I have probably been to Bangkok more than ten times, but this was my first trip to Damnoen Saduak floating markets – a less prioritized but long-desired tick off my travel wish list. Only 68 miles west of Bangkok in the Ratchaburi province is Damnoen Saduak, one of the country’s biggest and busiest floating markets. It is definitely a must, but since it has grown into a tourist trap over the years so ended up at the bottom of my list. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t see it.

Busy Damnoen Saduak Floating Market place

Tourists widely recognize Damnoen Saduak Floating Market for its intricate network of canals, making it a highly favored destination among visitors to Bangkok. It is about 68 miles away from the city and takes about 90 minutes to get there by car. We took a guided tour that included hotel pickup and drop-off, and on the way to the floating market, we made a quick stop to see how local people make brown sugar from coconut.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
On our way to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

It is a great way to experience the Thai custom of trading directly from their small wooden boats goes back to the Ayutthaya Period (1350-1767) because many neighborhoods had connecting canals and waterways, So the floating market became a popular and convenient way of trading all kinds of goods from the boat.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market activities

My Trip Story

At 8 am was picked up from my hotel by the Tour Guide. The minivan driver had to make a few more stops on our way to the floating market to pick up passengers. The last one was Khao San road. From there, It took us over an hour to get to Damnoen Saduak pier, from where we were transferred to a long-tailed speedboat for an excellent 15 minutes ride through a narrow canal.

maze of canals
There are maze of canals surrounded by waterfront houses and restaurants

Experience at the Market

I saw many tourists are taking the opportunity paying for a boat ride through the market. I believed that observing the activities from a distance would be more enjoyable than being on a boat, so I decided not to take the boat ride. Instead, I preferred to walk along the canals and bridges, allowing me to capture better photos and fully appreciate the moment.

trading on the boat
Experienced the Thai custom of trading directly from their small wooden boats

Our tour guide dropped us off at the main market and he explained about the free time we had to explore the area. We had a great experience seeing vendors selling fresh products at the floating market, such as fruits and vegetables to cooked food. 

Floating Market, Thailand
How local people are bargaining at the floating market

I had the option to pay extra for a boat ride through the market, but I felt that observing the activities from a distance was more enjoyable than being on a boat, so I chose not to. The best option was to walk along the canals and bridges in order to compose better shots and enjoy that moment.

floating market
Renting and boat ride through the market is a popular event there

Before lunch hour, our tour bus picked us up and took us to Samphran elephant ground & zoo, where we had our lunch. After lunch, before we returned to Bangkok, we had time to wander around the zoo, watch a fantastic elephant show, and later witness a crocodile wrestling show as well. 

The total tour was about 6+ hours, so we returned to our hotel before dark after a long day of sightseeing.

crocodile wrestling show
Samphran elephant ground & zoo – crocodile wrestling show

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Hasan Mahmud

Traveler, Blogger, and Travel Photographer!

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