Day 242: Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
We are loathe to do anything too touristy, as we prefer more authentic experiences, but once in a while we discover why something has become so touristy. Bangkok’s Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is one of those things and we debated long and hard before deciding to make a visit. We’re so glad we made the effort to get there. This floating market is wonderful and it is not to be missed. To enjoy it, however, just a few quick tips first.
If you’re going to visit, try to leave your Bangkok hotel as early as possible. The longer you take, the more crowded the market becomes and soon, you’ll experience long tail traffic jams in the water. Peak times are most likely 9 am – 11 am, so avoid that block of time. In my opinion, overcrowding defeats the purpose of going, and takes all the pleasure out of the experience.
We left our hotel at 6:45 am, just after the sun began to rise. We were told it might take up to two hours to get there but it only took us an hour and fifteen minutes at that time of day. We chose to forego the typical tour and booked our own taxi the night before.
Once we arrived, we negotiated a $3000 THB rate for 1.5 hours, and were on our way by 8:15 AM. Below is our long tail boat, with Ryan searching for coffee, and the kids scouting out the food and souvenirs.
While a few shops were closed that early in the morning, there were plenty of others that were open. We also enjoyed shopping at the “floating” markets or boats loaded with produce and other items. Our first purchase? A little mango and sticky rice, as well as coffee right away. Here are a few shots from our morning:
Beautiful fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers.
Friendly chats amidst the chaotic atmosphere.
A monk stocking up on supplies while also praying with some of the vendors (see below).
And no matter where you go, there’s always someone on their cell phone, even here in this traditional Thai Floating Market.
Some vendors were aggressive and pulled our long tail boat into theirs with a few hooked wooden sticks. Others were calm, patient and very friendly.
If you have the time to visit the Floating Market, it’s worth the time and effort, provided you show up and leave before the crowds arrive. You may also want to consider visiting Mae Klong Market, also known as “Scary Market”. It is about 20 minutes away from the Floating Market and an interesting experience, though after seeing it once, I doubt I would return. If I have time, I will try to create a post about that experience as well.