Although these days in many places floating markets have become mainly tourist attractions, for many decades they were part of Thai daily life, until the motorbike supplanted the boat.
Their origin dates back to the reign of Rama IV, when between 1866 and 1868 a 32 km canal was created to join the Mae Klong and Tha Chin rivers. The inhabitants of the area carved out 200 small canals, and the floating markets began to appear.
Of those that still exist, the best known are Amphawa, Taling Chan, and Damnoen Saduak. Thanks to its size, location, variety of products, and design, Damnoen Saduak is the most famous and most popular: having been in films like The Man With the Golden Gun, and Bangkok Dangerous.
This is a market with shops both floating and in boats, selling clothes, gifts, food, and drinks. There are souvenir boats, pad thai boats, ice cream boats (try the coconut flavor), fruit, drinks...
By Boat and Foot
It's possible to visit the market both by foot and by boat. We recommend that you try both. The price of a private boat is 1,000 THB (US$ 30.40), although as always this price is negotiable. If you don't mind sharing, you can find a boat from 100 THB (US$ 3)
How to get there
If you want to travel worry-free, the easiest way to visit the floating market is to reserve our excursion to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market from Bangkok. It includes transport, a guide, a boat ride, a tasting of products, and a trip to the railway market - which is, if anything, even more unusual. You can reserve by clicking here.
If you would prefer to go on your own, you can take a bus from the southern bus terminal, or agree on a price with a taxi driver, likely to be about 1,200 THB (US$ 36.50) for a return journey.
Daily from 7 am to 12 midday. Depending on the time of year, it's usually less busy in the afternoons.