Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand (Guide & Review)

Read our review and guide to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand, and prepare for your visit with our first-hand travel tips.
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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.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand - most popular floating market near Bangkok - Guide & Review

Floating markets are popular places to visit in Southeast Asia to gain an insight into an almost lost tradition. Our first time at a floating market was in the deep south of Vietnam, at the Nga Nam Floating Market, about two hours south of Can Tho in the Mekong Delta.

Since then, we have been on many more, but mainly around the floating markets of Bangkok, including the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, which we describe and review in this guide.

Foreign tourists at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand - day trip from Bangkok
We stayed until the closing time at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and got locked in one of the shopping parts as everyone left around 5:15 PM. We had to find an alternative way out. 😅

The area around Bangkok is known for its bustling canals filled with vendors selling fresh produce, local treats, and handmade crafts, offering an authentic glimpse into traditional Thai life. Whether you’re a foodie, a culture enthusiast, or an adventurer, visiting markets like the one at Damnoen Saduak promises a great experience.

Boat with fresh fruit at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand

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About Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Nestled in the heart of Thailand, the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is a treat for all your senses. Vibrant colors, lively sounds, and a flight of tastes – it has it all!

The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Ratchaburi Province of Thailand dates back to the Ayutthaya Period, but a version of it has existed throughout Thailand’s history. In the past, people in this area conducted transport and daily commerce mostly along rivers, waterways, and canals, also known as khlongs. That’s how large floating markets like the one at Damnoen Saduak came to be.

Canals with row boats at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand

This over 100-year-old market is one of Thailand’s oldest remaining and most popular floating markets. It has long been teeming with farmers selling their goods on their long-tail Thai boats. Even today, the water network, which is over 32 kilometers long with more than 200 branches and canals, is busy with locals and tourists.

Foreign tourists on a boat tour at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand

Recommended Experiences

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market has three different parts/markets (Ton Khem, Hia Kui, and Khun Phitak), but the largest part is at Ton Khem, the closest and most visited one.

Vendors in row boats at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand

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Why is Damnoen Saduak Floating Market so famous?

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market has been a long-standing institution in the country, so much so that it’s almost synonymous with Thailand. Its popularity rose significantly after the 1970s when new roads made it even more accessible.

The floating market at Damnoen Saduak is famous for its long-tail and row boats, which comfortably seat at least 4 to 6 people and slowly glide along while conducting trade. It’s the perfect way to get close to an almost lost tradition in Thailand.

Vendor cooking food on a row boat at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand

But it’s not only the most popular floating market in Thailand but likely also in Southeast Asia.

While the Damnoen Saduak Market is the first choice for most tourists, we also have a list of other floating markets in Bangkok worth checking out if you don’t want to go to the most famous one.

At all those markets, Thai locals and foreign tourists visit the area to purchase goods and souvenirs, try local Thai delicacies, and immerse themselves in floating market culture.

Local Thai woman selling goods from row boat at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand

While tourism is the focus and where the majority of sales come for most vendors of this floating market, locals still visit it, much like all floating markets in Bangkok.

When we visited the Khlong Lat Mayom floating market, much closer to Bangkok, it was bustling, with locals doing their daily shopping. While it’s true that they were mainly at the market part, not on the river but right next to it, they still buy things from vendors selling things off their boats. For example, we saw a Thai gentleman buy bananas and other fruit from a lady in a rowboat.

Tourists shopping from vendors in row boats at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand

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What to expect at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

When visiting the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand, expect sensory overload. It’s lively, it’s vibrant, there are different smells, and it’s a shopping adventure like no other. You’re on a boat, which you can shop off. You simply purchase your food and souvenirs while you travel along the waters.

Vendor selling grilled bananas from a boat at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand
These small grilled bananas are an absolute delight! If you see small bananas in Thailand or Vietnam, buy them; they’re usually the best ones.

Please note that the market will be jam-packed with other tourists if you come at peak times.

But that is not to say you shouldn’t jump off your boat and explore. With a little walk, you can check the other side, where there could be fewer tourists, fewer boats, and arguably more different stalls and vendors.

Local tourists on a boat tour at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand

Check our hand-picked tours:

Recommended Experience

Things to do at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Some of our favorite things to do at the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market are:

  • Purchasing Thai gifts and souvenirs
  • Exploring the market area itself
  • Visiting nearby attractions
  • Going on “food ventures” – definitely try mango sticky rice, homemade coconut ice cream, banana pancakes, and fresh local fruits like pineapple, bananas, and durian (for more adventurous foodies)

Local Thai woman selling fruits from a row boat at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand
Who can say no to such delicious-looking fruit? Just by looking at the photo, we know that the mango this lady was selling was to die for!

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Damnoen Saduak Floating Market boat ride price

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).

The boat tour around Damnoen Saduak Floating Market lasts about one hour, enough time to see everything.

Boat tour - Boat ride price at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand

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Damnoen Saduak Floating Market opening hours

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market’s opening hours are from 7 a.m. to about 4 p.m., but it’s really open longer, as some vendors arrive at 6 a.m. and only leave until about 5 p.m.

The best time to visit Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is super early or a bit later in the afternoon when most tour buses and groups are gone. The busiest time is between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. when most tour groups are at the market.

Best time to visit Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand - opening hours
An almost empty Damnoen Saduak Floating Market late in the afternoon.

How to get to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

To get to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, you can drive, book an organized tour, take a taxi, or take a bus. The floating market is about an hour’s drive from Bangkok, but depending on your chosen method, total travel time may be up to 2 hours.

If you’re taking a taxi, know precisely where you want to be dropped off. Most drivers tend to bring visitors to local gift shops in the area, where they can earn commissions from your purchases. A great alternative is a private tour with a driver.

If you’re taking the public bus, you can ride from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai), where a bus (number 78) leaves for Damnoen Saduak District, Ratchaburi, every 60 minutes. Tickets are cheap at about 2 USD, and you can ride a bus as early as 6 in the morning.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Tours

While it’s convenient to get to the market by yourself, we suggest booking a combo tour that visits both the Damnoen Saduak Market and Maeklong Railway Market.

Some tours visit even more spots, like the Amphawa Floating Market located in Samut Songkhram near the train market. This top-rated Damnoen Saduak Tour also visits a Coconut Sugar Farm and Salt Farm.

Our hand-picked tours

Best tours of Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand - Bangkok day trip to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

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Where to stay near Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Opting to stay overnight near the floating market is a great idea if you plan to visit more nearby spots like the Amphawa Floating Market and Maeklong Railway Market.

We hand-picked a great selection of hotels:

Final thoughts – Is it worth visiting?

While many call Damnoen Saduak Floating Market a tourist trap, we still think it’s worth visiting. It offers a chance to experience something unique and traditional in these parts of Thailand.

Is it extremely touristy? Yes. Is it overpriced? Yes. But is it an unmissable thing while in Bangkok? Also, yes.

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.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Bangkok, Thailand - How to visit - travel guide

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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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