These are very important commercial centres for those living on the banks of the many canals and away from road. Every day, from about 6.00-11.00 am small boats laden with all kinds of tropical fruits and vegetables and other produce from the orchards or nearby communities assemble for business. There are four major floating markets around Bangkok.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
About 65 Miles or 105 KM south of Bangkok you will find this most popular floating market. Its in Ratchaburi Province - southwest of Bangkok, famous with fruits farms. The market is over 100 years old and but still has not changed. Be sure to get there no later than 7:00 A.M. or it becomes swamped with tourists. There is bus service to the market starting at 6:20 A.M. and departs every 20 minutes till 7:00 P.M. Air-conditioned bus depart every 30 minutes from 6:00 A.M. until 8:10 P.M. from the Southern Bus terminal on Boromrat Chonnani Road.
A visit to Damnoen Saduak is a standard offering from hotels or tour agents, but prices vary tremendously so be sure to shop around. If you want to see the market without throngs of other tourists, it's best to leave Bangkok the evening before and stay the night in Damnoen Saduak.
There are hundreds (or could be even thousands) of small boats filled in the Canal. Visitors can rent a water taxi (same kind of boat on the pictures) at 300 about Baht per hour. They sell fruits, snacks, hats, T-shirts, vegetables, silk dress, toys, you try anything, its there. You can even have Thai style snack or breakfast on your boat.
Over 5,000 foreign tourists swarm Damnoen Saduak every day and the market is fast reaching its maximum carrying capacity. Another worry is that it has become far too commercialized, reducing its value as a tourist attraction.
Talking about fruits and vegetables, its best place to buy. Both at quality, quantity and price, local market in Bangkok can hardly beat this place.
Taling Chan Floating Market
It is a weekend market in front of Taling Chan District Office, starting from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Boat trip service is available for sight-seeing along the canal where gardens and the village lifestyle are still to be seen. The market is also accessible by buses No. 79 and 83 which pass nearby. For more information you are advised to contact Taling Chan District Office at telephone 4245448.
Bang Khu Wiang Floating Market
It is located in Nonthaburi Province. It is accessible by boat from Tha Chang Pier near the Grand Palace. The market operates in the early morning from 4:00 A.M. to 7:00 A.M.
Tha Kha Floating Market
It is about 10 kilometers beyond Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. It can be reached by minibus from Samut Songkhram which leaves for the market every 20 minutes.
Over 5,000 foreign tourists swarm Damnoen Saduak every day and the market is fast reaching its maximum carrying capacity. Another worry is that it has become far too commercialized, reducing its value as a tourist attraction. Tha Kha, on the other hand, is set in a more natural setting, with traditional village environment surrounded by coconut plantations. Unlike Damnuan Saduak, the river banks are not built up with concrete shop houses filled with souvenirs.
The provincial administration and the governor of Samut Songkhram, eager to promote and earn tourism revenue, have built roads leading to the site, a pier and a bridge to link the two banks of the klong on which the market takes place. The Tha Kha floating market is currently held by the indigenous provincial people only six days a month, in accordance with the Thai lunar calendar.
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