

6- Kwan Riam

Less than 30km from Bangkok, Kwan Riam is one of the city’s best and most accessible markets for those looking for a quick taste of culture.

Unfortunately, its proximity to the city and fantastic food can mean it is very crowded when it opens, which is only on weekends and public holidays, but if you arrive early, you can beat most of the tour groups.

Make sure not to miss many gorgeous temples along the riverside before exploring the market on a wooden boat.

You may even spot local monks being offered food and alms on the water, and you can buy things to eat from floating food sellers or on dry land.

7- Wat Lam Phaya

prawns and squid
Some floating markets in Thailand specialise in seafood.

Lam Phaya floating market is only a 30-minute ride from Bangkok and sits in front of the Lam Phaya Temple (hence its name).

You can explore this temple and its gardens while visiting the market.

One of Bangkok’s smaller markets, Lam Phaya, has around 15 docks holding its many stalls and a 270-metre (885 ft) walkway to explore the market.

Although classic products, such as fruit, vegetables and souvenirs, are widely sold, the hot food is a real highlight here.

Vast pots bubbling with local curries, grilled seafood and barbecued meats, and a variety of Thai classics and desserts are available, so pace yourself if you’re here at lunchtime!

There’s a choice of options for exploring the area by boat, which usually takes in both the market and a few nearby temples.

Chachoengsao Province

8- Bang Khla

bangkok floating markets full of food and a wok
One of the fun things to do in Bangkok’s floating markets is to try local snacks prepared fresh on the long boats.

Like Damnoen Saduak, Bang Khla is at least 100km (62 miles) from Bangkok’s city centre, but this means many people don’t venture out this far, and it is less touristy than other markets.

Make the trip, and you will be rewarded with a quintessential floating market experience where you can spot locals going about their daily life, bathing in the river, selling fresh produce and enjoying hot tea with their friends.

This market is only open on weekends and can be reached in around 90 minutes from Bangkok.

Boat rides here are far more affordable than more popular markets, at only 60 baht per person, and on the way, you can shop for traditional snacks and gifts from the rural neighbourhood, plus boats usually stop at the nearby pagoda of King Taksin the Great.

Samut Prakan Province

9- Bang Nampheung

fruit at the floating markets in bangkok city
Pomelos and mangosteens are some of the juicy tropical fruit you’ll see in the floating markets of Bangkok.

Bang Nampheung remains one of Bangkok’s completely under-the-radar floating markets, lacking the considerable tourist numbers that more popular markets get.

It’s also one of the most accessible markets, as it’s in Bangkok on the quieter bank of the Chao Phraya River in the city’s south.

The Thai-Mon community mainly runs the market, so plenty of local food and products are available.

Locally grown fruit, noodles, seafood and handmade souvenirs can all be found, and if you’re feeling hungry, a classic Thai mango or papaya salad with sticky rice will surely satisfy you. 

10- Old Bang Phli

Bang Phli usually wins the popularity and size prize of Bangkok’s’ oldest’ floating markets.

The market can be visited in half a day by taking the Skytrain to Bearing and then hopping in a taxi.

The best part about Bang Phli is that you can explore both by boat and on foot.

After floating down the waterways admiring the different vendors and perhaps picking up a snack, venture into the heart of the large wooden market to explore food, souvenir and clothes shops, local salons, massage shops and even pet shops.

The market began in 1857, and despite a fire, the original structure remains intact.

What was once a traditional, rural market filled with small rowing boats used to trade products has become one of Bangkok’s most popular and lively markets, with some of the friendliest people and the best local food.

Nonthaburi Province

aerial view of local person towing a long boat laden with wares
A typical long boat in a floating market in Bangkok.

11- Koh Kret Island

Very few people realise that Bangkok has its own island floating in the Chao Phraya River – although technically, it is artificial.

This means you’re only likely to spot other people on tours here who happen to know about it rather than crowds of visitors.

The island has a fantastic weekend floating market that offers great shopping for various products, from fresh produce to local wares.

The small island is covered in weekend stalls and it’s quite an experience to soak up the village atmosphere while shopping. 

Koh Kret is famous for its handmade terracotta pottery, which is only made on this island, and there are many shops to find a bowl or cup to take back with you.

12- Wat Sai

Wat Sai floating market competes with Amphawa for historical importance, being over 150 years old.

Located in the Chom Thong district of the city, this market is also not far from Bangkok proper and can easily be visited on a day trip.

Since early Chinese traders founded Wat Sai, the Chinese influence here is immediately apparent: stalls and boat sellers offer beautifully crafted ornaments, fans, clothing and other traditional Chinese products.

You can also enjoy a small break from Thai food and wolf down some delicious dim sum, Chinese noodles, rice and sweet desserts.

13- Bang Noi

aerial view of three boats with tourists and fruit vendors
Cruising past boats selling local fruit is a typical scene in many floating markets in Thailand.

With this floating market, you could likely roll two into one, as Bang Noi is just a short distance from Amphawa.

Although this floating market is more than 100 years old, most of the floating houses and stalls here were built around 40 years ago, when this stretch of water became an important trade route.

Bang Noi is very popular for its vast quantities of fresh fruit, such as lychees, dragonfruit and star apples, and traditional Thai cuisine and sweet treats, such as mango sticky rice and lemon pickles.

Many boat trips at Bang Noi also involve visiting the nearby Wat Sai, which dates back over 400 years, and the free-to-enter Tang Siam Ha Museum of Antiquities.

Nakhon Pathom Province

14- Don Wai

floating markets in bangkok
A typical scene in the floating markets of Bangkok: a vendor cooks up fried bananas in her wok on board a boat.

Don Wai is about 40km outside Bangkok and can be reached by taxi or private tour (if you can find one that goes there!).

It’s far less visited than many others due to the distance from Bangkok and delivers a more local experienced than Amphawa and Damnoen Saduak.

At Don Wai, the pace is slow, and you won’t find hundreds of boats crowding the water, but instead, you can enjoy a one-hour boat trip for around 80 baht and try a plethora of delicious Thai snacks, fruit, dishes and desserts along the way.

Famous things to try here include duck noodle soup, fish curry, rose apples and Khanom Khrok (coconut pudding).

However, no matter your tastes, you can find just about anything to eat here, from hot grilled pork skewers to freshly brewed coffee.

15- Bang Nok Kwaek

woman preparing a dish with rows of bowls with food and condiments
Food sellers prepare local dishes while floating around the markets.

Bang Nok Kwaek also makes a name for itself as one of Bangkok’s oldest floating markets, with the market and most of its wooden stalls dating back more than 100 years.

One of the things you’ll love about this market is that generally, the boat trips through here are free (although tips are always appreciated), and it is not too far from Amphawa, meaning you can combine the two.

The boat trips here give a true sense of life in the area, weaving among the other trading boats gliding along the water, showing you local homes and temples, meeting friendly locals and sampling delicious dishes.

Don’t miss out on trying a classic prawn Pad Thai, crab noodles and butter scallops for which the area is famous – but arrive early, as it’s only open between 7 am and 2 pm on weekends. 

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India Jayne trainor
India-Jayne Trainor is a British/Australian freelance writer, photographer and contributor to various online blogs and travel websites. She has travelled to almost 30 countries, most recently Cuba and Sri Lanka. Her work focuses on solo female travel, having spent two months backpacking alone through South East Asia as well as living in Germany for a year. Her favourite country to date has been Hong Kong, but she is happy in any country by the ocean. Her next destinations are Uzbekistan and a road trip through the American Mid-West. India is currently based in London, UK.