Don’t Miss Floating Markets outside Bangkok Thailand

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thailand – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – local seller relaxing by the canal

When we first arrived at Bangkok we were informed that the old Floating Markets of Bangkok were …. gone …. finished …. kaput …. over.

Oh No!  Having visited them 30 years ago, they were one of my memories that I thought would remain institutional forever. A memory I wanted to share with my son.

I wanted him to see the way life has stood still in Bangkok, and the traditions of the “Venice of the South”.

So I was so disappointed.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thailand – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – food sellers

But after contacting the lovely Kannapad Kraithong (Gina) who specialises as a Private Thai Guide from Ganna Travel, I felt much better.

She answered my email right away, and said “YES they do still exist” – a little over one hour’s drive out of the hustle and bustle of Bangkok.

She could organise us a Private Thai Guide for the day.

We could start with visiting the floating markets.

Then head on to a temple within a tree (Wat Bang Kung).

And finally finishing with a traditional Thai lunch – in a surprisingly international style classy restaurant with incredible food (Maria Pizzaria)

So we were pretty pleased that with a couple of contacts with Ganna Travel it was all organised for our 3rd day in Bangkok, and that they would collect us (not too early – 7:30 a.m.) after breakfast, and we would then drive out of the city.

Ganna Travel
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thailand – Ganna Travel – Our lovely vehicle – Private Thai Guide

Explorason took the opportunity to ask a load of questions about how many temples or ‘Wats’ were in Thailand. The answer is 40000 Buddhist temples in Thailand.

As we continue to drive about 100 km out of the city toward Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, the landscape changed as we entered a tiny country town. People stood chatting with their motorbikes, and houses changed from concrete apartment blocks to wooden homes.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thailand – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – the quiet backwaters

We arrive and park within a stones throw of the launching area for our private boat. The hustle and bustle of market life is all around us and we get rather excited.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thailand – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – food sellers main canal

This floating market is like a magnet for tourists. Food stalls have grown from the riverbanks and stretched far into the surrounding streets.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thailand – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – lots of wares for sale

We get so excited we just have to have a hat, but we can’t find a Thai traditional style one with the seller near our boat, so we grab a Vietnamese one – closest thing at the time.

But wish we had waited and bought one a few minutes later off another seller. We live and learn. But we were pretty happy anyway.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thailand – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – new hats

Next task is to get into the Thai feel, so I pop out of the boat and buy a new top and change.  I like it. What do you think? We are really having fun!

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thailand – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – buying a new top

As we slowly are paddled in our own private boat I feel the stress of the hustle and bustle of the crazy last few days floating away.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thailand – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – a long boat passes by

We meander along the canals and we seem to wander into quieter waters, away from the main market area. Being a week day some of the sellers are closed.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thailand – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – quieter canal

Colourful hammocks hang motionless on the sides.  Not moved by the gentle breeze.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thailand – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – hammocks
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thailand – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – colourful hammocks

Local artists sell their pantings in the second area of the floating markets, and we are drawn to the elephant artwork.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thailand – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – elephant paintings

For those of you with children; men who don’t like to get dragged around the markets shopping; the elderly; handicapped; special needs; injured; or weary traveller, then having Private Thai Guide from Ganna Travel organise a days outing like this is perfect for you. 

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thailand – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – a local seller

Along each side of the canals, we found old charming wooden shops and metal stalls selling souvenirs.

I bought a lovely butterfly dress, and Explorason bought a print.

There was everything from the obvious Thai beer T-shirt to some more interesting homewares and crafts.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thailand – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – hot food for sale

Food wise there was a real mix.

Traditionally known for its weekend local seafood, we found the floating kitchens interesting too.

Boats carrying colourful fruits, lots of sweets, snacks and ice cream – Thai people have a very sweet tooth so I’m told.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thailand – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – exotic Thai fruits

Most food looks familiar, but other dishes look unusual or even funny (and so is the aroma).

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thailand – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – local foods

There is everything from ice cream sandwiches; weird egg looking pancakes; and alien-looking helmet crab egg salad (Yum Magda Talay).

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thailand – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – floating sellers

We stop off part way through to try a complimentary sample of sweet coconut nectar.  I like it, but Explorason is not so keen, but he is at least always giving things a try.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thailand – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – trying fresh Coconut Nectar

We have a little fun.  We are such good spirits here. there is something about these floating markets that makes you feel relaxed and happy.  Like I said – maybe your troubles float away here?

Maybe too it is because we have a Private Thai Guide and I know the whole day is taken care of, and I don’t have to organise anything.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thailand – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – fun!

We then head to the traditional housing area and locals ‘walk the plank’ to get farmhouse to house.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thailand – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – locals going to lunch

It was about now that both Explorason and I decided we would like to see more of Thailand.  We realised that in just a week we could see some of the highlights of Bangkok, but there was no way we could see it all. Let alone my passion for ‘The Road Less Travelled’.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thailand – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – local houses

We want to see the traditional culture. The Thailand of yesterday.

We both realised we’d like to come back and see more.  It would be perfect to use Ganna Travel for one of their other tours next time.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thailand – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – local seller

As we head past more food sellers, we realise we are getting hungry!

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thailand – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – lady food sellers

We hop off our boat, and meet the lovely Gina our Private Thai Guide again, and she shows us the land market area, and the main bridge.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thailand – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – so relaxed and happy

We are off for the rest of our day tour which we just loved!

‘Stay tuned’, and we’ll show you all the exciting photos of what is next I’m another article soon!

Ganna Travel Co.,Ltd
Tel: +66 89 1245136 , +66 89 1168759

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