Vendor boats gather at Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market, Bangkok, Thailand. (Photo courtesy of Lat Mayom Floating Market Facebook page)
In today’s digital age, shopping can be done with a click of the mouse. However, there is no substitute for a visit to a local market.
And that has become a whole lot easier thanks to the BMA putting on a feeder bus service from the MRT Blue Line station to Bangkok’s four best floating markets, serving as a link between urban dwellers and local farmers. If you are looking for a unique street food adventure and shopping spree, then head to these floating markets on a weekend.
Four brand-new electric buses with USB charging ports and modern facilities provide a free ride from/to the MRT Bang Khun Non Station to Wat Saphan Floating Market, Taling Chan Floating Market, Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market, and Song Khlong Floating Market.
Prepare to immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of local life while attempting to make sense of the unique sights, aromas, and sounds that surround you. Whether you’re looking for fresh and organic vegetables, sweet-and-sour Pad Thai with a giant river prawn or unique gifts, Bangkok’s most popular floating markets have got you covered.
WAT SAPHAN FLOATING MARKET
Nestled along the Bangkok Noi Canal, this floating market shares the ground with the Buddhist temple of Wat Saphan. The historical temple is a destination in its own right since local people often pay a visit to see and pray before the three beautiful sandstone Buddhas crafted during the Ayutthaya period (1351-1767). Unlike the iconic floating markets found in the tourism ads, the Wat Saphan Floating Market is not merely a tourist attraction. It meets the needs of the local community for food and fresh ingredients for home cooking. Thai sweets, crispy mussel omelette, and hearty bowls of noodles, on the other hand, could make for a fantastic day out for hungry visitors. Furthermore, the Wat Saphan Floating Market with its network of active canals, boats, and houses along a waterway reminds you that Bangkok is built upon the water.
TALING CHAN FLOATING MARKET
Located in the middle of Bangkok’s farming area and set along the Chakphra Canal, the Taling Chan Floating Market is a foodie’s paradise. Locals and discerning visitors often take a short ride from Bangkok to the floating market to eat over the weekend. The market is bustling with hundreds of food stalls standing on the canal-side boardwalk and with merchant boats loaded with seasonal fruits and vegetables from nearby orchards and gardens. Bag yourself a bargain meal from any of food stalls serving dumplings, meat skewers, oyster omelettes, roasted giant freshwater prawns and pad Thai. Eat at canal-side tables while watching the world go by. Then, add adventure and a sense of expedition to your weekend by taking a long-tailed boat ride through the canal network.
SONG KHLONG FLOATING MARKET
Nestled at the corner of the Chak Phra and Taling Chan Temple canals in Bangkok’s northern district, the Song Khlong Floating Market is only 500 metres away from the famous Taling Chan Floating Market. Unlike its counterpart, the Song Khlong Floating Market is way smaller and more tranquil with local vendors plying local products from stalls and on boats. The place serves as a community market where you will find local and organic produce, snacks to nibble on and local crafts.
KHLONG LAT MAYOM FLOATING MARKET
Set along a small waterway on the west side of Bangkok, the Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market is a short ride from the Taling Chan Floating Market. Unlike its northern counterpart, Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market is quite small and off the tourist map. But it offers a real taste of Bangkok’s outlying district as you shop together with the locals, browsing the many stalls of Thai desserts, tropical fruits, seafood BBQ, aromatic grilled pork sausage and local herbs and spices. As you go, look for a canal-side table and order a bowl of “Boat Noodle” – “Kuay Tiaw Reau” in Thai – from any boat vendor. This bowl of noodles in spicy soup is a perfect match for a floating market.
If you go
The BMA Feeder is free on Saturday and Sunday (9am – 4.45pm). It departs from the MRT Bang Khun Non Station every 15 minutes for the floating markets. An electric feeder bus seats 20 people, has a ramp for wheelchairs, free wi-fi and phone charging systems. Passengers can check the route and timetable through the ViaBus application