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Floating markets in Bangkok have slowly been losing their charm. Some decades ago, locals depended on the hovering boats making up the floating markets. Today, however, foreigners are herded to narrow canals to stand idly by and gawk at Thais selling overrated souvenirs in their boats. This is not the case at one small, floating market found on the outskirts of the city. Here, everything you need to know about the Taling Chan Floating Market.

Taling Chan Floating Market

Though seeing a popular floating market may entice travellers, a visit to the lesser-known Taling Chan Floating Market is sure to provide all those who frequent with a fun, half-day journey at an affordable price. The market is found in Bangkok Noi, a quiet area some 15 kilometres or so outside of the city centre. The market is small yet bursting with character and gives off an aura of Thai-style charm. Authenticity is hard to come by in Bangkok, and this market, though slowly being discovered by more and more foreigners, still holds true to its charismatic ambience regardless. 

History

The Taling Chan Floating Market was founded in 1987 by Mr. Prachum Charoenlarp. At the time, he was the director of the Taling Chan District Office. In establishing the market, he hoped to transform the area into one which would be known for its local and agricultural products, and he has certainly succeeded. The market is considerably organized compared to its competing counterparts, and there is even an information centre near the pier, should you need help with anything.

What to expect

 

When visitors first arrive, they will find themselves meandering underneath a green overhang with local goods sold on either side of them. The market, though small, has some unique finds sold by the vendors towards the entrance. The most popular thing sold at the market is shrubbery. Miniature Bonsai trees, hanging and vibrant flowers, cacti, and an abundance of other plants are for sale and scattered amongst green-thumbed vendors.

The other majority of the vendors sell on the go snacks and drinks, including sweet Thai crepes, coconut water, vegetable tempura, fruit smoothies, and more. Try not to fill up too much on the sweets lining the entrance as all visitors to the Taling Chan Floating Market should dine along the murky river before continuing their exploration of this cool attraction.

In addition to the unique finds and food, be sure to stick around for the free Thai classical music show and karaoke. The Thai band sits just adjacent the water and plays tunes originating all the way from Isaan (Northern Thailand). Stay later in the evening, and a live band and karaoke are available just next to the market, and you may even catch a few locals or two jumping from their seats to get their groove on.

Dining on the canal

Be sure to venture to the Taling Chan Floating Market on an empty stomach as enjoying breakfast or lunch along the river is a must. The restaurants are found on the Taling Chan Pier. The main restaurant’s menu is a concoction of mouthwatering Thai dishes, and there are even a few vegetarian options for meat-free diners to choose from. 

What makes dining along the banks here so unique is that the food is cooked from the inside of the long-tail boats along the river. Locals sit hunched over their woks just above the water’s dark surface, making delicious dishes including pad Thai (stir-fried noodles), larb mawng sa vee rat (vegetarian stir-fried mushrooms), khao phat (fried rice), and more. Dishes start out at as little as ฿40 (approximately $US1.20) and are large portions, as well.

Go on a long-tail boat ride

Visitors to Bangkok are often suckered into a long-tail boat ride on the Chao Phraya River for prices upwards of ฿500 for an hour. This is not the case at the Taling Chan Floating Market, where foreigners and tourists alike have one set price for an hour tour by long-tail boat: ฿69.

This boat tour is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip. The hour-long journey takes passengers down the khlong (canal), and visitors truly get a feel for what life is like along the river. There are plenty of authentic and cool sights riders are sure to see along the way, including a handful of swimmers cooling off in the murky water as well as a monitor lizard or two.

After about ten minutes, the boat will stop off, and riders can purchase loaves of bread to feed to the fish beneath them. This is certainly a sloppy ordeal, with fish frantically flailing for a slice or two. Prepare to get wet at this point in the journey.

From there, the boat guide will allow you to get out at Wat Koh, or the island temple. The temple is a Buddhist one, and monks are known to meander the area and quietly reside along the river’s banks as visitors come and go. The stupas that make up the temple are bright in colour, making for some great photo opportunities, as well.

Where is the Taling Chan Floating Market?

To get to the Taling Chan Floating Market, visitors can take the BTS Skytrain to the Wongwian Yai station. From there, it is about a ฿150 taxi ride to the market. The market is relatively far from any train station, so Kit and I opted to get a taxi from the city centre which cost about ฿250. The Taling Chan Floating Market is open Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., though many of the vendors leading up to the river start to close at around 4 p.m.

By | 2017-12-01T08:26:27+00:00 October 2nd, 2017|Categories: See & Do|Tags: , , , , |9 Comments

About the Author:

Kelly is a writer and photographer living in Bangkok, Thailand. She is originally from Lenexa, Kansas and studied journalism at Kansas State University. She enjoys reading and coffee way too much.

9 Comments

  1. Kate October 4, 2017 at 11:14 am - Reply

    This looks beautiful, you took some great photography. I unfortunately never made it to a floating market in Bangkok, but we bought fruit from a boat in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. A boat pulled up next to us with bunches of bananas and other tropical fruits and they just started doing business in the middle of the bay. A very surreal experience but a way of life for many in Southeast Asia.

  2. Lisa October 4, 2017 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    This looks like a very fun and tasty adventure. I didn’t get to go to a floating market in Thailand. The pictures you have included really illustrate what to expect and Thailand’s charm! Some good practical info for anyone going on a trip there soon!

  3. Kasia October 4, 2017 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    Wow what an awesome floating market. This makes me want to visit Thailand even more. And this video is amazing. Love every minute of it. Now I’m craving Thai food – thanks 😉

  4. Daneisha October 4, 2017 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    This looks so cool! And the food looks amazing! I would love to try this out one day!

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  5. Muhammad Ameen Sheikh October 5, 2017 at 4:33 am - Reply

    Really love the video you have uploaded. The video has given a much clear picture about the floating market and I am surprised that it is well organized and maintained

  6. sonali jain October 5, 2017 at 10:45 am - Reply

    What beautiful pictures and floating market is so amazing. Loved the video. 🙂 would love to visit one day 🙂

  7. Matt October 9, 2017 at 11:05 am - Reply

    Sounds like quite a good market to go to. Next time I’m in Bangkok I’ll add it to the itinerary

  8. Echoesofhervoice October 10, 2017 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    Awesome post!

  9. Tahnee November 28, 2017 at 9:40 am - Reply

    This looks incredible. Thanks for sharing a great post

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