Float On at Damnoen Saduak Canal Market
Experience a must see destination and slice of Thai life from the past: canals and the transportation and commercial activity these waterways created.
Located about 100 km southwest of Bangkok in Ratchaburi Province, the Damnoen Saduak floating market is jam-packed with hundreds of canal vendors in their small row boats. Business is brisk with buying and selling locally grown produce such as papayas, grapes, coconuts, bananas and oranges.
Besides fresh produce and flowers, vendors along the edge of the canal also sell all kinds of tourist souvenirs, from sun hats that double as hand fans, to wooden elephants, tiger balm, and you name it, they probably have it! Of course there are also plenty of boats carrying your camera-laden travelers through this crowded commercial area. The canal side vendors and the rowboats are all trying to sell their wares to a new crop of captive customers.
King Rama IV ordered the Damnoen Saduak canal to be built in 1866 to improve transportation between Ratchaburi and Samut Sakhon Provinces. Finished two years later, the canal passes through peaceful rural plantations before arriving at the floating market’s frenetic commercial activity.
This canal market, only two hours drive from Bangkok, is the most well known of its kind. Your travelers may feel a bit overwhelmed because Damnoen Saduak has become very commercialized, but it also represents a slice of traditional Thai life from the past that is rapidly disappearing. Our advice to your travelers is to ignore the touristy aspects and have a good time absorbing the colorful spectacle complete with sights, sounds, as well as smells that are hard to resist!
Taking a break with a Thai snack, like a savory bowl of boat noodles and a refreshing drink is a good way to relax and watch all the activities floating by. The best time to visit is very early in the morning before the large tourist buses arrive around 9 am. For travelers who may want a less crowded floating market experience, we recommend checking out the nearby Maekhlong railway market or Amphawa.
For more information about tours to Bangkok’s traditional market areas, please contact to [email protected]