Bangkok is one of the most popular destinations in Thailand. Besides luxurious shopping malls, this city also offers a very interesting way to shop – floating markets. If you get the opportunity to travel there, don’t miss floating markets below.
Taling Chan Floating Market
This one of the closest floating markets to Bangkok city itself, although it’s still a few kilometres away. Taling Chan is small and still fairly traditional. It isn’t a sprawling network of canals with boats moored along them. The boats at this floating market in Bangkok are positioned along the edge of the pier and it is perhaps more like a riverside market. That being said you do have the opportunity to take a short boat trip while you are there, after which you can sit and relax with one of the sea food snacks that the market is famous for. After your food you can take to the shade of the trees and enjoy a foot massage. One thing to be aware of at Taling Chan is that there may be mosquitos about, so dress appropriately and be prepared.
Wat Sai Floating Market
If you’re looking for floating markets in Bangkok then Wat Sai is only about a half hour drive from the city centre. The old floating market here was a thriving centre for locals to gather at, and a popular tourist sight, until the construction of new roads led to the site being abandoned. Wat Sai wasn’t that easy to shut down though and its recent resurgence has brought life back to the area. You can take a trip along a canal to enter the market and the trip itself is eye opening. You get to see Thai life close up as it unfolds before your eyes. Once you reach the market itself the food is the stand out experience with plenty of fresh local produce for sale.
Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market
Situated in the same district as Taling Chan, Khlong Lat Mayom is one of the more recent additions to the list of floating markets in Bangkok. Ironically it has more of a traditional feel than some of the larger, long established floating markets. This is largely due to the fact that it isn’t a major tourist spot just yet and is more favoured by the local people. That isn’t to say it doesn’t get busy from when it opens at 8am on weekends and public holidays, so it’s best to get there early. Khlong Lat Mayom was opened as a local initiative following the success of Taling Chan, and it prides itself on having a larger selection of locally grown organic produce than the other market. The wide variety of stalls at the market are situated both on land and on water. You can take your time wandering along the canal bank, or through an orchard, while perusing the products on offer. If you want to extend your trip, and travel a little further afield, you can embark on a 90 minute boat trip which takes you to see some of Thailand’s rural life.
Bang Phli Floating Market
Whether this should actually be referred to as one of the floating markets in Bangkok is open to debate as a lot of the stalls are actually located in wooden shop houses along wooden walkways either side of the Samrong Canal. However, there is water based activity and there is an effort being made to do more vending from boats. Bang Phli floating market is located 29 kilometres (18 miles) from Bangkok city centre but is relatively easy to reach. You can take a Skytrain to BTS Bearing then hire a taxi for the twenty minute ride to Bang Phli.
If you want to see traditional Thailand then it’s definitely worth the trip. You won’t find as many goods catered to tourists and you won’t hear a lot of English spoken, but you will get the chance to mingle with local people and eat great tasting locally produced food. While you are at the site you can take time to visit the local temple which is home to a famous Luang Pho To image. Travel to the area in October and you may see the lotus throwing festival where a copy of the image is placed in a boat and paraded up and down the water as local people line the banks and throw lotus petals at the boat.
Amphaa Floating Market
This floating market is a little further from Bangkok city centre, approximately 50 kilometres (31 miles), but it’s well worth the journey which tales approximately one and a half hours. One way of getting to Amphawa from the centre of Bangkok is to take a bus from the Southern Bus Terminal to Samut Songkram town and then hire a local songthaew, or shared taxi, to take you the rest of the way. You also have the option of hiring a taxi to take you the entire journey but you should remember to negotiate a price before you leave. Once you reach the market, which lies on the Amphawa canal, you’ll find it’s catered a lot more for Thai natives than foreign nationals, with the emphasis on Thai favourites, such as arts and crafts postcards and quirky cute clothing. This is part of the attraction of Amphawa; you’re not greeted by a wall of tacky tourist souvenirs. There’s no doubt that there is a tourist element to this market but a lot of the tourists are from within Thailand.
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