Are you looking for a unique shopping experience in Bangkok, Thailand? Then check out a floating market where you can grab some bargains and exotic Thai food. The concept may seem awkward, but once you find yourself in the middle of a floating market, you’ll love it. At some locations, you can only explore by boat. If you don’t want to paddle, you can hire boatmen for a cheap price. They’ll stop by various shops by the river so you can browse through all the interesting Thai cuisines and souvenirs. To get you started, we’ve highlighted the best-floating markets in Bangkok for you to explore.
1. Ayothaya Markets
This floating market is located north of Bangkok, in the Ayutthaya province, right next to the Elephant Camp.If yo u go trekking, you can’t miss it. The entrance is free and you can roam around at your leisure. Besides the usual souvenir shops and food stalls, it offers a variety of shows and riverboat rides.
- Opening Hours: Daily 9am-6pm
- Address: ตำบล ไผ่ลิง อำเภอ พระนครศรีอยุธยา Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, 13000, Thailand
2. Taling Chan Floating Market
If you are in Bangkok and you want something closer, this floating market is actually in the city. Compared to Damnoen Saduak, it’s not quite as lively but still worth a visit. It’s a common stop on daily tours in Bangkok, so check it out if you want a taste of an authentic Thai floating market. Try Thai desserts, fruits, and other interesting foods.
- Opening Hours: Weekends 9am-5pm
- Address: Thailand, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, Bangkok, Chim phli Rd
3. Tha Kha Floating Market
This floating market is located in the Samut Songkhram area and is a good synthesis of the two above. There are not many tourists, but boat merchants are numerous and colorful. It’s enough to quench your thirst for local tradition. Besides the fact that it is difficult to reach, the Kha is a worthwhile visit, and you can easily hire boat rides from the market to soak in the experience. For this floating market, we’d definitely recommend hiring a local guide so you don’t get lost!
- Opening Hours: Weekends 6am-3pm
- Address: Tha Kha, Amphawa District, Samut Songkhram 75110, Thailand
Also in Samut Songkhram, this market used to be a favorite place for Thai tourists. While the internet made it popular for “farangs” as well, it is a good mixture between the riverside market and Tha Kha. It’s most lively in the afternoon when locals stop by for groceries.
- Opening Hours: Friday to Sunday 10am-9:30pm
- Address: Amphawa, Amphawa District, Samut Songkhram 75110, Thailand
5. Bang Noi
Not far from the Amphawa floating market, this one goes way back for more than a century. So if you’re looking for something with tradition, but not necessarily as picturesque, this is the place for you. The quality of the hand-made souvenirs is superior to that of the craftsmen in other markets. Mainly because of its prestige, and it is only open on weekends.
- Opening Hours: Weekends 8am-8pm
- Address: Kradangnga, Bang Khonthi District, Samut Songkhram 75120, Thailand
6. Bang Nok Kwaek
Also located in Samut Songkhram, this is another market of old, but without the fuss surrounding the one in Amphawa. It offers a vintage atmosphere, with the spirit of the good old shopkeepers of distant times. It is probably the best place to go if you want a chill environment, untainted by tourists. River tours are available at the location as well.
- Opening Hours: Weekends 9am-4pm
- Address: 21-22/1 Bang Nok Kwaek, Bang Khonthi District, Samut Songkhram 75120, Thailand
7. Bang Nampheung Floating Market
A relatively young floating market, this one is located in the Samut Prakan Province, built along a tributary of the Chao Phraya River. It is famous for souvenirs and hand-crafted items. Most locals come here since the products sold here are more foreign to Thailand. There are a lot of fruits and foods that are generally not found in the country. It’s not the best place to see a typical floating market, but still relaxing if you want to check it out. Some boats are available to rent, but make sure you arrive before 2pm.
- Opening Hours: Weekends 8am-2pm
- Address: Soi Bua Phueng Phatthana, Bang Kobua, Phra Pradaeng District, Samut Prakan 10130, Thailand
8. Muang Boran (at Ancient City)
This floating market is part of the Ancient City of Siam outdoor museum in Bangkok. It is filled with architectural miniatures of important effigies in Thailand. Among the attractions, the Muang Boran market is great for getting a glimpse of traditional Thai life, especially if you don’t have time to visit another floating market. The houses and architecture are particularly well maintained. The whole market is connected by wooden bridges, offering a great setting for photos, and as usual, the food is extraordinary.
- Opening Hours: Daily 9am-7pm
- Address: หมู่ที่ 7 296/1 Sukhumvit Rd, Bang Pu Mai, Mueang Samut Prakan District, Samut Prakan 10280, Thailand
9. Damnoen Saduak Floating Markets
Probably the most popular floating market in Thailand, Damnoen Saduak is located about 100 kilometers outside Bangkok. It offers the most authentic feel of the archaic lifestyle, making it ideal for pictures. You’ll get to witness the real Thailand tradition at this floating market. If you want to avoid tourist crowds, you should go there early, preferably before 9 am.
- Opening Hours: Daily 7am-5pm
- Address: Damnoen Saduak, Damnoen Saduak District, Ratchaburi 70130, Thailand
10. Khlong Lat Mayom
Another market mainly for the locals, this one is very easy to reach. From the center of Bangkok, it’s about 100 baht by cab. It is very close to Taling Chan, so if you are hunting for floating markets, you can easily visit two on the same day. In Khlong Lat Mayom you will probably be the only tourist. But unlike Bang Nampheung, this is a 100% traditional Thai market. It’s probably the most recommended in Bangkok if you want to get the best out of floating market visits: authenticity, relaxation, and lack of tourist fuss.
- Opening Hours: Weekends 8am-5pm
- Address: 30/1 หมู่ที่ 15 Bang Ramat Rd, Bang Ramat, Taling Chan, Bangkok 10170, Thailand
11. Pattaya Floating Market
The city of Pattaya hosts the largest floating market in the world – over 100000 square meters. If you haven’t seen any before, you should know it is a peerless experience. Split into four parts, each representing a region of Thailand, it is probably the most complete floating market. You can find virtually anything. There is no dish that can escape your grasp. You’ll see all the Thai regions and eras represented, houses of various architectural styles, hand-made craftwork, daily feature shows, and a wood-carving museum. It is open every day from 10am to 11pm and the entrance fee is 200 baht.
- Opening Hours: Daily 9am-6pm
- Address: 45 304 หมู่ที่ 12 Sukhumvit Rd, Muang Pattaya, Bang Lamung District, Chon Buri 20150, Thailand
Whether you are a fan of bargaining or not, the floating markets are a must-visit. They’re one of the most iconic traditions of Asia. If you are visiting one, make sure you have your bargaining hat on, and you might grab some real local gems!