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Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Michael Babcock, January 15th, 2013

Damnoen Saduak (ดำเนินสะดวก) Floating Market, is one of the most popular tourist destinations for both Thais and non-Thais. Located in Ratchaburi about 109 kilometers south of Bangkok (approximately 2 hours drive) it is well worth a visit. In Thai, this type of market is called a ตลาดน้ำ (Talaat Nahm), which literally means “water market.”

Note: : If you wish, please skip directly to the slideshow of Damnoen Saduak at the bottom of the page.

Fried Banana Boats - 3

Fried Banana Boats

Kasma used to take her off-the-beaten-track” tours to this popular destination. In the past, particularly in Bangkok (once called “The Venice of the East”), floating markets were more common than markets on land; this is a chance to see floating markets and imagine how it must have been.

(Click images to see larger version.)

In order to get the best experience, Kasma leaves Bangkok quite early in the morning so that the group can arrive by 7:00 a.m. At that time, there are few tourists and are still many vendors in their boats on the klong (canal). It’s a chance to see the market before it’s overrun by tourists. Kasma rents boats paddled by a single person and, after grazing through the market and purchasing a few kanom (snacks) to tide the group over until breakfast, she takes the group through some of the auxiliary canals near the market. Later on the canals will be packed and there will be motor boats to disturb the peaceful silence.

View from Bridge

View from Bridge

One thing you can not avoid on the boat rides is slowing down near the stalls on the side selling clothes and souvenirs. Be warned: the prices at the market are usually higher than elsewhere, sometimes two to three times (or more): if you see something you like: bargain!!

After a stop to see palm sugar being made (if the group is lucky: they’re not always working when we are there), the boats return to the main market area where the tour members sit and eat delicious “Boat Noodles” (ก๋วยเตี๋ยวเรือ – Kway Teow Reua) – see our blog Boat Noodles at Damnoen Saduak Market. Afterwards, we walk the market area by the piers, grazing and shopping for fruit, and climb the stairs to a bridge overlooking the main canal, a good vantage point for photographs.

We also make a stop at a stand on the way out of the market to buy ขนมครก (Kanom Krok) -Grilled Coconut-Rice Hot Cakes. Sometimes they make them using black sticky rice flour so we can purchase them in two colors.

It’s a fun excursion. Well worth the visit, particularly if you can get there early.

How to Get There

By Car: From Bangkok. Take Highway No. 4 (Phetchakasem Rd.) and turn left at Km. 80. You’ll travel about 25 kms more along the Bangpae-Damnoen Saduak Rd. You can also get there by joining a tour or by bus from the Southern Bus Terminal on Borommarat Chachonnani Road starting at 6 a.m.

Damnoen Saduak Slideshow

Click on “Play” below to begin a slideshow.

Clicking on a slide will take you to the next image.

Market Sign
Side Canal
Canal Scene
Thai Snack
Buddha Statue
Noodle Vendor
Lime Vendor
Food Vendor
Banana Vendor
Fruit Vendor
Fried Banana Boats
Fried Banana Boats - 2
Cutting Bananas
Frying Bananas
Wok Close-up
Fried Banana Boats - 3
Selling Bananas
Nursery Boat
Mango Boat
Boat Noodle Sign
Making Noodles
Boat Noodles
Making Snacks
Kanom Krok
View from Bridge

One of the signs for Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, from the canal

Heading out on a side-canal early in the morning just after sunrise

One of the less-traveled side canals

Another canal scene at Damnoen Saduak

This vendor is selling Thai-Style Coconut Macaroon Cakes - ขนมบ้าบิ่น (Kanom Ba Bin)

Thai-Style Smoked Coconut Macaroon Cakes - ขนมบ้าบิ่น (Kanom Ba Bin)

This monk is using a boat on his morning alms round

Transporting a Buddha statue - you never know what you'll see

This vendor is assembling "Boat Noodles" - ก๋วยเตี๋ยวเรือ (Kway Teow Reua)

Vendor selling limes

A food vendor at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Grilled banana vendor; everything cooked on the boat

Fruit vendor on the water

Two boats dedicated to frying bananas - กล้วยทอด (Kluey Tawd)

Close up of the two boats selling fried bananas

Cutting the bananas to fry

Close-up of the frying bananas in a big wok

The frying bananas, close-up

Frying bananas (right) and displaying them (left)

Woman selling Fried Bananas - กล้วยทอด (Kluey Tawd)

A nursery on a boat, featuring young coconut trees

Boat selling Sticky Rice and Mango - ข้าวเหนียวมะม่วง (Kao Niao Mamuang)

Here's where we purchase our delicious "Boat Noodles" - ก๋วยเตี๋ยวเรือ (Kway Teow Reua)

"Boat Noodles" being assembled at our favorite place

Our favorite "Boat Noodles" - ก๋วยเตี๋ยวเรือ (Kway Teow Reua)

This vendor, on the land, is making Grilled Coconut-Rice Hot Cakes - ขนมครก (Kanom Krok)

Close-up of Grilled Coconut-Rice Hot Cakes - ขนมครก (Kanom Krok)

Here's the view from a bridge overlooking the market

Market Sign thumbnail
Canal thumbnail
Side Canal thumbnail
Canal Scene thumbnail
Vendor thumbnail
Thai Snack thumbnail
Monk thumbnail
Buddha Statue thumbnail
Noodle Vendor thumbnail
Lime Vendor thumbnail
Food Vendor thumbnail
Banana Vendor thumbnail
Fruit Vendor thumbnail
Fried Banana Boats thumbnail
Fried Banana Boats - 2 thumbnail
Cutting Bananas thumbnail
Frying Bananas thumbnail
Wok Close-up thumbnail
Fried Banana Boats - 3 thumbnail
Selling Bananas thumbnail
damnoen-saduak-20 thumbnail
Mango Boat thumbnail
Boat Noodle Sign thumbnail
Making Noodles thumbnail
Boat Noodles thumbnail
Making Snacks thumbnail
Kanom Krok thumbnail
View from Bridge thumbnail

Written by Michael Babcock, January 2013.

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