For many, visiting a floating market in Bangkok is one of the top activities during their stay in Thailand’s capital. But with over fifteen floating markets, it’s difficult to pick which floating market is the best. In this article, we compare our top pick floating markets to answer your question: what are the best floating markets in Bangkok? The floating markets listed in this article are either in Bangkok or located close to Bangkok.
The best floating markets in Bangkok are:
1. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market - The Oldest Floating Market
Yes, you will read on several blogs and review websites that Damnoen Saduak Floating Market lost its authenticity and became a tourist trap. In my opinion, it’s still worth the visit and not necessarily a trap. As Thailand’s oldest floating market, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market gained extreme popularity thanks to its reputation and the fact that the Tourist Authority of Thailand labelled the market as the top activity in Thailand. Over the years, the floating market got flooded with tourists instead of only locals, resulting in a transformation of shops. Nowadays, the market mainly sells souvenirs, clothing, food, drinks and herbs. But you need to understand that the vendors need to make a living, and they will sell that what its customers will buy. And to be honest, the variety of souvenirs they sell is impressive. I truly believe that if you are looking for good souvenirs, this is the place to go!
At Damnoen Saduak, you will find plenty of canoes serving all sorts of goods and foods.
Now, why do I list Damnoen Saduak in this article about the best floating markets in Bangkok? In my opinion, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market has by far the most ‘floating market’ feeling of all the floating markets in Bangkok. You will literally take a boat and float from one canal to another with the possibility to buy food, drinks and goods from other boats or from the canal side. I believe this is what you want to experience when visiting a floating market, otherwise, when you are just walking next to vendors, it’s not really a floating market. There is one major thing that I do not like about Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, though. After nine o’clock in the morning, when the majority of the visitors start arriving, the canals get busy. The boats the people use are mainly motorized boats that often turn on their engines. The result: a toxic fume of exhaust gasses. To avoid this, I would strongly advise visiting this floating market as early as possible. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is located around one hundred kilometres from Bangkok. For more information about the market itself and how to get there, check out our complete guide to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is the only floating market in Bangkok
The busiest floating market in Bangkok, Damnoen Saduak.
Damnoen Saduak is one of the best floating markets in Bangkok.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Why you should visit this floating market: the oldest floating market in Thailand and you will actually be floating in a boat through the canals.
For more information, check out our complete guide to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.
2. Amphawa Floating Market - The Most Popular Floating Market
Amphawa Floating Market gained a lot of popularity in the last several years as its neighbour Damnoen Saduak Floating Market was too touristy according to some. People were looking for more authenticity and found it at Amphawa Floating Market, which is located around twelve kilometres south of Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. The market is built around a canal, although the majority of the market itself is located on the mainland. There are a few canoes left that sell goods from their boat. Before entering the market, you will walk through a roofed section where you will find countless shops selling all sorts of food. Yes, Amphawa Floating Market is all about food, where Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is more for souvenirs. Foods you should absolute try are the traditional Thai desserts and the fresh seafood, such as grilled fresh water prawns and crab. Especially the desserts are famous at Amphawa. Throughout the whole market, you can find these delicious treats just for a few Thai Baht.
Amphawa Floating Market is one of the best floating markets in Bangkok, but you have to come early to avoid the crowds.
I listed Amphawa in our best floating markets in Bangkok article as it has become the most popular floating market in Bangkok. You will start noticing how popular this market is right after twelve o’clock in the afternoon. The market gets so extremely crowded and it will become difficult to walk at these narrow paths. Similar to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, I would recommend you visiting Amphawa Floating Market as early as possible. For more information on how to get there, how to combine Amphawa with Damnoen Saduak and what other things to do at this floating market, check out our complete guide to Amphawa Floating Market. Amphawa Floating Market is only open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Amphawa Floating Market does have a few canoes selling goods from their boats.
Check out the amazing seafood at Amphawa Floating Market.
Amphawa Floating Market is famed for the Thai desserts they sell.
Why you should visit this floating market: a great floating market, which is more authentic than it’s neighbour Damnoen Saduak, with so much delicious food.
For more information, check out our complete guide to Amphawa Floating Market.
3. Taling Chan Floating Market - The Most Authentic Floating Market
Taling Chan Floating Market is a small floating market close to Bangkok’s city centre. Because of its authenticity, it deserves a listing in this article about the best floating markets in Bangkok. Taling Chan Floating Market was founded in 1987 with the aim to develop the market as a centre of local and agricultural products in the Taling Chan district. In other words, its aim is to benefit the local community and its economy. Because of this, you will find unique shops selling foods, products and even plants that you will find nowhere else in Bangkok, including some old traditional Thai desserts.
The small and authentic floating market of Taling Chan.
In the back of the market, you will find the floating market section, which is a small part where you will find thirteen canoes serving fresh seafood such as cockles, prawns, mussels and fried fish. Compared to the markets like Amphawa and Damnoen Saduak, the market has less to offer because of its size. It is much easier to get to though, and the market is authentic. You will most likely spend between one hour to one and a half hour here. There is a boat tour available for only 69 THB that takes you through the canals where you see the local life of Bangkok you’ve never seen before, as well as a visit to a three hundred years old temple that dates from the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Taling Chan Floating Market is only open on Saturday and Sunday as well as every public holiday. More information can be found in our guide to Taling Chan Floating Market.
Taling Chan has a few canoes serving food straight from their boats.
Food served straight from the boat.
Why you should visit this floating market: an authentic small floating market with local goods. It’s also located close to Bangkok’s city centre, making it easy to visit.
For more information, check out our complete guide to Taling Chan Floating Market.
4. Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market - The Most Diverse Floating Market
One of the most diverse markets in Bangkok - and my personal favourite - is Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market at Bang Krachao. Bang Krachao is the ‘island’ south of Bangkok’s city centre. It’s not an actual island as it only got separated by a hand-dug-canal. Bang Krachao is also known as the green lung of Bangkok, as it’s packed with palm trees and beautiful nature. One of the cool things about Bang Krachao is that you can rent a bicycle and explore the ‘island’ on your own. In the weekends, you can visit the Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market, which is hugely popular among locals. The variety of goods and foods is simply impressive and compared to the other markets listed in this article about the best floating markets in Bangkok, Bang Krachao Floating Market is by far the most diverse. In order to get to Bang Krachao, you have to take the ferry at either Khlong Toei Pier or Sanphawut Pier.
The floating market of Bang Krachao.
Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market does not offer the full floating market experience, though. The market is built on and around canals, however, you won’t be ordering food from an old lady sitting in a canoe. Instead, Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market is actually more like a normal market. But the fact that the market is so diverse - it’s almost impossible to find a vendor selling the same goods as another vendor - makes it definitely worth the visit. And as it technically is a floating market, I’ve listed it in this article about the best floating markets in Bangkok.
Next to the canals, you can find a lot of noodle vendors.
The noodles next to the canals are really popular.
But there is so much other food to find at this floating market.
Why you should visit this market: it’s the most diverse floating market in Bangkok I’ve ever been to. And when combining it with a bike tour through Bang Krachao, you have an amazing weekend activity!
For more information about Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market and other things to do at Bang Krachao, check out our complete guide to Bang Krachao Floating Market.
There you have it, the absolute best floating markets in Bangkok. Keep in mind that the majority of the floating markets are only open on the weekends. Also, due to popularity and to experience the floating markets to the fullest, make sure you arrive as early as possible. One more thing, it is perfectly doable to combine Damnoen Saduak and Amphawa Floating Market. I believe these two markets are the most exciting floating markets in Bangkok. The only problem you have to tackle is being there on time by either hire a private van or find accommodation near the floating markets. More detailed information about this can be found in the guides listed in this article.