Sunday, 24 August 2014

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand

While travelling from Bangkok to Hua Hin we detoured a bit to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand. It is about 100 km from Bangkok in the District Ratchaburi.

Long tail boats on the Damnoen Saduak Canal

We started early from Bangkok as our friendly guide Joey did tell us the market remains open only in the morning. We got off the bus at a point where we got into long tailed motor boats which took us along the Damnoen Saduak canal (same name as the market) with views of the local villages, upraised boats (when not being used) and houses on stilts and even a giant statue of Buddha.

A statue of Buddha along the Damnoen Saduak waterway

The motor boat ride lasted for about 15-20 minutes. One should be careful not to stick any of their body parts outside the boat as at turns the boat almost touches the cemented sides and one good get hurt if not careful.

Villages enroute to the floating market in Ratchburi District

The canal serves both the purpose of providing transportation to the locals as well as irrigation water to the farmers. At the market the canal is packed with colourful wooden boats selling mainly fruits, vegetables, hats etc to the people on the land. Of course there was some buying and selling from boat to boat (mainly to the tourists). Some parts of the market are relatively quiet but the main area is very loud as one would expect of an Asian market!

A boat carrying fruits at the Damnoen Saduak flating market

I have seen floating market in India as well on the Dal Lake in Srinagar in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. But the one I saw in Damnoen Saduak was more colourful and boisterous.

Coconut pancakes being made & sold on the boat in the floating market

The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is considered to be the original floating market catering to the locals though there are now other floating markets that have come up. Now some of these floating markets are mainly catering to the tourists.

The quieter side of the Damnoen Saduak Flaring Market 

Surprising thing was that several of the merchandise was being sold by boat-ladies in their colourful attire and the big hats. The fixed market on the land selling wares were actually expensive compared to Bangkok though I am told one can negotiate the prices upto 40% or so though I still did not buy anything from this place.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand

Another unique thing here is that when you are getting into the boat someone takes your picture (I did not even realise it at that time) and when you finish the market tour at one of the shops they are selling souvenir plates with your photo on it and you are completely taken by surprise as to how did this happen. The price of this souvenir varies from 200 to 400 Baht.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand

Note: This trip was on invitation from the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Thai Air. I am thankful to them for their wonderful hospitality and the amazing experience that they provided.

Also read:
Phraya Nakhon Cave in the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park in Thailand

Would you like to have a separate waiting room to yourself?

Tourism in Thailand: Lessons for India

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