The best Floating Market Tours from Bangkok

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Have you actually been to Bangkok if you haven't visited one of its incredible floating markets? These unique, floating bazaars have exponentially developed since they first began and have always been an important piece of Thai culture. A visit here offers travelers the chance to try one of the country's incredible local dishes, vintage-style photo opportunities, and a glimpse into Thai's traditional lifestyle.

Found about 1.5 hours from central Bangkok are the floating markets of Damnoen Saduak and Amphawa. At the Damnoen Saduak floating market, you will experience scenic and enjoyable sampan boat rides whilst watching the locals partake in their daily activities, only if you know how to avoid the tourist traps. The Amphawa Weekend floating market, on the other hand, is where the locals actually partake in trade, making it so local and authentic that you will hardly hear a word of English!

Having a great time does not to be a difficult endeavor thanks to Inspitrip. Save yourself the trouble of falling into a tourist trap by going on one of our amazing, floating market experiences!

The best Bangkok floating market tours:
beyond your expectations

Long before Bangkok became the capital of the country in 1782, much of Central Thailand was located in wet lowlands of board river valleys. Floating markets were a thriving hub of activities and regional trading amongst the local because of this.

These unique shopping venues will make you feel as though you are in another world. You may find yourself wondering how the locals maintain stability on a small, bobbing boat in the water, or how the sellers manage to cook with an open flame and not set their boat on fire. Be sure to save those questions for your local Thai guide on one of our incredible experiences. Whether you walk, row, take a private tour, or join in on one of our group tours, our best Bangkok floating market tours will delight all travelers with tons of insightful and worry-free adventures.

A guide at the start, a friend at the end

There is nothing more valuable than having a local friend who is passionate about sharing their culture with you. They know how to navigate the region with ease, know which sights are worth seeing, and understand what meaning this place or that tradition conveys. Having an English-speaking local by your side makes communicating a lot easier, as well. And most importantly, they care about you.

Luckily for you, our caring and knowledgeable guide with Inspitrip will become your buddy throughout your market experience. You will leave with in-depth knowledge about Thailand and these floating wonders as well as a new friend. What could be better than that?

Bangkok floating market

A food paradise on the narrow canals

Thailand is certainly the king of street food. A trip to one of the floating markets will take the country's already outstanding reputation to a whole new level. Amphawa will be a foodie heaven for all of our seafood-loving travelers. Vendors will even invite you to have a taste of their squid, shrimp, or dried fish before actually having to purchase anything.

If you're a fan of Thailand's famous noodle dishes, then you should instead head to Damnoen Saduak to try a bowl of its famous boat noodles. This dish is served in a rich broth that will impress even the pickiest mouths. Do not forget you will be indulging in all of these dishes on your very own rowboat. It will surely an unforgettable experience!

Thai food in floating market

A chance to be a part of the customs

During the long cultural history, the morning almsgiving has been an emblematic custom that significantly bespeaks the religious beliefs of Thai people. In the early morning, Buddhist monks will travel from their temples to the residential areas. They slowly pass by shops and houses, offer local people blessings in exchange for food and alms. The giving of alms is not thought of as charity but is to create a spiritual connection between the monks and the people. The almsgiving actually takes place throughout the country but there some places that are enchanting to see.

On your trip to Thailand's floating markets, an early morning start will give you the chance to experience this incredible spiritual atmosphere. Also, be sure to ask your local guide to teach you some simple Thai greetings, you will definitely be touched by the generosity and kindness of this tradition.

buddhist monk morning alms in Bangkok's floating markets

An exploration at twilight

Not only gather dynamic trading activities taken place in boats, Thailand's floating markets also uphold the long-standing religious beliefs of ancient Thais. Take a speedboat and drive along the river at night and marvel at the picturesque scenes of fireflies (and bats, too) coming out after dark. You will get to witness things gracefully emerge after the sun has set while your local guide fills you in with religious stories of some sacred temples found along the canals.

Thailand's floating markets sunset

Fascinating local insights

Damnoen Saduak is often criticized for its touristic atmosphere, as it is surely the most famous floating market near Bangkok. Trading activities in Damnoen are mainly tailored for tourists, but the place itself still deserves a spot on your itinerary as there are certain areas remaining hidden and only frequented by locals.

While Amphawa is a bit more local with many of the visitors are Bangkokians coming for fresh seafood and authentic goods. Still, not all visitors even the natives have the knowledge to fully explore this incredible market. Think of our local guide as your experienced and informative friend; you will gain fascinating insights into these water wonderlands as well as Thai's culture!

local shops in Damnoen Saduak floating market

Frequently asked questions

Is Thailand's floating markets worth a visit?

YES, they are. Thailand’s floating markets are truly a melting pot of savory local dishes, scenic village spots, and home to a long-standing river culture and friendly people. You must visit one while traveling in the Kingdom!

If you are adventurous and want to explore the hidden gems of Thailand that haven't yet been overrun by tourists, Damnoen Saduak will satisfy your curious soul. Visit a traditional workshop, learn to make local handicrafts with the locals or try a bowl of the country's famous pork noodles while riding a sampan boat along the narrow canals.

For those who just want to feel a world away from the oftentimes cramped city of Bangkok, Amphawa floating market will bring you that peaceful atmosphere you crave and allow you to get the taste of Thailand's countryside. Seeing the locals reside and thrive along the canals while learning about religious customs will certainly enrich your knowledge of the country.

Both markets are about 1.5 hours away from central Bangkok, though you will feel as though you have left the chaotic capital far behind once you venture to these water bazaars.

When is the best time to visit?

Weather in Thailand can be best described as tropical and humid for the majority of the year. Bangkok experiences three main seasons: the hot, rainy, and cool season. The hot season is from March to June, the rainy season is from July to October and the cool season is between November and February. The best time to travel to these markets is during the cool (or dry) season.

The main trading activities at the Damnoen Saduak floating market start at about 8 a.m and finish at noon. It is best to arrive around 8:30 a.m. When the market is still calm. You can also avoid the majority of tourists making their way from Bangkok. On the other hand, Amphawa is only open from Fridays to Sundays, and the main attractions come out after dark. You still can also visit Amphawa floating markets during the week, however, be aware that it's much quieter.

Can I visit the Mekong Delta by myself?

Of course, you can! Amphawa floating market is approximately 90 km southwest of Bangkok, and it takes about an hour to get there by car. You can then reach Damnoen Saduak floating market by driving about another 15 minutes. The challenge you will face is finding transportation to and from these markets and back to the capital. This is especially challenging when most of the locals do not speak English and the rest of the crowd are tourists, as well.

Riding in a sampan boat along the narrow canals will certainly be one of the highlights of visiting these markets. You can rent a shared boat with other visitors for about ฿400-600 per person or a motorboat for about ฿800-1,000 per person. Make sure to negotiate and get the best deal possible. Also, be careful of tourist traps, scams, and being overcharged, which are all common occurrences at these markets. Do some research to get tips about things to do in Thailand’s floating markets in order to avoid such problems.

The other way to venture to these markets is with a local, ensuring that you avoid all of these tourist traps. Booking a day tour with Inspitrip will save you both time and money as well as avoid any logistical problems you may run into. Our experienced and local guides will help you navigate these markets with ease, making sure to stop at anything and everything worth seeing as well as communicate with the local vendors effectively to get you the best prices on anything you may want to purchase.

How long should I stay at the Mekong Delta?

Most visitors go on a one-day trip to the floating markets in Bangkok. This gives you plenty of time to explore the unspoiled and rural landscaping around Amphawa. Staying overnight in order to discover this hidden gem and learn more about the history and culture of the region is not a bad idea, as well. If you want to witness a spiritual ceremony given by the locals, then get an early start. You will see monks meandering the canals making their early morning alms. After experiencing this cultural event, take a walk along the banks of the river, have a local breakfast, or do some shopping before heading to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.

Why should you travel to the Mekong Delta with Inspitrip?

Because you will get to experience Thailand’s most famous floating markets in the most authentic way possible. Our experiences are handcrafted by our knowledgeable, local guides. They are passionate about bringing their cultural values throughout your trip, ensuring that both your time and money are well spent.

We also have countless tour options for you to choose from, including private and small group tours. Simply choose the type of experience that speaks to you and go on one of the most memorable experiences of your life!