Damnoen Saduak Floating Market for first timers

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is the most famous and touristy floating market in Thailand. It is located in the province of Ratchaburi which is 80kms west of Bangkok and can be reached in less than 2 hours drive.

We decided to book a private tour so we can maximize our day since we only have two days to explore Bangkok. Our tour was set on a Sunday so traffic was very light. We left our hotel at 7:30 am and was at the market by nine, we were actually a bit late since the market opens as early as 6:00 am. We were fortunate that it wasn’t so busy when we arrived.

Damnoen Saduak has the perfect image of a floating market, you only see in movies and travel magazines – busy market scene, boats carrying loads of fruits, vegetables and flowers. When all of these boats converge in one place and there’s bumping boat situation, it’s a perfect time to snap some photos! Always keep your camera and purse at hand.

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While on the road our chatty tourist guide told us that majority of paddling vendors are old ladies known as “mamas” who have been selling in the canal most of their lives. True enough, wrinkles and memories of yesteryears are visible on their faces, but their strength and technique in paddling and maneuvering the boat is amazing. Furthermore, the goods sold by these mamas are worth trying! My top 3 Thai goodies are mini coconut pancakes, coconut ice cream and mango sticky rice.

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Mango Sticky Rice – 50 Baht

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Coconut ice cream – Love the colors and overall presentation of this ice cream

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Coconut pancake

After feasting with Thai sweets, we head on to explore more of the canals. We entered this tiny canal lined up with mango trees, it was as if we were transported to a different place, it was calm and quiet. The houses are made of wood and built on stilts, because water from the canal rises when there’s a heavy downpour. It was a perfect image of a laid back community. Our boat tour took about one hour and if I only have a choice, I still would want to explore the place more.

What I really enjoyed in this tour was neither the food nor the merchandise being sold, but the experience of seeing the simple lives of Thai people thriving and making a living by the canal.

We saw how simple and peaceful life here and locals seem contented and happy with what they have.

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We didn’t leave without trying their famous boat noodle soup. The soup is savory, but condiments like sugar, chili and fish sauce are available in case you need to adjust the taste. For me the soup tastes perfect with a few pieces of basil leaves! And we also passed by souvenir shops outside the canal to buy “pasalubong” (souvenir) for our friends, like shawls, bracelets, hats and posters. Price maybe be quite higher that at Chatuchak market but one can also ask for a discount. Some vendors are generous enough to extend discount especially if you joined a tour.

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Boat noodles or kuai tiao ruea is a Thai style noodle dish is a must try in the market.

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Colorful Thai dolls

I’m glad I did visit this market tour and more importantly, I made the right decision in booking a tour with Tong. It was our a memorable and hassle-free experience for first timers like us.

Life is simple. And it was one of an adventure ride!

Here is a video of our tour


More Photos to Enjoy

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