Floating markets are by far one of the main trademark attractions among Asian countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. The abundance of exotic goods sold directly from boats, the explosion of colors and the chatty locals always ready to tell a story are just some of the highlights of this truly amazing cultural experience.
Floating markets originated from a time when water transport played an important role in daily life. Most of the countries that have them are located either on islands or are crossed by broad rivers. From the very beginning, people living here used boats as their main mode of travel and although now most of the countries have a network of roads that connect cities and towns, boats are still used for transport and trade by farmers and locals that live along waterways.
Today we invite you to come along on a journey through some of the most unique floating markets, where food, culture and history meet in an exiting experience.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Ratchaburi, Thailand
Damnoen Saduak is the straightest and longest canal in Thailand. The canal was built on royal initiative as King Rama IV of Thailand wanted to link the Mae Klong River with Chinese river ways to support transportation and trade. It took over 2 years to dig, but in the end, the canal is 32 kilometers long and has more than 200 branches.
This is Thailand’s most famous floating market, with numerous tourists travelling here to shop, eat, or simply absorb the atmosphere.
Amphawa Floating Market, Samut Songkhram Province, Bangkok
Amphawa is the second most popular floating market near Bangkok, not as large as Damnoen Saduak but more authentic, with visitors almost exclusively Thai. Located 50 km from Bangkok, this once small village is the best place to enjoy canal side views and delicious local food.
At night, visitors can arrange for a boat trip to watch fireflies in cork trees as a fascinating night scene of the day.
Dal Lake, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Mekong Delta Floating Markets, Vietnam
Mekong Delta is a wonderful place to visit for many reasons. Here you can experience the busy floating markets, where locals show up with boats filled with the freshest fruits and vegetables, you can enjoy local food and get to learn more about the amazing culture of Vietnam from the locals themselves.
Cai Rang Floating Market, Vietnam
Cai Rang is the largest wholesale floating market in the Mekong Delta. It starts around 05:00 and runs until midday. Here you can find various foods, from exotic fruits and vegetables, to all sorts of local foods cooked on the boats. The experience is truly one-of-a-kind.