Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
In the past, daily commerce in Thailand was conducted mostly along rivers and canals (or khlongs in Thai). Bangkok’s water network was busy and served as the principal means of communication causing Bangkok to be called as the “Venice of the East” by early European visitors.
Today Bangkok’s floating markets may not be quite so vibrant. The best known floating market is at Damnoen Saduak, some 109 kilometres southwest of Bangkok or approximately two hours drive. It is a ‘must-see’ destination and probably visited by nine out of every ten tourists who visit Thailand. Every morning, hundreds of boats crowd the market area. Most of them are paddled by women with picturesque straw hats. Visitors can find everything from vegetables and fruits to freshly-cooked noodle and souvenirs at this lively market.
The best way of appreciating the floating market is to join it, to take a boat ride through the vendors to savour the smells and sounds as well as the sights. A little effort spent in getting away from the popular haunt and exploring along back canals is rewarded by other scenes of a traditional way of life that has scarcely changed over the years. A boat can be hired at 300 baht per hour (the fare should be settled before beginning the trip).
To visit the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market can be combined with a tour of the great chedi in Nakhon Pathom, the Rose Garden’s Thai Village or the Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo, which are on return to Bangkok. The trip can be arranged through a travel agency or a tour service counter in most of the hotels in Bangkok.
How to Get There
Drive from Bangkok along Highway No. 4 (Phetkasem Road), then turn left at Km. 80 and continue for another 25 kilometres along the Bang Phae-Damnoen Saduak Road.
Public buses depart from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal to Damnoen Saduak every 40 minutes from 05.50 hrs. onwards. The fare is 80 baht for air-conditioned bus (Tel. 0 2435 5031). Get off at the last stop and then take a local bus to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. The most suitable time to visit the market is from 08.00 - 12.30 hrs.