Though there are many fascinating aspects about Thailand such as gleaming temples, ritzy places, delectable fare and night markets, one facet that provides it a unique touch are its awe-inspiring floating markets. The rivers and canals that were once used as a means of transport by the communities who dwelled on their banks have now become a major tourist attraction due to the flourishing floating markets. These shops on water shot to fame in the Ayutthaya period. They even existed in the Rattanakosin period, but many were moved to the ground once the construction of road and rail networks started growing in the country. Thailand holidays are incomplete without the unique experience of visiting and shopping in these markets. There are many floating markets all over the nation. You must consider visiting these:
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – This market is the most prominent one in the region. It is a vivacious place brimming with boats, laden with fresh fruits and vegetables, and tourists from various places. Women rowing the boats wearing wicker hats form a scene which you will get to see now else, but here. This is a really nice place to capture a few brilliant photographs. The colorful and well planned market is not more than an hour's drive from Bangkok and is easily accessible. Many travel companies organize boat tours for visitors here. The place gets quite crowded as time progresses during the day. Therefore, it is best to visit the market in the morning.
Amphawa Floating Market – Amphawa is located in the Amphawa County, Samut Songkhram Province and lies just 90-km southwest of Bangkok. Charming wooden houses along the canals sell everything from souvenirs to snacks and sweets. The market runs on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. It is a great unwinding shopping experience for Thai people over the weekends and also houses several food stalls by the riverside. It is the second most popular floating market in Thailand after Damnoen Saduak. While you are here, do not miss the grilled squid and roasted shrimp.
Taling Chan Floating Market – The best part about this market is that it is open all day. Located just 12-km from Bangkok, it is a perfect place to actually enjoy the attractions of a floating market due to less crowd and enough number of boats. The entrance is not fascinating, but moving ahead one will discover all sorts of sweets, fruits and snacks which are worth experimenting. In fact, in comparison to its competitors like the famous Amphawa and Damnoen floating market, the Taling Chan floating market can be called a genuine market, where people can spend a good time without even booking a tour. Travelers can relish the seafood, shop and take pleasure in a longtail boat ride for 100 Baht. If you are looking for more, a 200 Baht foot massage under a shady tree can be really worth your money.
The floating markets alongside canals and rivers, which were once a way of life for the people have now become a form of entertainment for the tourists. While some like the Damnoen as it offers beautiful photo opportunities, there are others that are less famous, but deserve a visit. In fact, there are a many more which can be considered while planning a holiday in Thailand.