I would strongly suggest for you to experience the floating markets first thing in the morning. Be there early to catch all the 'authentic' action. Everything that happens after 9am on the water, is only an act for the tourists. Also remember to hire one of the smaller longtail boats, otherwise you will be restricted as to where you can go at the market.
The so called Floating Market ended up with more like a view of floating tourists.
The place is crawling with tourists on paddle boat along the man-made canal with almost next-to-nothing of the floating markets where the locals will peddle with food, fruits or produce to other locals or tourists. At most, you can see a couple of real paddle boat selling meats, dessert or drinks to other boat paddlers.
On both sides of the canal's banks, all shops are selling clothing, hats and other tourist items. There are scattered shops selling food and drinks.
This is one place where you can afford to give it a miss if you are short on time.
The floating markets is really made for the tourists and it was fun, I enjoyed the experience and the locals seem to enjoy the experience too. You make a purchase as the canoes pass each other and it is fun, you can barter on the spot. If you look around you can see that this where people actually live in these houses on stilts a good cultural experience, and buy something to support the thriving market.
At Damnoen Saduak, you can either walk on the passage along the canal on the right hand side or take a both at the pier nearby to Floating Market area at the price of Baht 10 per person. Those who want to see all the three of the Floating Markets may hire a boat at the price of Baht 300 per hour. It is recommended that the fare should be settled before starting off. You can buy souvenirs, foods, fruits and vegetables. You can bargain with the seller especially for the souvenirs.
The floating market; I paid way over the odds thanks to my taxi driver dropping me off in what seemed to be an isolated car-park, with no obvious way to get to the market. So, if you get a taxi up to the market ask him to drop you off where you can choose your own boat, not the one owned by the people who rent/own the car-park you have just parked in. I think the taxi drivers get some sort of kick-back from what you pay to the boat people. I did get ripped off, unfortunately. As prepared as I was for the rest of my trip, I had no idea what I should be paying and therefore...paid the price. About four times the proper amount, I now realise :-(
So anyway, I'm now being taken around in a motorised boat (most of them are non-motorised). The first huts/stalls/shops you come to, the boat will stop without you asking. These are on the outskirts of the market and are full of tourist tat. The boat people clearly have some sort of link/deal/kick-back with these stalls. So anyway, I told the 'driver' to start the engine again (didn't want any more elephants or buddhas). Tell your driver to "No stop, no stop".
Which works, until you get to the main 'canal', which is literally rammed edge to edge with boats full of americans, russians, dutch, british and italians. I got there around 10am. Each side of the canal is crammed with tourist tat. It took about 25 minutes to move about 10 yards. There's no real order to the canal, you're just there until a gap forms in front of you....then you inch forward.
To me this was massively frustrating, I'm really impatient with queues....but there is nowhere to go, no side-alleyways etc. You can either get off and buy tat, or eat things, or just sit there and wait it out. Just remember you are on holiday, and you will make it. I did, just ;-)
So, we get through and go down a few more canals....and I'm getting a bit bored to be honest. More tourist tat either side. All the stall holders trying to get you in. "No thanks, got enough elephants". "Yes that's a very lovely hat, yes, but no sorry I have several lampshades at home I could use". "A Samurai sword? my hand-luggage is already loaded up with them, I have no room for any more thanks".
So...I talk to my 'driver', and say I want to go and see the area where the vegetables and fruit are. He consorts with a local stall-holder and she tells me that that area is too busy, and he's not allowed to go there, and doesn't want to anyway. She also said that this area we were in was the NEW area of the floating market. Which I now realise was built for tourist fools like myself. The other markets are very nearby but segregated off when it comes to tours. I didn't push for him to take me there...I figured I'd been on a boat in the famous market, and I was itching to get off.
So, overall - my tips;
1) Ask the taxi driver to take you to the vegetable and fruit area of the floating market (be specific), unless you like the tourist tat.
2) Tell him you want to choose your own guide/boat (again, be specific).
3) Tell the BOAT OWNER/DRIVER which areas you want to see, otherwise he/she will just take you to the tourist tat by default.
4) Wear a hat. The motorised boats have covers, the paddled ones are completely open you will be scorchio.
5) Take water. There are boat sellers who will try and sell you beer and water etc, i didn't partake so don't know the prices.
6) Ask to go to the floating market temple. It's no better or worse than the ones in bangkok, but it's nice to walk around there for a few minutes. Your driver will 'park' across the way and wait for you.
7) Wherever you go in Thailand, not jsut the floating market - get an idea of how much you shoudl be paying for things before you go, write it down. I saved a packet by following some great advice on other sites.
8) I paid so much for the tour I didn't tip the boat driver at all. If you pay a fair price for the tour (600 per person or something) I would have paid the driver about 100 baht (about two pounds).
In summary - I'm glad I went, bizarrely, as even though it was the tourist section that I was mainly in, it was still interspersed with some locals selling fruit, meat, cooking food right there on the boats etc. The Thai people are lovely, but like anywhere, will take you for a ride wherever they can (they're well rehearsed, so you won't see the signs). But thats like anywhere touristy...nothign specific to the Thais.
Good luck, enjoy!
I joint the floating market tour from the hostel that i stayed. They have some choices. But i choosed half day tour. If i am not mistaken, I paid 600 bath. After visiting the market, tour guide took me to the wood craft center. Some of guests join the day tour to rose garden.
The tour guide picked me at 7 am. The journey will take 2 hours (approx).
Usually hotel will provide that tour also. It is very famous.
I did this trip this year in January.
Going to Damnoen Saduak floating market, I suggest you to join the tour. It is not expensive. They will pick you up in your hotel at a.m.
From Bangkok to the floating market will take 2 hours journey. The best time to arrive there is at a.m time. If you come there after 10 a.m, there is nothing so much to see. Tour agent really know the best time to reach there so you don't miss the nice view there.
I tried many food there such as spring roll, duck soup, and some tropical fruits. I could eat those food meanwhile I enjoyed the scenary. It is really fun.
Taling Chen Floating Market is very near, located at a place called Chak Phra, the Taling Chan market is on a canal linking the Bangkok Noi canal to the north to the Bangkok Yai to the south.
The atmosphere at the Taling Chan floating market is very local and non-touristy less the hassle of touts and inflated prices. The street vendors are very pleasant and polite. Most of the stalls sell food. Visitors are mostly Thai with less than a dozen tourists.
Admission to the floating market is free.
Optional canal boat tours can be taken from the pier at this floating market. The tours cover the Snake Garden (adults/children – 150/60 baht) and the Orchid Farm (adult/children – 90/50 baht). Tickets are available from the booth near the information counter.
You can take Taxi (may cost you under 150 Bhat) or Air-conditioned bus Number 79 from Central World Plaza – Pratunam – Petchaburi Road – Lan Luang Road - Ratchadamnoen Avenue – Sanam Luang – Pin Klao Bridge – Charan Sanitwong Road – Bang Khun Non Road – Chak Phra. Bus fare is Aprx 18 Bhat per person.
Opening hours - Saturdays and Sundays 0800 – 1700 hours
In order to avoid the hassle of figuring out buses and such out of Bangkok we booked a half day tour to the floating market at a cost of 600 baht each.
First of all, the market is NOT what is pictured in the postcards. There are few locals selling fresh goods and flowers. Rather its all the usual tourist souvenirs, and a few boats selling coconuts to drink or some food. Overall felt it was mostly tacky, but wasn't complete annoyed with the tour... YET.
Then they said we had the choice to go elephant riding or to see a cobra show. The elephant riding, well we have read to avoid it unless you know how the animals are tamed, to stick to elephant sanctuaries, plus the price was 1200 baht for a ten minute ride so some people on our tour were turned off by that.
Instead we were carted off to the cobra show. As soon as you get off the van they make it seem like the show doesn't run every ten minutes, hurry, hurry they yell! Show is about to start! So you pay 200 baht a ticket without any time to think about it.
The show is a tribute to animal cruelty. Mongoose fighting two cobras in a glass box. A handler making a snake angry so it "jumps" or lunges at him while he holds the tail, and then throws it across the pit. This is the point at which we walked out and tried to get our money back! We had been in there not 4 minutes. The show is almost over we are told. No money back. So we stood at the counter and convinced at least four people to take a miss, so they were down 400 baht, even if they didn't give us our money back.
I think the best bet might be to try to get there yourself, but Bangkok has so many more wonderful things to see and experience, this tourist trap should be avoided.
Finally we were headed home in the van and they tell us we are stopping at a government run gem factory, and that the factory will provide our transportation back to our respective hotels. Basically the tuk tuk scam! We managed to find out we were relatively near the end of the BTS line, so we hailed a taxi and for 60 baht made it to the BTS and took the sky train back to our hostel.
We have had so many great experiences in Bangkok, it is totally worth a visit, but I would recommnend avoiding this "todo".
I visited here on an organized tour booked through CANARY TRAVEL who are located near Khao San road. The tour I did was for a half day, from 7am - 1pm, and in 2009, cost 400tb, Plus, 150tb for boat ride through the Floating Markets. First of all, we stopped at a canal and took a long - tail boat ride to the Markets. This I found interesting and enjoyable. Next, at the markets, those who wanted to, went by boat through the markets, then, afterwards, had plenty of time to walk along both sides, taking in the different sights and smells. For me, this was a fascinating, interesting market. I thoroughly enjoyed this tour.
If you like shopping well head over to the famous Damnoen Saduak floating market which is 48 miles from bangkock in the Rachaburi Province.Here,you can take a boat ride and go floating along the canals.
You will see how the people sell there goods and sample thai's best foods staying right in the boat.An adventure you must do to experience the way of the people in Thailand
Since we lost our pocket money just hours before our departure flight and we can't withdraw since our savings doesn't come along with atms but passbooks, we had to leave the plane with limited money in our hands. We had to choose an optional tour between the grand palace or floating market because our budget would not fit going to both. I believe we made the right choice simply because we've seen lot of temples and buddhas already and visiting the floating market would put variety on our tour. We have seen it in a local TV show before and it was a different experience going there. Peole make their living selling anything and moves on different locations paddling the boat! We tried the spicy noodles and boy it was cheap & delicious!
you can take tour for Damnoen Saduak , rose garden , elephant shoe , corocodil show about 1000 in bangkok baht i get from our hetel 1300 its start from 6:30 am ynti 6 pm including : transport, enterance fee and lunch , i realy enjoid from floating market dont meesd it
The first thing to note is that there are a number of floating markets in Thailand.
The one that appears on most posters etc is the largest and most visited one at Damnoen Saduak which is about 90 minutes drive from the centre of Bangkok.
There are many tours available but I hired a car and drove myself there. Note that if you do the same do not stop at the first car park you see when you get close to the market. If you do park your car there you will need to take one of the boats to the market, which can be fun. However, you can drive all the way to the market itself and explore it from the banks of the canal or get a boat to allow you to experience the market at water level.
Although you can still buy fruit, vegetables and all sorts of cooked food from the merchants on their boats most of the items sold these days are touristy souvenirs, t shirts etc.
If you want to experience the oldest floating then make sure you go to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. It is literally a traffic jam on the water and it is so interesting. There are vendors on boats selling food and drinks, as well as all the usual tourist things. Some of the vendors sell from the sides of the canals, and Jackie Chan actually has a store there.
We experienced iced coffee in a plastic bag, chicken skewers and fruit.