Last Updated on: 21st December 2023, 07:22 pm

Visiting a floating market in Bangkok was one of the highlights of my trip to Thailand. Even though it is one of the most touristy things you can do in Bangkok, this activity still has a special charm to it.

Exploring Bangkok’s famous floating markets offers travelers a glimpse into a charming slice of Thai culture. These lively gathering places for trading produce and goods from boats provide the chance for unique photos, savory tastes, and local shopping.

damnoen saduak floating market

Image by Jason Goh from Pixabay

So what’s the best way to visit Thailand’s top floating markets?

My vote goes to booking a floating market day tour. The driver would pick you up from your hotel, drive you to the beginning of the boat ride, and then wait for you behind the floating market by the end of your boat trip.

Such tours usually include a boat ride on the canals, so you get to see a hidden part of Bangkok, with houses built on pillars right on the water, with dirt, mud and colorful details that make a striking contrast with the surroundings.

Other ways of visiting a floating market near Bangkok include public transport, private taxi, and hiring an independent tour guide.

Opt for a Small Group Tour Over Individual Exploration

Unless you’re deeply familiar with Bangkok’s outlying districts, opting for a floating market day tour ensures maximum enjoyment.

Knowledgeable guides handle all transportation details, offering knowledgeable commentary along the way. This allows you to fully immerse in cultural observations, tasty bites, and shopping detours without hassles.

Key benefits of a small group tour to the floating markets:

* Transport by longtail boat, tuk tuk or minivan – no public transit woes
* Guided commentary highlighting cultural traditions and import
* Built-in opportunities to sample tasty Thai delicacies
* Free time afterwards to peruse colorful vendors and stalls

Go Early for the Best Experience

These attractions grow crowded by mid-morning with tourists arriving in throngs to enjoy the bustling atmosphere for an hour or two.

The magic is greatly diminished when you’re shoulder-to-shoulder with others fighting for the perfect selfie.

Rise before dawn to beat the rush – not only will you see the markets as they come alive at sunrise, you’ll savor the scenery and culture with far fewer people around.

Some key perks of getting to the floating markets early:

* Watch Thai vendors arrive by boat and set up colorful fruit and flower displays on the banks
* Browse heirloom handicrafts and tasty treats before heavy crowds sweep in
* Capture stunning photos when the light is soft and markets are most serene
* Enjoy optimum people-watching as locals barter shop the stalls

damnoen saduak floating market

Image by Jason Goh from Pixabay

Top Floating Markets Near Bangkok

Bangkok serves as the gateway to several noteworthy floating markets each offering their own character and charm:

Damnoen Saduak

Over 100 years old, this famous spot buzzes with vendors floating produce-laden boats through congested canals. Located 60 miles southwest.

Taling Chan

Operating only on weekends, this floating market has an authentic local vibe with specialty food stalls. 12 miles northwest of Bangkok.

Bang Ku Wiang

A renovated retro market exhibiting old-fashioned Thai culture, customs, and crafts along the canal. Located 5 miles south of city center.

Which floating market near Bangkok appeals most depends on your priority.

I don’t know whether the floating markets are one of the differences between Thailand and Indonesia, but they surely are cool.

how to visit a floating market in Bangkok

Image by Jason Goh from Pixabay

But by going early via guided tour, you’re ensured a magical experience irrespective of where you go. Avoid hot mid-day hours when the markets lose much luster from sizeable crowds.

Violeta Matei