Floating Market Bangkok – Photo Essay


At 7am the canals are completely quiet. No throngs of tourists clutching machete-stripped coconuts with straws poking out, no clamor of blue-smoked exhaust from the long-tailed boats jostling for position. Just quiet anticipation.

Skinny, local dogs mill around empty carts, awaiting a dropped morsel when the owner arrives. A slight, oily haze floats on the deep green water. The stage is set for another day at the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market near Bangkok.


One of our favorite places to visit while we were in Asia, this bustling market is a delight for the senses.These canals were dug by the military during the reign of King Rama IV to promote trade and open transportation avenues for economic growth. Now a major tourist destination, the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Bangkok entertains visitors from all over the world.


But at 7am, it was nice to feel the cool and quiet. In the distance, we could hear the faint rumble of engines and if we listened hard enough, the quiet slap of paddles as the vendors approached with their wares carefully piled on small rowboats.


Here come the boats! First, fresh produce and vegetables picked from local gardens and orchards. Papayas, coconuts, cabbages, bananas – all heaped high and artistically arranged. Not an easy feat for a tiny rowboat constantly bobbing in the water.


Looking for a souvenir of your visit? This is the place! Hats, dolls, spices, and religious artifacts abound. Soon the chatter begins to build. Huge cauldrons of boiling oil fry up sweet bananas, which are quickly passed to eagerly waiting hands. The smells become intoxicating.


Fresh soup? Coconut pancakes? All cooked to order right on the boat. A smiling man takes our few baht and returns with a steaming bowl of noodles so delicious it makes the knees weak. We drink it all in, with our eyes, our ears, and taste buds. It’s a festival of food on the water.


The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Bangkok starts to thin out as the day becomes hotter. It was time for the vendors to pack up and go. So after several hundred pictures, and stomachs so full we could barely move, it was time for us to leave the bustling market and make our way back down the quiet canals toward home…but someday soon, we hope to be back!

About the author

Lisa is a traveler, photographer and pharmacist. She and her partner Cheryl MacDonald enjoy sharing inspiration and good health with fellow travelers!

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