Explore Bangkok’s floating markets, from Taling Chin to Kwan Riam, to sample authentic delicacies and see the freshest produce available at local prices.
For many travellers, the famous floating markets of Bangkok are high on the agenda when planning a visit to Thailand’s capital. There are plenty of tour operators in Bangkok that offer tours of these markets, which sit on the outskirts of the city. Most excursions start before sunrise, to truly capture the floating markets at their busiest, so be sure to get an early night. And remember to dress the part; best to wear clothes you’re not afraid to get a little dirty as you may find yourself enjoying a meal sitting on the pier floor!
Taling Chan Floating Market
Taling Chan is one of Bangkok’s most accessible floating markets, located just a few kilometres outside the city.
Though one of the smaller markets around, Taling Chan Floating Market maintains an authentic charm and is less crowded with tourists than other larger markets, giving you some room to appreciate the environment and food at local prices.
Take the chance to chat with some locals as you enjoy boat after boat of tasty food. Fill up on smoky grilled seafood on wooden sticks topped off with refreshing, creamy coconut ice cream. While all the seafood at Taling Chan Floating Market comes highly recommended, keep a special eye out for Som Tum and their barbecued prawns, fish and blue crabs.
For a different perspective at a small price, you can rent your own long-tail boat and explore the market from the water for just 100 baht.
Treat yourself to a soothing massage beneath the trees after you’ve scoured the market for the best delicacies on offer.
Kwan Riam Floating Market
Located on the bank of Saen Saeb canal near the outskirts of Bangkok, Kwan Riam Floating Market is one of the newest additions to Bangkok’s colourful array of floating markets.
At first glance, Kwan Riam gives off a more modern vibe with a built-up wooden structure for the market’s many land vendors. Fans on the ceiling blow cool mist at eager visitors and hawkers, keeping everyone comfortable and relaxed. Still, the market does not neglect the customs and eats that make the floating market experience so unique.
Here, traditional Thai favourites like meat skewers and exotic ice creams mingle with younger café set-ups and international flavours like Vietnamese spring rolls and noodle soup. This market is popular with local university students who you can find enjoying a meal on boats while hip hop music blasts unapologetically nearby.
You’ll also find local crafts on display, with everything going at reasonable prices despite the modern comforts.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Damnoen Saduak is perhaps the most famous floating market in Bangkok. It is also one of the busiest, with thousands of locals and tourists flocking to its piers every day — and it’s not hard to see why.
This buzzing hive of activity attracts all kinds of boats overflowing with fresh delicacies, juicy fruit and perfumed flowers. Soak in the market’s vibrancy and remember to snap some priceless photos. The bursts of colour everywhere make a picturesque, postcard backdrop for the holiday album.
Despite some complaints that Damnoen Saduak Floating Market has become more commercial in recent times, this iconic attraction is always worth a visit. No list of Bangkok’s best floating markets can be complete without it.
Besides, where else can you enjoy the experience of buying a meal off a boat and having it served to you on a fishing pole?