Bangkok's Floating Market
Bangkok Shopping | Bangkok shopping and markets
Made famous by the James Bond films, Bangkok's floating market in Damnoen Saduak draws many tourists every year. The draw of the floating market is its chaotic air and the frenzied buying that takes place. Small channels are filled with small flat boats that vie for the best position along the docks. Bangkok's floating market makes for a colorful, hectic, noisy, and fun shopping experience.
Today vendors on the floating market concern themselves more with tourists than locals, but the floating market is still a great place to find traditional Thai food, crafts, and merchandise. You can find flat boats heaped with indigenous fruits, vegetables and other food. You can get fresh fruit juices and other local Thai food cooked and prepared right on the small boats. Hot soups and other foods are made on small stoves perched right on the stern of the boats that congregate in the floating market. You can get noodle dishes, rice dishes, pork, curry; all sorts of great Thai food made right on the spot.
You can take a trip to the floating market yourself, or find a local bus tour that stops at the floating market as part of their itinerary. Getting to the floating market yourself isn't hard; you can catch a bus from of Bangkok and take the trip yourself. If you prefer to go with a group, many tours include a stop at the floating market so be sure that your Bangkok tour stops there. No matter how you decide to get there, the floating market is worth checking out.
The earlier you go the better. The floating market opens at 6:00 and things get really crowed after 8:30. Besides being less crowded, you can beat the heat of the day by arriving early. There are plenty of great photo opportunities amongst the floating market and even if you don't care to sample local cuisine prepared onboard any of the floating stores, there are plenty of other wares to choose from.
Along with the unique shopping experience, the floating market offers great views of traditional Thai lifestyle. You can see traditional teak houses, orchards, and locals working along the river. A trip to the floating market is more than just shopping; it is a glimpse into the local culture and traditions. No trip to Bangkok is complete without stopping at the floating market and checking out all the great things these floating vendors have to offer.