The floating markets in Bangkok are among the city's star attractions. Almost every traveller has a visit to at least one on their first trip here. The colours, chaos, flavours and atmosphere are unique, and the novelty of buying a snack from a passing boat takes some beating. However, many will be discouraged by the distance, the price of the tour and definitely the ludicrously early wake-up time needed to get there early enough to enjoy the experience properly. Who wants to get up at 5am while on holiday?
But why even bother waking up so early when there are actually several floating markets around Bangkok open all day, including a small but very nice one just 12km from Siam Paragon? You can be there before lunch without having to sacrifice your sleep! Let's take a look at some of the best floating markets so that you can decide which has the atmosphere, the look and the location that's right for you.
- Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Tour
- Banyan Tree's Apsara Dinner Cruise
- Vertigo & Moon Bar Rooftop Dining
- Ayutthaya Ancient Capital Tour with River Cruise
- Shangri-La Hotel's Buffet Dinner Cruise
- Bridge on the River Kwai & Historic Railway Tour
- Siam Niramit Dinner Show
- Calypso Bangkok Cabaret Show
- Chao Phraya River Dinner Cruise
- Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha Half-Day Tour
Interested in this tour? Book it here.
Damnoen Saduak has been Thailand's best known floating market for a very long time, but that also makes it one of the most touristy ones. It's popularity comes, in no small part, from its use as a setting in the 1974 James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun.
It's huge, lively, full of boats selling food and fruits, and it's colourful – exactly how people imagine a floating market will look like, with the opportunity to capture the perfect photo to show off once back home. However, it's also about 100 km away from Bangkok and, being a victim of its own success, it lacks the authentic atmosphere, feeling more like a theme park than a real local market. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 7am to 5pm
- Location: Damnoen Saduak, Ratchaburi 70130, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)87 969 3428
Amphawa is a very popular floating market in Thailand, located 90 km south-west of Bangkok. It's cute and fun and very authentic, with many little wooden houses neatly lined up along the canal, selling souvenirs, snacks and sweets. Don't miss the amazing little temple swallowed by a giant tree located across the river.
On the downside, it gets incredibly crowded! Past midday, it feels like half the population of Bangkok has moved to Amphawa! To avoid that, make it a morning trip, have an early seafood lunch on the river banks and get a little longtail boat cruise when the rest of the herd just starts eating. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Friday–Sunday from 11am to 9.30pm (closed Monday–Thursday)
- Address: Amphawa, Samut Songkhram 75110, Thailand
Taling Chan is one of our favourite floating markets near Bangkok as it has just the right amount of everything. Located only 12 km from downtown Bangkok, Taling Chan is open all day and has just enough boats to be called a floating market, plus a large local market attached to it. There are small longtail boat cruises to take you around the nearby khlongs and get a relaxing glimpse of the surrounding area. It perhaps lacks the old-world charm of other markets, but it has the more genuine feel to it. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Saturday–Sunday from 8am to 5pm
- Location: Village No 15, 30/1 Bang Ramat Rd, Bang Ramat, Taling Chan, Bangkok 10170, Thailand
Khlong Lat Mayom is a medium-sized floating market located really close to Bangkok. It's a really local market and you might be one of the very few foreigners around. The main market itself is on solid ground but is very interesting and a chance to sample all kinds of fun sweets and fruits. As it's located just near Taling Chan Floating Market, it is better to combine both markets on the same morning.
On the downside, not being a major tourist attraction, the Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market lacks the size of the more famous ones. You might only see 10 floating vendors at the most, with no option for a longtail boat cruise to explore the area. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Saturdays–Sundays from 8am to 5pm (closed on weekdays)
- Location: 15-30/1 Bang Ramat Rd, Bang Ramat, Taling Chan, Bangkok 10170, Thailand
Bang Nam Pheung floating market is one of the smallest but also one of the closest to central Bangkok – only about 20 km away. But closest doesn't mean most accessible and a taxi might be the only way to get there. Despite its modest size, the market has a very interesting choice of food to sample and a lovely location in 'The Lung of Bangkok': a relatively untouched sanctuary of nature protected by a curve in the river.
On the other hand, with only about 6 boats, the market can barely be described as "floating". You can't get the chaotic and kaleidoscopic photos here that you would at the larger markets. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Friday–Sunday from 8am to 2pm (closed Monday–Thursday)
- Location: Bang Nam Phueng, Phra Pradaeng, Samut Prakan 10130, Thailand