Every country has something unique to call their own. If it’s not the crowds of India, it’s the ritual of a siesta in Spain or the street food of China. Thailand too has one such unique aspect- the floating markets- that are so looked forward to by both tourists and locals alike. A floating market is nothing but vendors occupying places by a canal in their canoes where they sell fresh produce as well as ready-to-eat delicacies. A favorite past time on the weekends, plan your Thailand trip itinerary keeping the floating markets in mind.
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The Amphawa floating market is particularly popular amongst the local folks. A short ride from Bangkok, scores of localities flock to the village of Amphawa to shop for the week. The biggest floating market of the country, it’s not as frequented by tourists as the other markets in Bangkok; if you want to experience some local culture, head over to the Amphawa floating market. Whilst you’re there, treat your taste buds to some exquisite barbequed seafood frying on many-a-boats. Open all day long; check the bus schedule before you leave.
2. Damnoen Saduak:
Open only from 9 am to noon, the Damnoen Saduak floating market is perpetually thronged by tourists and is fast becoming one of the least preferred floating markets of Thailand. Unless you’re pressed for time or have no interest in actually delving into the know-how of the floating markets, you could skip the Damnoen Saduak altogether. Owing to the huge tourist influx it sees, this floating market is presented better with exorbitant prices; don’t bother haggling! The best time to visit the Damnoen Saduak floating market is in the morning before both the heat and crowd sets in.
3. Khlong Lat Mayom:
From the sheer volume of floating markets, your confusion of which ones to visit is understandable. If you’re looking for something authentic and closer to the local life, the Khlong Lat Mayom floating market is where you should go. One of the most laid back floating markets of Thailand, there’s a sense of serenity here which will put you at ease and allow you to amble about at your own pace with vendors and artists that don’t pressurize you into buying anything if you don’t want to.
4. Taling Chan:
If food is what you desire, the Taling Chan floating market is your answer that God exists. When the delicious smells of freshly grilled food coming wafting and beckon you, you’ll know you’re heading in the right direction. Catering primarily to the appetite of its visitors, the Taling Chan floating market also sells fresh food along with cooked delicacies- should you want to carry back some edibles with you! The best way to enjoy some local food would be sit yourself down by the canal; there are plastic chairs and tables available if you don’t want to sit on the ground.
5. Bang Nam Phueng:
The latest addition to the list of floating markets in Thailand, the Bang Nam Phueng floating market is not known in the tourist circle but is quite popular among the Thai. The region of Bang Nam Phueng is rich in agriculture and the produce sold in this floating market is all cultivated in this area. For all of you who are eco-friendly, one aspect of the Bang Nam Phueng floating market might particularly appeal to you- instead of using plastic plates and bags, the vendors opt for banana leaves and coconut husks.
Suffice to say, if your Thailand itinerary doesn’t include a visit to any of these floating markets, you’re missing out on some premiere travel experience!