Monday, 27 May 2013

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

An easy day trip from Bangkok to the most popular floating market.

Main entrance




Following on from my other reviews about some of the day trips that I've been on from Bangkok, we recently went to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.

You can buy anything at the market

Getting there

It takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to get to the market from Bangkok. You can either go to the market as part of an organised tour or hire your own taxi for the day. When we compared the figures the organised tour was cheaper for the 2 of us, but if there had been 4 of us a taxi would have been cheaper and more flexible.

The flexible part stood out for us as soon as we saw the departure time on the ticket. 06.30am pick-up time! (Eek).

The early start was meant to "beat the crowds" to the market but when we got there it seemed that everyone had tried the same trick. The market wasn't overly crowded but it did feel a little cattle-pen style as we were herded from our bus to a waiting long tail boat which shuttled us to the market entrance.


Once in the market your world is really your oyster on what to look for and buy. Fruit and Vegetables were mainly sold in the boats, you just wave or call to a friendly vendor rowing up and down. They then come over to you where you complete your deal.

Clothing and souvenirs are mainly sold in stalls dotted around the market. Prices are a little higher than similar markets in Bangkok, but you're paying for the experience really.

We mainly ate good food and people-watched. We also saw quite a lot of snakes on the day. People just wander around with huge snakes around their necks. If you'd like to hold them or have a picture taken with them you just agree a price with the person beforehand.

If you're not a fan of snakes though watch out, as they just appear suddenly in front of you and tend to gather at the entrances to the market.

Conclusion

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market was worth a day trip, but I'd recommend adding it to another destination on your trip at the same time if you can. After an hour or so we were done, and then it's quite a long drive back.

Some further reading on the market:

Very impressive to see people actually cooking on the canoes - we kept worrying about fire or spillage!