A trip to Bangkok is not complete without a visit to the famous Damnoen Saduak floating market which is counted as one of the major tourist attractions of the city.
As the name suggests, the market is located along the banks of a major canal system which was constructed hundreds of years earlier by King Rama VI to promote trade in the region.
The market is located about 100 km. away from the heart of Bangkok and requires a 4-5 hours trip by road to reach. Thereafter, one has to take a 20 minutes boat ride in one of Thailand’s traditional boats to reach the actual floating market.
The market is mostly famous for fresh fruits and vegetables. During the years, the market has been developed to suit the tourist tastes and also includes some clothes and accessories shops.
All in all, the Damnoen Saduak floating market is a great place to get an insight into the life of the local Thai citizens.
A unique shopping experience
The shops in the Damnoen Saduak floating market are usually centred around selling fresh fruits and vegetables. There are also some shops for sea food, meat and flowers.
You can also spot a couple of clothes and accessories shops or shops selling small curios and handicrafts which make for great souvenirs.
Most shop owners would be open to bargaining, so it is essential to make sure that one pays the right price for the product.
However, the main essence of the Damnoen Saduak lies not in the actual shopping experience but rather in soaking in the marvellous feeling of floating down a canal with fruit and vegetable sellers on both sides.
Tourists usually keep their cameras ready as this colourful market is sure to give them some really good photograph opportunities.
The market is a busy place in the early hours of the morning with the locals doing their shopping here.
Local cuisine and fresh fruits
The Damnoen Saduak floating market does not have any famous restaurants to speak of. Hungry tourists can, however, head to the small area towards the end of the market where several makeshift food stalls are propped up.
The shop owners are courteous and friendly towards tourists and serve up some really delicious Thai dishes.
Mini coconut pancakes and boat noodles with broth are two of the dishes which one must try in the area.
Alternatively, since there are so many fruit sellers, one may also simply purchase some fresh fruits and have a filling fruit lunch on the long tailed boat itself as it cruises along the canal.
Visit the Phra Pathom Chedi Pagoda
Thailand’s famous Phra Pathom Chedi Pagoda also lies a little way beyond the Damnoen Saduak market. Since it is recommended to visit the market before noon since the scorching afternoon sun makes it difficult for anyone to cruise in an open boat, the rest of the day can be well utilized by visiting this Pagoda.
The Pagoda marks the place where Buddhism was first introduced in Thailand and is a major tourist spot outside of Bangkok.