Thursday, 7 August 2014

Floating markets Damnoen Saduak and Amphawa

Floating markets Damnoen Saduak and Amphawa

Damnoen Saduak (Thai: ดำเนินสะดวก, lit. Comfortable travel) floating market in the morning in Ratchaburi province, Amphawa (Thai: อัมพวา) floating market in the afternoon in Samut Songkram province, both about 100 km west of Bangkok.

In five years of traveling to Thailand, I had not been to these floating markets, and in hindsight I didn't miss anything. A friend from Malaysia was on holiday in Bangkok with her whole family and she invited me to join her to these floating markets (they are 10 people, so we needed one van and two boats anyway, no additional costs for me).

Sunday, 27.07.2014

I haven't been up that early for a long time, arrive in Arnoma hotel (opposite Central World) 6:39 (am!) to meet my friend. Van to Damnoen Saduak 7:08-8:42. 

When boarding the boat, my friend drops her sunglasses into the canal. Discussion among the Thai staff, finally a Thai man (snake handler from nearby stall for photo with snake) offers do dive for it, 300 Baht in case of success. He takes off his shirt and goes into the water. After some minutes, he finds the sunglasses. That was the most exciting event for me on the floating markets.

Boat trip 9:05-10:28, with two stops to go on land (market on land and temple). Coconut water costs 30 Baht (same as elsewhere, I had one), but Pad Thai is 80 Baht (and my friends have some). 

Overall, I would describe the tour on boat as awkward and uncomfortable and the stuff on offer is most probably as overpriced as the Pad Thai and you can probably get it cheaper in Bangkok. But there was a boat traffic jam, something I never experienced before! It boggles my mind why people get up at ungodly times, drive an hour to sit in a boat and eat overpriced Pad Thai (uncomfortable when you sit in a boat, similar to eating in an airplane) and look at and even buy products you can get cheaper elsewhere in better comfort (walking, standing, maybe even aircon). Why would you pay for the discomfort of sitting in a boat when you can do the same shopping walking on land? Expose yourself to noise and fumes from combustion engines? But I assumed as much, that's why I didn't go to these floating markets before, but waited for such an opportunity (join my friends for free).

Drive to Amphawa 10:43-11:00. Have lunch there, walk around. There is some activity, but the floating market takes place in the afternoon/evening (as I would learn later from internet and talking with Thai friends).

You would have to pay me money to make me go back to any of these places!

Leave 12:38, just when it starts to rain. Heavy rain on our ride back. I get off the van 14:30 in Sathorn road, so I can walk back to my room. Back in my room, have an afternoon nap (the first in my life, but I got to bed at 3 am after G-Star Pavilion disco, and got up around 6 am, so it is appropriate).

To be continued (seafood dinner, Asiatique, Sky bar).

Copyright 2014 ChristianPFC


  1. I'm glad you finally saw sunrise over Bangkok. I agree with your assessment of attractiveness of floating markets but first comers to Thailand are usually looking for what their guides are telling them.

    Rumors are you had good time at Saranrom recently.

  2. I did not see sunrise, the sun was already up around 6 am when I got up.

    Just saw information about tour to floating markets in Malaysia hotel, why do they take tourists to that crap instead of other places like Erawan museum or Ancient City?

    Update about Saranrom is scheduled for next week. Will be in Pattaya over the weekend, posts for the next days are scheduled for 12:00 (Bangkok time).

  3. They are taking tourists to floating markets because shopping is nr 1 activity for tourists and beats easily sightseeing.

    I agree with you about that crap but we are in minority unfortunately.
    It's why Asiatique is becoming such an attraction.

  4. actually Amphawa is a bit more scenic when it really works-later in the afternoon and early evening. Its by far more populair among Thai as among farang-many stay over in B&Bs for the weekend. But in comparison -I think you have been there- those also ''floating'' near Chachoengsao are more worthwhile.
    The early dep. for DS is mostly as those tours do kanchanaburi later in the day. Then they have to be @ tigertemple by 16.00 But originally Thai markets were very early in the morning.


Comments are currently unmoderated and open to everyone. I will see how this works out and might switch to moderation. Please sign your comment with a name or identifier.