A Journey Through Food and Culture: a Guide to Discovering Bangkok's Floating Markets

11 September 2023

This article is brought to you by Klook. 

Welcome to Bangkok's floating markets! 🤗

You can't just leave Thailand without visiting the Bangkok floating markets, one of Thailand's most unique attractions!

Before becoming the city that it is today, people in Bangkok had to cross the canals in order to engage in trade with and sell wares to locals and international merchants. But even with today’s advancements, the markets continue to remain popular among locals. They have become popular tourist and shopping destinations for local items and food to both Thai residents and visitors alike.

Here's everything you need to know about Bangkok's three most popular floating markets:

1. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market 🥰

Damnoen Saduak is the most popular of the Bangkok floating markets. The best way to experience the Damneon Saduak floating market is on a boat so you'll get to see all the different stalls and get immersed in the local culture. You'll find many stores within the wooden boats at the side of the canal selling unique items from fresh fruits to local snacks!

An iconic souvenir to buy from Damnoen Saduak are the wooden cone hats. Thai food you must try when at the Damnoen Saduak floating markets includes boat noodles, coconut ice cream and pancakes, and mango sticky rice. 🥭

Klook Tip: We recommend that you book the package that takes you to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market because you’ll get the chance to ride a boat and visit the many vendors along the river. 

The boats filled to the brim with fruits such as bananas, pineapples, and mangos are good subjects for the ‘gram because of their vibrant colors. You can also take the boat ride as an opportunity to try out the food being cooked on boats, such as authentic Pad Thai and fried rice!

2. Amphawa Floating Markets 😋

The second most popular floating market in BangkokAmphawa Floating Markets! Compared to Damnoen Saduak, this floating market is less crowded and it only operates during the afternoon and evening, making it a perfect choice for those looking for a more laid-back market experience! 😌

Klook Tip: Locals say that rain and light drizzles are frequent, so it's advisable to bring along a small umbrella, a raincoat, or a lightweight jacket!

Aside from having fewer crowds, Amphawa Floating Markets has gained popularity for its fresh seafood. Whether you’re walking by or riding a boat along the river, you will see boats filled to the brim with squid, scallops, and more! Some offer them as freshly caught ingredients while others cook seafood meals and serve them from their boats.

Klook Tip: If you love seafood, you can’t go wrong with visiting the Amphawa Floating Markets. We highly recommend that you try the fishcakes (which you can pair with sweet hot sauce), fish stew, and grilled squid!

There are also pork dumplings, noodle soup, and Som Tham (a kind of salad that has green papaya) if you want something other than seafood.

For dessert, the sticky mango rice, as well as the Khanom Alua (a sugary kind of jelly) are must-tries!

3. Maeklong Railway Market 🤩

While Maeklong Railway Market may not exactly be a floating market, it's a market that’s unique in a way that the shops are literally right next to the train tracks! 🚇

Klook Tip: Dress in light clothing — it can get extremely hot here! Remember to bring a handkerchief, towel, tissues, a water bottle, or a portable fan to stay cool.

Maeklong Railway Market is like the usual fresh market selling seafood, veggies, tropical fruit, fresh and dried food, and meats. But, apart from the usual market goods, they also sell cute souvenirs here like keychains, ref magnets, silk scarves, and the iconic elephant pants! 🐘

If you're scared the vendors are going to get run over by the trains, don't fret! The whole market’s routine is that these vendors will move back the moment the train honks its horn.

Important Reminder: When the locals and market staff signal that the train is approaching and advise everyone to stand behind the red line, please follow their instructions and MAKE SURE TO STAY BEHIND THE RED LINE!

Feel free to wave at the train’s passengers and take pictures as it zooms past the market stalls!

Klook Tip: Much of what you’ll find being sold here are food, plenty of them being dried fruits. There are even several places where you can dine, too! Make sure to try Khao Man Gai (Thai rice and chicken), dried durian, coconut juice, and coconut ice cream!

Now that you know which floating markets to visit, make sure to add these destinations to your Bangkok itinerary. Happy and safe travels! ✈️

Heading to Thailand for a holiday soon? Did you know that you can get up to 3.5% cashback on your bookings on Klook? Click here and start planning your holidays with Klook now!

Earn up to 3.5% cashback on your Klook bookings!