Damnoen Saduak Floating Market #SundayTraveler

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Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

damneon saduak floating market bangkok

Damnoen Saduak is arguably the most popular floating market in Bangkok and the surrounding areas – perfect for all those photo opportunities, checking out the vendors in the canals, practicing your haggling skills and grabbing some amazing food to eat.

Every single day, from early morning until about noon, you will find the floating market crowded with hundreds of visitors and vendors.  The canal was ordered to be built in 1866 by King Rama IV to connect two provinces and was finished about two years later.  The canals not only act as a way of transportation but also provide adequate water for agricultural purposes to the local farmers.

damneon saduak floating market bangkok

souvenir stalls

damneon saduak floating market bangkok damneon saduak floating market bangkok damneon saduak floating market bangkok

damneon saduak floating market bangkok

food vendors in their longtail boats

Is it worth the hype??

While I enjoyed visiting Damnoen Saduak, it wasn’t what I expected at all.  I was looking forward to seeing a lot more boats with food vendors, selling their produce that is grown nearby.  It mainly seemed to be vendors trying to sell souvenirs – the same souvenirs stall after stall after stall.  In hindsight, I didn’t arrive until about 11am and maybe I would have seen more food vendors had I arrived earlier in the morning.  What made up for that disappointment, was taking a motorbized long-tail boat through the residential canals and seeing how the locals live here.  This alone was worth the trip out there.

damneon saduak floating market bangkok

damneon saduak floating market bangkok

residential area by the floating market

damneon saduak floating market bangkok

residential area near the floating market

damneon saduak floating market bangkok

damneon saduak floating market bangkok

children playing in the water

Essential Info:

  • Damnoen Saduak Market is about 100km southwest of Bangkok in the Ratchaburi Province.
  • Buses leave from the Southern Bus Terminal starting at 6am, leaving every 40 minutes.  I would recommend taking the first bus so as to get there when the market opens.
  • You will have to walk about 10-15 minutes from where the bus drops you off to the market.
  • A traditional/motor boat through canals will last about 30 minutes and should cost you about 150 Baht (this may take quite a bit of haggling but I promise it’s possible).

Have you ever been?  Did it live up to your expectations?

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Ashley is the mastermind behind A Southern Gypsy, a travel blog focused adventure, outdoors, wildlife and Vegan food! In between bigger trips, she is delivering the best of her hometown, Nashville. Hates mustard & pickles. Needs coffee to function. Other passions | activism, minimalism, zero waste, books + writing.

12 Comments

  1. Kara

    November 15, 2014 at 11:42 AM

    I find it so interesting to see how people live in other areas of the world. A floating market. I guess the “idea” of a floating market is what attracts people to it? It just seems like a lot of extra effort for the vendors and much more difficult for people to purchase things. Is this something which is mostly for visitors or do the locals go there as well? If it were not for your traveling and writing, I would never had known places like this exist. Beautiful pictures as well.

  2. Erin | No Ordinary Nomad

    November 15, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    I went to the floating market there a few years ago. My experience was much the same as yours, I enjoyed the ride through the canals afterwards much more than going through the markets that seemed to mainly cater to tourists. When I was there there were a few ladies in boats selling fresh fruit that we got to try which was good as well.

  3. Fairlie

    November 15, 2014 at 6:13 PM

    I went to the floating markets about 14 years ago, and had the same experience as you. The view from the longboat of ‘real life’ was fascinating.

  4. Laia | colibrist

    November 15, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    I had heard about the floating markets, and I had imagined something different, a real market. So disappointing how places change when becoming popular for tourists. The boat tour seems interesting though. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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  6. Constance - Foreign Sanctuary

    November 16, 2014 at 2:18 AM

    I went there before and enjoyed the experience but like you said, it seemed to cater to tourists.

  7. Esther

    November 16, 2014 at 3:23 AM

    Wow, this looks amazing. I have always been rather amazed by the whole floating market thing!!

  8. Sammi Wanderlustin'

    November 16, 2014 at 7:47 AM

    Awesome 🙂 this looks fun! I don’t know if I would buy anything but would definitely like to see things…

    Is it safe to swim in the canals, or is it just local kids that do it?

  9. Mark and Kate @vagrantsoftheworld

    November 16, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    Tourists and souvenirs seem to go hand in hand everywhere. It is a shame the trinket market starts to overtake the original purpose of a lot of these markets. Although they are still nice to see and explore

  10. Upasna

    November 17, 2014 at 6:07 AM

    I personally wasn’t too attracted to the Floating Markets, and I had heard from multiple people it wasn’t worth it, so I gave this a pass while I was in Bangkok last year; but your pictures are pretty cool!

  11. SJ @ Chasing the Donkey

    November 22, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    This is something that I have always wanted to do, I am a litlle jelly right now!

  12. Pelagic

    January 13, 2016 at 3:04 AM

    Im a local Nashvillian myself. At least born and raised:) I love the floating markets but yea, they are mostly for show except for a couple local ones in the bushes. I love the night markets myself. Check out my site nightmarketbangkok.com.. Hope east nashville/inglehood is still thriving..

    much love

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