Visit the floating market of Damnoen Saduak in Bangkok

Let’s discover how to visit the floating market of Damnoen Saduak in Bangkok! We begin with a brief introduction. If you are planning to visit the floating market of Damnoen Saduak and discover a remote corner of Bangkok, or of the Thailand, you’re definitely out of the way. The Thai floating markets are almost completely extinct. The floating market of Damnoen Saduak is practically a kind of zoo for tourists. A less faithful reproduction of what it was before globalization. A faded photocopy of a way of life almost forgotten. So, is visiting the floating market of Damnoen Saduak a good idea? Despite this background it worth. We visit Egyptian museums even if they are an extinct population.

Why visit the floating market of Damnoen Saduak

visitare il mercato galleggiante di Damnoen Saduak
Pic by Gennaro Grasso

What to see in the floating market of Damnoen Saduak? Damnoen Saduak is a western district of Thailand, in Ratchaburi province. The area, which is about 100 km from the center of Bangkok, has little to offer. The roads are poorly maintained, the unkempt grass is strewn everywhere, the ground is almost always wet. What makes this area is extremely popular is the most tourist floating market of Thailand: the floating market of Damnoen Saduak.
The market consists of a network of tributaries and streams with many stilt houses. The characteristic of the floating markets in Thailand is one. The goods in these markets are exchanged between vessels, or by stilt houses. Imagine the scene. Dozens of boats, like canoes, who flock the small, bad smelling and turbid canals. From the boats the voices and the incessant treat of the merchants. That’s what it means to visit the floating market of Damnoen Saduak.
The market may be visited by canoes or from the mainland. I advise you both, especially if you love photography.
If seeing so much food you got hungry, here are the main things to eat in Thailand!

The floating market of Damnoen Saduak between tradition and tourism

damnoen saduak and floating market
Pic by Gennaro Grasso

The Damnoen Saduak floating market in Thailand is one of the oldest and most traditional places of sale of fruit and vegetables: the sale to passers takes place directly from a small boat on the main canal running through the city. Obviously, nowdays visiting the floating market of Damnoen Saduak means to be within a show for tourists. Only in the early hours of the morning you can see a glimmer of real market. From 9 am visiting the floating market of Damnoen Saduak means seeing a souvenir market, T-shirts, skewers, beer and soft drinks. Truly a sad one.
From the mainland it will be almost impossible to walk between the swarm of tourists. On canoes, the boatmen will stop you for embarrassing minutes at each stilt house or canoes selling souvenirs.

How to reach the floating market of Damnoen Saduak

Reaching the floating market of Damnoen Saduak from Bangkok is quite easy. As for most of the excursions from the Thai capital, I suggest you get to the Victory Monument Skytrain station.
In this giant square you can reach many of the outside Bangkok area by bus. Needless to say that the private bus is the only way to reach certain places. Despite this I was very surprised by the quality of service.
Going to the floating market of Damnoen Saduak by bus from Bangkok means traveling in small minibus for 11 seats, with air-conditioning and fans, uncrowded and quite punctual.

Visiting the floating market of Damnoen Saduak, beware of scams

The scam attempts begin right away. The single bus ride from Bangkok to the floating market costs 100 baht. But miraculously in Damnoen Saduak the price doubles with no possibility of negotiation. I followed some online advice and I asked for a round trip ticket. But, as written in my opinions on Bangkok, the scam is always around the corner. The bus will stop at a point about one kilometer away from the floating market of Damnoen Saduak, making your visit for free really difficult. Here you will literally assaulted by improvised “tour operator” who want offer you a bitter pay service. A ride on their typical Thai boats. Prices are extremely various. For two people, visiting the floating market of Damnoen Saduak by canoe can cost 3000 baht. This is the amount they have asked me. After long negotiations I paid 800 baht in two.

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