You have definitely seen a floating market, even if you have never visited Thailand or any country that once upon a time had this traditional way of trading. There are plenty of pictures roaming around the internet and one cannot ignore an image as interesting as that, so you at least have seen one. So, profoundly the so called floating market, is a spot where the goods and products are sold from a boat. These spots are now very popular tourist attractions in Thailand, especially in Bangkok! Read below the history behind this tradition and of course the markets you must visit for food or souvenirs and some tips. Afterwards, you will be ready to book a hotel and head out to explore Bangkok!
Why Floating Boats? The History behind them.
The first areas that were populate and developed in the past, where the riverside areas. Almost all Thailand communities were built this way and Bangkok is no exception. It is only natural that the river helped people with transportation during those periods, so the development of a market like the floating markets we see today was convenient and quickly became the hub of each community. As you already have guessed, these trade methods slowly decreased as the civilization of Bangkok developed.
Nowadays, the minimum of the remaining markets are mainly tourist attractions, as well as a way for locals to experience this historical trading method in an authentic way. Moreover, floating markets are ideal for local product gems, souvenirs and food! You'll notice that both locals and travelers grab a delicious on the go meal, or tropical fruits to try out.
You must Visit these Floating Markets of Bangkok!
Amphawa - the signature market
The best market to visit, with Thai locals selling all kinds of products and food. It is a large neighborhood, that especially on weekends turns into a floating boat feast. It is really impressive how the boat owners rapidly serve all the orders, or help all the demanding clients with choosing local products. An experience you cannot miss when in Bangkok!
Damnoen Saduak - the tourist nest
The most popular floating market amongst travelers, since it is in close proximity to Bangkok. Even tourist tours are organized to guide foreigners around the canals. Since it's character is more touristy, it's ideal for finding a wide range of souvenirs, but be picky and explore to find real gems.
Taling Chan - the foodie’s paradise
Ok, if you love food you must include this location on your must-go-and-eat places, now! Like all floating markets, it is an exotic experience with all the boats and smiling Thai locals, but also Taling Chan is a popular seafood spot! Crab legs, roasted prawns and other delights are there for you to explore! Of course, other stores and products are provided too.
Of course there are a couple more floating markets worth visiting and exploring. Read all about them, on our special article!
Floating Markets Tips
- Amphawa and Damnoen are the most photogenic ones. So, for photos, videos and just gazing at the scenery they are the best choice. But since these two are the most popular, they tend to be a bit more overpriced, so do your research before shopping. On the opposite, Taling Chan is a better spot for shopping and food, but it is the least idyllic.
- Arrive early. Mainly because all the tourists and crowds arrive later in the day and you find the boat owners in the beginning of their shift, so they are more likely to help you. Plus, better lighting & less people equals better photos.
- Bargain. Like all markets that attract tourists, they tend to be overpriced sometimes on purpose predicting the bargains or to apply discount techniques to convince you to shop. So, if you find something you want, try to drop the cost.
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