Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Location: Tambon Damnoen Saduak, Amphoe Damnoen Saduak, Ratchaburi Province
Reason to visit: a world-famous floating market
Our ratings: ★★★★★
Entrance fee: free
Opening Hours: 06:00 - 14:00
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is a world-famous floating market in Bangkok. In the market, sellers row their boats selling food, fruits, flower, and so on along the narrow canals, wooden residences stand still aside, but the shadow of the residences gently sway on the surface of the river. It all makes up a beautiful impressionist painting of Bangkok. Everyday many local and foreigners travel here to shop, eat, take photos, and absorb the unique atmosphere of Thailand's floating market. It's the lifetime opportunity that you won't miss.
History of Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
From 1866 to 1868, by order of King Rama IV, the 32-kilometre (20 mi)-long Damnoen Saduak Canal was constructed to connect the Mae Klong and Tha Chin rivers. Many floating markets arose from the canal, and about 200 ancillary canals were dug by villagers. The main floating market was called Lad Plee market (ลัดพลี, RTGS: Lat Phli) which adjoined a Buddhist temple and remained active until 1967, when the development of roads replaced the need for water transportation. This pattern was seen with other old floating markets which disappeared by the mid-twentieth century due to the development of modern land infrastructure.
In 1971, the Tourism Organization of Thailand (now Tourism Authority of Thailand) made the Lad Plee market a tourist attraction for foreigners. The market had boat vendors and shops on the canal banks. In 1981, a new road was built to Ton Khem canal, and private entrepreneurs established the modern Damnoen Saduak Floating Market along this canal.
What to Expect?
It is really like a small world tourist expo where there are many visitors from all over the world come here to experience and appreciate the authentic culture of Thailand. You can buy a large variety of fruits, refreshing drinks, snacks, clothing, and elaborate crafts. There are also plenty of Bangkok souvenirs to be found here. The most impressive thing must be the dazzling fruit boats where green mangoes, golden pineapples, bananas, durians, pomegranates, wax apples, and coconuts sit prettily waiting for you to taste. They are extremely photogenic and tasty as well. For people who love photography, here is a heaven for countless photo opportunities.
You may get overwhelmed by various fresh produce and colorful handicrafts at first, but you will definitely enjoy the experience overall. It is really a visual and taste feast I have to say. What's more? Language barriers are cute when you try to bargain with local vendors. However, most of the price is reasonably cheap.
Besides visiting on boats, you can also visit Damnoen Saduak Floating Market on foot. Just walk along the sides of the canal, observe the buying and selling, or jump into action to buy something or try some food. You may find some inspiration for your life.
When to visit
I highly recommend you to visit here in the early morning to mid-morning (8am-10am) when it is the best time to avoid congestion and the midday heat, and to see the market during its best hours when there are many boats and vendors. So it is necessary to leave Bangkok before 6am - 8am to make it to the market before 8am – 10am.
Depending on which cruise tour you choose or driver you hire, you'll pay from $20 to $50 per person. Remember to agree on a price before you start the tour.
How to get to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is 100 kilometers away from the Bangkok downtown which makes you inconvenient to access.
You can reach by car in around one and a half hours.
From Bangkok Bus Terminal (Southern Line), buses leave every 30 minutes from 6am. The journey takes about 2 hours and costs 50 baht (less than $2)
To find out more, please visit our Bangkok section.