When you think of Thailand, what are some of your top destinations that you would like to visit? Is it night markets? The Elephant Sanctuary? Or the beautiful white-sand beaches? But have you thought about Water Markets? ตลาดน้ำ (talāt nām) which translates to "water market", or more commonly known as Floating Markets, is Thailand's ancient water markets that have existed since the Ayutthaya Period (1350–1767)! The market originated as a result of the several adjoining canals that existed during that period and locals found them to be suitable for trading. At the Water Market, you can find anything from street food to fashion, to entertainment and live music! There are many Water Markets in Thailand today, but to help you get started on which ones you should visit first, keep reading to see our top 5 must-visit water markets in Thailand today.
Damnoen Saduak has been one of Thailand's best-known water markets due to its popularity from the 1974 James Bond movieThe Man with the Golden Gun. This water market is massive and filled with many colorful and lively boats selling food and fruits.
Location: Damnoen Saduak, Ratchaburi 70130, Thailand
Business Hours: Daily from 7 am to 5 pm
Amphawa is another popular water market in Thailand surrounded by many traditional and old wooden houses lined up along the canal. The shops here offer various goods from street food, souvenirs, snacks, and sweets. You can also visit the popular little temple swallowed by a giant tree located across the river.
Location: Amphawa, Samut Songkhram 75110, Thailand
Business Hours: Friday–Sunday from 11 am to 9.30 pm (closed Monday–Thursday)
Unlike the other two markets, Taling Chan is closer to Bangkok (12 km), making it a convenient option for tourists who want to stay closer to the city. Tailing Chan makes the list because the market offers various unique and traditional dishes from salt-crusted grilled fish to durian that many foreigners have never tried. You can also enjoy live music from local Thai musicians who give the whole atmosphere an authentic and memorable experience.
Location: Village No 15, 30/1 Bang Ramat Rd, Bang Ramat, Taling Chan, Bangkok 10170, Thailand
Business Hours: Saturday–Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm
Khlong Lat Mayom
Khlong Lat Mayom is a medium-sized floating market with very few tourists around. The market is also located near Taling Chan, which gives you the opportunity to visit two water markets in the same morning or day. There is also a tour offered here where you can take a trip back in time like how the locals used to commute in the past through the canals and enjoy the views that surround the river.
Location: 15-30/1 Bang Ramat Rd, Bang Ramat, Taling Chan, Bangkok 10170, Thailand
Business Hours: Saturdays–Sundays from 8 am to 5 pm (closed on weekdays)
Bang Phli is one of the oldest water markets in Thailand, dating back to more than 150 years ago! It is also popular amongst locals, making this market a great place for people to mingle with locals and experience one of the original markets. Come early in the morning to watch the Buddhist monks paddle by to collect alms from local residents, which is a religious tradition of Thailand. Afterward, get breakfast at the market and see all the things this market has to offer!