In olden time most communities of Thailand were formed at the sides of rivers. Many criss-crossing rivers and canals served as means of transportation. Such ways of life of the riverside communities, especially in the Chao Phraya River Basin brought to the rise of a number of floating markets.
Floating markets had become a token of the communities in the central plain of Thailand for centuries. This type of market gained peak popularity in the Ayutthaya Period (1350-1767), thanks to the adjoining canals which suited for trading centres.
Early in the Rattanakosin Period (1782-1868) this kind of market was still lively. Nevertheless, soon after more and more road and rail networks were constructed and people preferred street transportation to that by water, so some floating markets were forced to move onto the ground, some were renovated and some were closed down.
FLOATING MARKETS IN OUR TIME
Given that many floating markets bear stories of people's lives and possess matchless charisma that we Thais would be unhappy to lose, many such markets have been revived and brought into existence in order to allow people of the latest generations and overseas tourists to take in the genuine impression of the riverside shopping.
TODAY'S FLOATING MARKETS
Floating Market at Talingchan
Situated in front of the Talingchan District Office in the west of Bangkok, it is open on weekends from 08.00 to 17.00 hrs. For those stay in Bangkok, this is the nearest floating market where you can observe the locals' ways of life. Products sold here are fruits and vegetables fresh from nearby gardens, several kinds of plants, edible stuff like traditional desserts and OTOP goods. You should seek for the "boat noodles" which is a renowned Thai bowl with superb flavours. And what shouldn't be missed is a long-tail boat trip along the canals. The boats are presented there from 08.30 to 16.00 hrs.
Floating Market at Damnoen Saduak
Lively atmosphere of Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Photos of this vivacious marketplace featuring countless vendor boats loaded with fruits and vegetables of different colours and paddled by local women wearing wicker hats, are among the most frequently published in tourist magazines and advertising materials of Thailand. The large and well-liked floating market at Damnoen Saduak is located about 80 km southwest of Bangkok in Ratchaburi province. The best time to visit the market is the early morning, as early as possible; to avoid great throngs of tourists and before the produce is sold out. Canal cruising around the serene neighborhood is also offered. The market is open everyday from around 06.30 to 11.00 hrs.
Floating Market at Amphawa
Amphawa Floating Market is an evening floating market operated on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 16.00 to around 21.00 hrs. It is in Amphawa County, Samut Songkhram Province (72 km from Bangkok). The market is near Wat Amphawan Chetiyaram. In the Amphawa Canal, vendors row their boats laden with foods such as boat noodles, phat thai, traditional-style coffee and Thai desserts. On land, food stalls also filled the area. Another popular activity in Amphawa is to take a boat and watch the beautiful flickering fireflies at night, especially the waxing- moon nights.
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