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The best way to fully immerse yourself in the richness of culture and color of Thailand is to get close and personal to the locals by visiting one of the popular floating markets in and around Bangkok. These humble shops on boats and along the canals support the lives of thousands of people and offer visitors a kaleidoscope experience of Thai culture, and authentic Thai food.
Admittedly these floating markets can be quite a distance from central Bangkok, but with the tips in this blog, you will learn how to get to the floating market in Bangkok on free shuttle buses (for some markets) and how to get to Damnoen Saduak floating market and others.
Earlier in 2023, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration launched the Bangkok free shuttle bus service to 4 floating markets as part of their initiative to promote tourism to the floating markets. The bus goes around in a circular route and takes you to 4 floating markets in Bangkok city, available on the weekend and holidays.
These 4 markets are closer to downtown Bangkok and are not as busy as their counterparts, the Damnoen Saduak and Amphawa floating market.
The bus takes you on a circular route between the 4 floating markets and the MRT Bang Khun Non.
How do you take the bus? Easy, if you live by the MRT, you’re in luck cause you can just take the MRT to Bang Khun Non station. If you don’t live by the MRT, consider taking multiple modes of transportation like motorbike taxis or BTS.
After arriving at the MRT Bang Khun Non station, head over to exit 3 and to street level. There you will find the BMA plate displaying the bus route.
If you want to see when your next bus is coming, or if the BMA Feeder bus is available on your day of visiting, we recommend downloading the Viabus app to track buses in Bangkok. After getting the app, click the dropdown button on the top and choose BMA feeder.
Our first stop is the Song Khlong floating market. This floating market is nestled between the Chak Phra and Taling Chan temple. Serving as the community’s source of fresh produce, the Song Khlong floating market offers a less touristy version of Thailand with authentic Thai snacks and gifts. At 8 in the morning, visitors can witness the locals giving alms to monks visiting the waterfront by boat, which is a truly tranquil experience.
Next, only a 7 minutes walk from Song Khlong floating market, the Taling Chan floating market offer a more lively atmosphere with tantalizing fragrance of food being grilled, and cooked on small longtail boats, locals purchasing and bargaining on their fresh produce, the Taling Chan will give you a sense of commerce, community and tradition fused together.
What’s even more special about the floating market is that it is known to have many and good massage parlors proving that you can really get a massage anywhere in Thailand!
Lastly, we have the Wat Saphan floating market as a smaller and less crowded floating market on the line. If you are looking to see a truly authentic floating market of Thailand, you can visit the Wat Saphan floating market.
It is definitely not as impressive as the other markets since there are fewer boats-stalls. We recommend visiting the Taling Chan floating market, Khlong Lat Mayom floating market, as well as the Wat Saphan floating market on your full day excursion.
Due to the market’s distance, the best option to reach it is by joining a tour that will take you from downtown Bangkok to the market and onto a longtail boat. Below is a list of tours to Damnoen Saduak floating market that will save you a lot of navigation:
The Amphawa floating market has got to be the most beautiful floating market in Bangkok. This one's-small community sits along the Mae Khlong River and houses gorgeous cafes, and waterfront eateries.
Local visiors often come to Amphawa floating market for the sights and the seafood. Unlike most other floating markets, the Amphawa floating market is open until late and completely transforms as the sun sets, with dazzling decoration lights and colors.
Another market along the Maekhlong river that deserves a visit is the Talad Rom Hoop or train market where you can watch vendors put up shop on the train track and hurriedly take it down as the train comes, which can be very exciting.
If interested, check out the tour for Talad Rom Hoop + Amphawa + Tha Kha floating market guided tour from Bangkok.
Tha Kha, with its serene ambiance and traditional charm, offers a glimpse into the Thailand of yesteryears. Vendors, mainly local farmers, and fishermen, ply their trade on wooden boats, providing an authentic and peaceful market experience.
Compared to the other top floating markets near Bangkok, the Tha Kha floating markey gives visitors a more raw, rural and just overall a more honest feel.
We recommend booking a tour that takes you to multiple floating markets in one day.
The next floating market is called Bang Nam Pheung floating market locating in Bang Krachao considered the most luscious green location in Bangkok.
Here you will find the local people who are majorly Thai-Mon descants. This intimate market might not offer the shops on longtail boats like other markets, but it promises delicious local food and desserts that deserve a visit.
Further away from Bangkok, if you are ever in Pattaya, make sure you give this floating market a visit. The Pattaya floating market is a cultural center made to mimic that of a floating market.
This is perfect for those wanting to see a replication of a riverside community with beautiful wooden shop houses offering scrumptious foods, desserts, and various souvenirs.
Get a discounted ticket to the Pattaya floating market, if you are in Pattaya and looking to visit this culture rich floating market.