24 November, 2013

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Bangkok Thailand #SMSnotes

Damnoen Saduak has been Thailand's best known floating market for a very long time, but that also makes it one of the most touristy ones.
The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is one of the most famous and vibrant markets in Thailand. It is located in the Ratchaburi Province, about 100 kilometers southwest of Bangkok. Here are some key details about the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market:

It's popularity comes, in no small part, from its use as a setting in the 1974 James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun.
Floating Market Concept: This market is unique because it is set on a network of narrow canals, and most of the trading is done from boats. Vendors sell a wide variety of goods, including fresh fruits, vegetables, cooked food, handicrafts, souvenirs, and clothing.
Historical Significance: The market dates back to the 19th century when King Rama IV ordered the construction of a 32-kilometer canal to connect the Mae Klong River with the Tachine River, making transportation and trade easier for the local population.
Tourist Attraction: Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is a major tourist attraction, drawing visitors from all over the world. It provides a glimpse into traditional Thai commerce and culture.

It's huge, lively, full of boats selling food and fruits, and it's colourful – exactly how people imagine a floating market would look like, with the opportunity to capture the perfect photo to show off once back home.
Best Time to Visit: The market is most active in the early morning, typically from around 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM. This is when you'll find the highest number of vendors and the liveliest atmosphere.
Activities: Besides shopping, visitors can explore the market by taking a boat tour. Many vendors offer boat rides, allowing you to navigate the canals and see the market from a different perspective.
Souvenirs and Local Products: In addition to the typical market items, you can find unique local products such as traditional Thai hats, fruits, coconut sugar, and various handmade crafts.

It's also about 100 km away from Bangkok and, being a victim of its own success, it often seems to lack the authentic atmosphere, feeling more like a theme park than a real local market.
Crowded and Touristy: Due to its popularity, Damnoen Saduak can get quite crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons. However, this also means it's a great place to people-watch and experience the lively atmosphere.
Getting There: From Bangkok, you can arrange a tour, hire a private driver, or take a public bus to get to Damnoen Saduak. The journey takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic.
Cultural Experience: Despite its popularity among tourists, Damnoen Saduak is still a functioning market where locals shop for their daily needs. It offers an authentic glimpse into Thai culture and the traditional way of life in the region.

Location: Damnoen Saduak, Ratchaburi 70130, Thailand
Open: Daily from 7 am to 5 pm
Phone: +66 (0)87 969 3428