Getting to the Floating Market of Damnoen Saduak

Last Updated on March 21, 2024 by Christine Kaaloa

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Getting to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market


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This Thailand travel guide is about how to get to the floating market of Damnoen Saduak and is it worthwhile?

It was my first solo trip to Thailand and the notion of seeing river houses raised on stilts and farmers selling their produce and wares on wooden boats felt so exotic. I was captivated by the boats selling colorful produce, foods being stir fried up and delivered by a long pole.. it was thrilling, new. As the top floating market in Bangkok, Damnoen Saduak was also crowded with tourists, but I didn’t care ! I was so enthralled with this market on the river, I didn’t even notice them.

Four years later … I’ve seen a handful of stilted river houses, floating villages, and floating markets throughout Southeast Asia, such as Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam…  Damnoen Saduak continues to pack in the crowds, it’s a crowded tourist trap and yet, it’s still a place I like to revisit. Call me sentimental.

The timeless appeal of Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Located around 30-40 minutes from Bangkok in the Ratchaburi province, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is a colorful Thai market filled with vendors cooking up and frying Thai dishes or selling products as they paddle their boats on the river.  Here, you can buy cheap trinkets, have your meal served to you from a boat via a fishing pole and even have your picture taken with… a boa constrictor?

Read 41 Best Things to Do in Bangkok in Historical Bangkok

Cheap tourist souvenirs are sold anywhere from a wooden frog sound maker to clothes. Food-wise, a lot of Thai fruits are sold on the boats, while parked boats serve deep-fried snacks, dried seafood, and noodle dishes. It’s a wonderful Thai foodie experience. You can buy a snack as you ride your boat or on the ground, pull up a plastic stool before a parked boat vendor and slurp your noodles as you watch the madness of the market.

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Experience the tastes of Thailand at Damnoen Saduak floating market

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This is the lady that will extend your food from a fishing pole.
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Savor the tastes of Thai food from floating boats


As the most popular floating market in Thailand,  Damnoen Saduak has grown into a tourist trap over the years.  But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t see it. There’s a tourist in me that enjoys reliving this memory and seeing familiar faces of the vendors. The same women have worked here over the years.

Just a head’s up, Damnoen Saduak is not as big as photographs imply. While you’ll take a boat through the klongs, the actual length of Damnoen Saduak floating market is quite short …less than a block long!

Read 41 Best things to Do in Downtown Bangkok

Photo tip: The best shot of the boats and market is from the short bridge at the end of the floating market

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damnoen saduak floating market

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Shopper’s paradise: Buying souvenirs at Damnoen Saduak
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Trying delicious Thai food from the floating boats of Damnoen Saduak


Damnoen Saduak floating market vs other floating markets in Thailand: Which is best?

As far as Bangkok floating markets go, Damnoen Saduak is the most popular.  Amphawa Floating Market is more Thai authentic, local and smaller.  For weekend seafood lovers, Taling Chan Market is the closest, easiest, and best for a fantastic seafood lunch of prawns or fish, but it is less visual as grilling boats are docked at the restaurant. I love revisiting Taling Chan too for its huge juicy prawns and there’s an inexpensive khlong tour that costs less than Damnoen Saduak and visits more places.

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What is the best time to visit Damnoen Saduak floating market?

Ideally, you’d like to arrive as early as 7 am. Once the crowd rolls in at 9 am, the boat traffic jam begins and it’s not funny. On my most recent trip, the jam was so horrendous, the boats couldn’t even move. Luckily, I just watched the bottleneck from the bridge.

How much do Damnoen Saduak boat fees cost?

Boats can range from a cheap row boat (around 200-300 baht) to a motorboat (600-800 baht, which at that rate, you’d might as well just take one of the many cheap budget day tours offered in Bangkok). You can definitely haggle prices lower. The boat rides are said to be around one hour and on your way to the market, you’ll pass through the khlongs and see some stilted houses. But as I said, the market itself is less than a block long.

Take a look around the market on foot first. You may decide a boat ride isn’t worth it.  You can easily take photos from the bridge or on the walkway lining the market. Once 9 am rolls around, it’s a hot tourist mess.

Tip: If you’re looking more for a longer khlong tour, a better option is to take the three-hour boat ride from  Taling Chan Floating Market. Super affordable. It’s not touristy and it’ll take you through the residential khlongs with a couple of stops.

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3 Ways of Getting to Damnoen Saduak

Thailand is a wonderful country for budget travelers, so while getting to the floating market of Damnoen Saduak, may take some time, there are ways to get there without burning your wallet.  The most costly method will be to hire a taxi to get you there, but if you’re short on time and prefer to avoid the hassle, it’s convenient. Here’s some ways to get to the market…

Hassle Free Solo Tip: Take in multiple spots like Amphawa Floating and train Market or tour of “must-see” weekend floating markets.

Hire an inexpensive budget tour of Damnoen Saduak

There are many ways of getting to Damnoen Saduak Floating market. The beauty of Thailand is its budget tour costs.  On my first trip to Damnoen Saduak, I took an inexpensive half day tour of Damnoen Saduak and enjoyed it! I picked up at my hostel in an air-conditioned van with an English-speaking guide; I got a boat ride at the floating market,  a wood carving shop, and a free bottle of water!

The combo budget tour packages (under $50) have grown, removing painful guesswork, haggling and transportation stress:

Downside:  With tours you’ll likely get to the floating market by 9AM and unfortunately, this is when a lot of other tourists arrive as well and it gets pretty crowded.

Taking Public Transportation

Thailand has a variety of transportation (I list 20 ways here) so don’t stress it. Take an Uber to avoid the stress of dealing with Bangkok taxi scams to Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal, where you’ll catch bus #78.  The Southern Bus Terminal is located outside the city center. Another pickup point is on the street level of Siam Square (there’s a tourism kiosk on the opposite side of the street).

The bus starts running around 6 am and runs approximately every 30-40 minutes. The bus will drop you around 1km from the market in a nondescript area and you’ll need to catch a taxi or motorbike taxi who tried to charge me 100 baht, when it wasn’t far.  When you get to the floating market, you’ll need to negotiate the cost of your boat ride.

Downside: You’ll need to get up early and haggle half of that journey.

Tip: Hire a private guide for the day to assist you with your sightseeing itinerary via public transportation or via private car.

Stay overnight in Samut Songkhram and take a taxi or bus from there.

Samut Songkhram is closer to Damnoen Saduak than Bangkok and even more, the less crowded Amphawa Floating Market. An incentive is to visit the Maeklong Railway Train (aka the Pulldown Umbrella Train) and Amphawa Floating Market prior.

Better yet, book a budget Damnoen Saduak to Maeklong Market tour .

Read directions from Samut Songkhram to Damnoen Saduak.


Book your Thailand bus and train tickets in advance

12GoAsia is a handy train and VIP bus booking service I’ve used in Thailand, which lets you see timetables and make bookings in advance so you don’t have to stress!  You will still need to pick up your tickets in person, however. Read Taking the Bus in Bangkok

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Should you get Travel Insurance in Thailand ?

YES. Travel insurance is always recommended for all travel but I highly recommend it for Thailand. Thailand is an adventurous destination and a fun one. I like to get adventure trip insurance with World Nomads, because they handle a lot of adventure activities that other insurances don’t, such as snorkeling, trekking,  scuba diving certification, caving, driving a motorbike, rock climbing, etc..  While their urban cities have very good medical facilities, you never know what can happen in motorbike accidents or transportation. I’ve seen some bad motorbike spills in Thailand, especially Pai where tourists are learning for the first time! I’ve seen travelers come down with dengue. Although Thailand has great medical tourism facilities, this handles things when they get bad. You can use this trip insurance finder tool to find an insurance that matches your activities and budget.

Ever been to the floating markets in Thailand?


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