Travel Guide to 5 Best Floating Markets in Bangkok, Thailand

Find the best floating markets in Bangkok and read our first-hand travel tips to these star attractions in Central Thailand.
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Arijana & Matej

Croatian-Slovenian full-time travel duo, photographers, bloggers and travel journalists for over 4 years. We write in-depth travel guides about destinations we have personally visited, providing practical travel tips and recommendations.

Travel Guide to Best Floating Markets in Bangkok, Thailand - are floating markets in Bangkok worth visiting? which is the best Bangkok floating market

Anyone planning a visit to Thailand has almost certainly seen a photo or video of a floating market in Bangkok. The lively ambiance, various local products, and different flavors of food make them must-visit places in Bangkok.

Bangkok floating markets allow you to get an insight into an almost lost tradition. Our first time at a floating market in the deep south of Vietnam at the Nga Nam Floating Market, about 2 hours south of Can Tho.

Since then, we have been on many more floating markets in Thailand, mostly in and around Bangkok, as this part of Central Thailand is the most famous for them.

Riverside house - houses along khlongs (canals) in Bangkok - best floating markets in Bangkok
A typical traditional house found along the canals (khlongs) of Bangkok. We saw many of these on a boat ride at one of the floating markets.

Recommended Experiences

Bangkok is a kind of “Venice of the East,” with countless canals. In the past, residents used these waterways to travel from one point to another and to sell goods to international merchants and others by boat.

Even with today’s modernization, the floating markets of Bangkok remain famous among citizens. Over the years, they have garnered the attention of tourists and become top destinations for trying mouth-watering Thai food and purchasing souvenirs. While many floating markets around Bangkok are accompanied by a market on the shore (where most shopping is done), they’re still very much worth visiting.

Travel Guide to Best Floating Markets in Bangkok, Thailand - are floating markets in Bangkok worth visiting? which is the best Bangkok floating market

In this travel guide, we list the best floating markets in Bangkok to help you determine which one is ideal for your visit based on its atmosphere, price range, and location.

Looking for a fast answer? Our top choice is the Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market, but the most famous one is the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, which you can easily reach by booking this favorite tour.

List of the best floating markets in Bangkok

Note: Most of the floating markets we list in this article are located in the Bangkok area, but not directly in the center of Bangkok, but rather on the outskirts. Some are easily reached, but some require up to a two-hour drive in rush hour. Read our travel and transport recommendations for each one to get a better idea.

1. Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market

Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market is known for giving a genuine Thai water market experience and relaxed ambiance. It is situated in Taling Chan district, just 20 to 30 minutes from the city center by car. Hence, if you’re staying downtown, this place can be one of your stops if you don’t want to travel further away.

Boat vendors at the best floating market in Bangkok - Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market

While it’s considered a floating market, not all vendors are on boats. There is a big market with many stalls on each side of the canal.

Big covered market at the Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market - best floating markets in Bangkok

This Bangkok floating market offers fresh produce, such as fruits and vegetables, but you can also buy street food and desserts. The variety of food offered at Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market makes it a fantastic place to try Thai dishes like Pad Thai, Chicken Satay, and Kanom Jeen – and more!

We even found some delicious vegetarian food from an all-vegetarian food stall. Absolutely delicious!

Street Food stall at the best floating market in Bangkok - Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market
This vegan street food stall had AMAZING food.

OPENING HOURS

Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market is only open on weekends, from 8 am to 5 pm.

The Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market also sells an array of clothes and souvenirs. You are free to haggle to get the best deal, but please note that prices at this market are already quite affordable compared to other floating markets in Bangkok and shopping malls in the city.

Fresh vegetables sold and fruits sold at floating markets in Bangkok, Thailand

You have two options to explore this floating market in Bangkok. You can walk along the canal banks or ride a shared boat for 100 THB (around 2.7 USD) for a tour of one to two hours. Some boat trips will bring you to the surrounding canals, allowing you to see a temple, an orchid farm, a local homestay, or other markets like Wat Saphan Floating Market.

Going on a boat ride at the best floating markets in Bangkok - Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market
Views from the boat.
Going on a boat ride at the best floating markets in Bangkok - Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market - orchid farm
One of the stops of the boat tour.

This boat tour was a highlight of all the floating markets we visited in Bangkok. We loved it because it visited another market, plus a few other chill spots.

Watch our YouTube video to see our experience visiting the Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market in Bangkok.

2. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Damnoen Saduak is one of Bangkok’s oldest and busiest floating markets. Set in Thailand’s longest straight man-made canal, the market became famous for its many locals doing business on their wooden boats.

Best floating markets in Bangkok - best floating markets in Thailand - lady selling fresh fruit from a row boat

OPENING HOURS

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is open every day from 7 AM to 4 PM. Keep in mind that it is the most crowded between 8 and 10 am when most tour groups arrive. We came to the market at Damnoen Saduak in the afternoon, and had a more pleasant experience.

Upon arrival at this Bangkok floating market, you can board a boat and traverse the canal waters. The price for a Damnoen Saduak Floating Market boat ride can range anywhere from 200-800 baht (6 to 20 USD), depending on the boat you plan on taking around.

Cheap traditional rowboat rides cost around 200-300 baht (6 – 8 USD), and motorboat rides go from 600-800 baht (15 – 20 USD). Beware of scammers who will charge you double for an hour-long tour!

Foreign tourists taking a boat at the best floating market in Bangkok - Damnoen Saduak

During the boat ride, you can see the stalls and browse the items on sale up close. You will find a good selection of fruits, vegetables, and Thai dishes you shouldn’t miss tasting. You can also look forward to seeing handmade products like bags and hats, artwork, wooden kitchenware, and clothing.

However, note that the prices of goods in this market are expensive, so it might not be suitable for budget travelers.

Best floating markets in Bangkok - best floating markets in Thailand - lady selling fresh fruit from a row boat

Another aspect that makes Damnoen Saduak the best floating market in Bangkok, besides busy boats and booths, is seeing traditional Thai houses as you cruise through the canal. We really liked that part the most when we took a boat tour at Khlong Lat Mayom. It’s the perfect way to get closer to the area, which is usually hard to get to on foot (or impossible).

Best floating markets in Bangkok - best floating markets in Thailand - row boats in the khlongs - canals

You can reach Damnoen Saduak Floating Market by bus from Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai) from where you can get a ride for about 90 THB (2 USD).

We recommend this tour with a boat ride, which also includes a visit to the famous Maeklong Railway Market.

Best floating market in Bangkok - Damnoen Saduak Floating Market - Thailand

Recommended Experience

3. Amphawa Floating Market

Located in a small canal of the Mae Khlong River is the bustling Amphawa Floating Market. Visting will reward you with an incredible dining and shopping experience, making it one of the three best floating markets in Bangkok besides Damnoen Saduak and Khlong Lat Mayom.

Best floating markets in Bangkok, Thailand - Amphawa Floating Market

OPENING HOURS

Amphawa Floating Market is open from Friday to Sunday, from 2 pm to 9 pm, so it’s also essentially a kind of night market (that closes quite early).

It’s a semi-rural market with stalls on dry land, along the canal, and some boat vendors. Many of them offer mouthwatering Thai cuisine, especially seafood. Choose from fish, crabs, prawns, squids, and mussels.

Best floating markets in Bangkok, Thailand - Amphawa Floating Market

This floating market in Bangkok also has an impressive selection of Thai snacks, sweet treats, refreshments, and fresh produce. In terms of locally made products, you’ll see clothes, handmade bags, wallets, and customized hats, among others.

Riding a longtail boat is the best way to see the stalls, market boats, or even the traditional houses and temples along the canal at Amphawa Floating Market. You can take a shared boat for 50 THB or a private tour for 500 THB for an hour. The price is incredibly more affordable compared to Damnoen Saduak.

Best floating markets in Bangkok, Thailand - boat vendor at Amphawa Floating Market
Riverside restaurant at Amphawa Floating Market

One downside, however, is the long journey before you reach the market. The usual trip from Bangkok takes about two hours, and if there’s heavy traffic, it can take even longer. That’s why we recommend renting a car or booking this top-rated guided tour, which also includes Maeklong Railway Market.

By bus, you need to first get to Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai) from where you can get a ride for about 90 THB (2 USD). On the other hand, taxis to Amphawa Floating Market cost about 50 USD roundtrip.

To book transport in Asia, we always use this platform, the top transport booking platform in the region for flights, trains, buses, and taxis. Their user-friendly platform makes booking a breeze.

4. Tha Kha Floating Market

Tha Kha is another Bangkok floating market on the small side, yet it boasts a laidback atmosphere and an authentic feel.

Fewer tourists come to the place mainly because it’s in Samut Songkhram province, an hour away by car from Bangkok. So, you’ll see that most buyers are nearby villagers or Thai daytrippers from Bangkok.

Best floating markets in Bangkok, Thailand - Tha Kha floating market

OPENING HOURS

Tha Kha Floating Market is open only every Saturday and Sunday, from 6 am to 2 pm.

Food is the main highlight at Tha Kha Floating Market, like most floating markets in Bangkok. You can expect a full display of Thailand’s exotic fruits and vegetables, including some you won’t be familiar with.

Street food is also available, and grilled chicken skewers, coconut sugar, and fried oyster omelets are a must-try. You can also find provincial dishes, like Khao Tom Mad and Hoy Tod fried eggs, desserts, and seafood.

The Tha Kha floating market boat ride is affordable at 50 THB per person (or 250 THB per boat) to shop around or visit nearby villages, farms, and orchards. The trip usually takes 20 minutes to an hour.

Bridges crossing the canals at the best floating markets in Bangkok

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5. Wat Saphan Floating Market

Wat Saphan Floating Market is one of the stops on the boat tour from the Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market. It’s mostly visited by tourists from exactly that boat ride. It’s also how we came to Wat Saphan Floating Market.

It’s much smaller than the nearby market at Khlong Lat Mayom, but you can still find great locally grown fruits and vegetables, as well as tempting street food and handicrafts.

Boat ride to the best floating market in Bangkok, Thailand

OPENING HOURS

Wat Saphan Floating Market is only open every Saturday and Sunday, from 8 am to 3:30 pm.

We personally wouldn’t go out of the way to visit Wat Saphan Floating Market. But since it’s part of the boat ride from Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market, it’s still a good stop. We got some fresh coconut and coconut ice cream here before returning to the boat for the ride back through the khlongs of Bang Noi.

Adjacent to the market is a temple where you will find gold Buddha statues and where you can witness Thai Buddhists making offerings.

Besides bringing you closer to the vendors, your longtail boat service will take you down the Bang Noi canal to let you enjoy the relaxed vibe and take in the neighborhood sights.

Boat ride in the canals - khlongs - best floating markets in Bangkok, Thailand

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Best Bangkok floating market tours

While we’re big supporters of DIY (do it yourself) day trips from Bangkok, if you’re not willing to spend more time on transport and organizing your day perfectly to fit everything you want to see, a guided tour of floating markets is the best choice.

Here are our hand-picked and top-rated Bangkok floating market tours:

We explored all these markets by renting a scooter. However, due to the distances, renting a car would have been smarter, especially because we also visited the Maeklong Railway Market on the same day (a popular choice for a day trip).

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Best time to visit floating markets in Bangkok

You can visit Bangkok floating markets throughout the year, but the best time of day to visit floating markets in Bangkok depends on which you want to see, as they differ in opening hours.

But for most markets, the perfect time is early morning, before traffic gets on your nerves and before all tour groups arrive, especially at Damnoen Saduak. Mornings are also when most boats and stalls sell food and local products and when temperatures are cooler. 

When visiting afternoon markets, it’s best to come as soon as they open. But for Amphawa, it’s worth staying for sunset and then also into the night to see the fireflies on an evening boat ride.

For the best photos of busy Bangkok’s floating markets, like Damnoen, the best time is about 9 a.m. when the boats are still full of all the goods and there are lots of them.

Vendor cooking food on a boat at a floating market in Bangkok - best time to visit floating markets

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Tips for visiting Bangkok floating markets

Here are some tips for making the most of your visit to the floating markets in Bangkok.

Take public transportation – Taxis are a usual way to get around Bangkok, but fees can be expensive, so your best choice is to take public transport to reach farther floating markets at an affordable price.

Dress lightly – It’s hot anywhere in Bangkok and also on the floating markets, especially if you visit in the middle of the day. So dress lightly to combat it.

Bring rain gear – Bangkok’s weather can be unpredictable, so we advise you to bring a small umbrella, a raincoat, or a lightweight jacket to keep you dry in case the rain pours (which can happen anytime).

Be frugal – You will surely be tempted to buy food and products at floating markets in Bangkok. In general, haggling/bargaining at Damnoen Saduak is a good idea as prices are greatly inflated, but that’s not needed somewhere like Tha Kha or even Khlong Lat Mayom.

Where to stay near Bangkok floating markets

Staying overnight near the floating markets in Bangkok is a great idea if you plan to visit more of them in one day or if you want to visit nearby spots like the Amphawa Floating Market and Maeklong Railway Market. In that case, staying near Damnoen Saduak is the best choice.

We hand-picked a great selection of hotels:

Frequently Asked Questions

Are floating markets in Bangkok and Thailand fake?

Many consider the floating markets in Bangkok to be a completely fake thing made only for tourists and not authentic. And while it’s partially true that these markets exist to this day because of the tourists that visit/shop there, that’s not the whole truth. No matter the realness or fakeness, it’s still the best way to get up close to a very real, almost lost tradition of trading on the rivers and canals of Central Thailand.

Which floating markets in Bangkok can you reach by public transport?

You can reach most of Bangkok’s floating markets by public transport, but the easiest is the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, as it has the most connecting buses throughout the day, leaving from the Southern Bus Terminal.

What is the most famous floating market in Bangkok?

The most famous floating market in Bangkok and all of Thailand is Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. While it’s technically located in another neighboring province, it’s mostly visited from Bangkok.

Are floating markets in Bangkok open every day?

Most floating markets in Bangkok are open from early morning, about 7 a.m., until at least midday, but usually until about 4 p.m. Most floating markets operate on weekends, but the Damnoen Saduak market is open every day.

Which is the least crowded floating market in Bangkok?

The least crowded is the Tha Kha floating market.

What is the easiest way to reach floating markets near Bangkok?

The easiest way to reach floating markets near Bangkok is by your own mode of transport like riding a bike or driving a car. Although tours make the most sense. They sort out the transport, plus allow you to visit more spots in a day.

Do you need a tour of floating markets in Bangkok?

While we highly recommend a tour to visit floating markets in Bangkok, it is not required. You can simply show up at one of the markets and organize a boat ride on the spot by yourself.

Crossing bridges at floating markets in Bangkok, Thailand

Recommended Experiences

Is visiting floating markets in Bangkok worth it?

Yes, it is definitely worth visiting a Bangkok floating market. It’s a unique and memorable experience, even though it is super touristy. You can get an insight into traditional Thai culture, history, and commerce, sample delicious street food, and shop for souvenirs.

We loved visiting the floating markets in Bangkok and are always happy to return because of the great atmosphere, delicious food, and friendly people in a nice environment.

Covered market area at the best floating market in Bangkok - Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market
Cozy atmosphere at the not-floating part of Khlong Lat Mayom, our favorite floating market in Bangkok

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Arijana & Matej

Full-time travelers, photographers, bloggers and travel journalists.

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We're Arijana and Matej, a couple and travel blogging duo from Croatia and Slovenia who thrive while slow-traveling. And we have been doing it for over 4 years.

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