Damnoen Saduak Floating Market: Review & Guide

Bangkok floating markets are some of the most popular tourist spots in Thailand. The floating market is a traditional way of marketing in Thailand, due to the number of canals in its cities. While most of the floating markets open only on weekends, the touristy Damnoen Saduak Floating Market opens daily.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, certainly the most famous floating market around the city of Bangkok, is located in Ratchaburi province, about 105 km southwest of Bangkok. This floating market is very tourist focused so the feel here is less authentic than you could experience in some other floating markets around Bangkok.

In this article, we will share our experience of going to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market at low cost and avoiding scams that might be experienced on the way.

If you're not sure about the best area to stay for sightseeing around Thai capital city, check out these recommendations for the best areas of Bangkok.

History of Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Between 1866 and 1868, by the order of King Rama IV, the Damnoen Saduak Canal was built to support transportation and trade. The canal was 32 kilometers long, had more than 200 branches and was connecting the Mae Klong and Tha Chin rivers. It took more than 2 years to dig the canal, and finally it was completed under the successor government of King Rama V.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market became popular in 1971-1973 when the river was filled with farmers on boats selling their agricultural products. The main floating market was called Lad Plee and that is how trade is carried out in this area to this day. When the development of the road network replaced the need for waterway transport, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market has become a semi-land market.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market visit without a tour

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is located about 100 kilometers from Bangkok, so getting there by yourself can be an adventure and you should prepare yourself beforehand. Our itinerary of getting to Damnoen Saduak from Bangkok without a tour might help you plan your trip there better.

7:00 Victory Monument in Bangkok

We’ve started the trip to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market from the Victory Monument as we were staying in the area. When planning a trip to the floating market, make sure to get up early as it will give you time to visit the market and return to Bangkok in the afternoon.

Buses to Damnoen Saduak leave from Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal (or Sai Tai Mai Bus Terminal), which is not connected with the city by BTS or MRT, so we took the Bangkok public bus No. 515 that goes from Victory Monument to Sai Tai Mai Bus Terminal.

7:40 Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal

We arrived at Sai Tai Mai Bus Terminal. We went to the ticket office in the terminal building to buy tickets for Damnoen Saduak bus but the office of that company was closed. The seller told us to buy minivan ticket instead so we got out from the terminal building to the minivan platform and bought our tickets for minivan No. 996 that is going from Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal to Damnoen Saduak while passing some other popular spots in the area on the way.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

The minivan tickets for a trip from Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market cost 80 THB per person.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

The minivans to Damnoen Saduak run between 6:00 and 22:00 and leave every 40 minutes.

Our minivan was supposed to leave at 8:20. The minivan departed exactly on time and was full of local people. During the journey the driver stopped several times to drop someone or refuel.

10:30 Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

The journey from Bangkok to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market took about two hours and the minivan dropped us at a square where the departure station for the boats was set up.

A couple of insistent tour vendors immediately came forward and wanted to take us on the boat by proposing the tour at 2,000-7,000 THB per person. They even tried to dump us by saying that renting a boat is the only way for getting to the market. SCAM!! Avoid this!

We told them that we were not going to take a boat so they let us go on our way. We have done some research before going to the floating market and the experiences seem to be no different. You can expect to face this.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

In fact, you are dropped of just about 1 km from the floating market. You can take a motorbike taxi for 10-20 THB or just walk for about 10 minutes to arrive at the heart of the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.

Along the way to the floating market, there are many boat hiring places but it is better to avoid them all and walk straight to the market. There you will find other boats that can be hired at a fair price.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

The popular view of Damnoen Saduak Floating Market from the bridge. This picture probably doesn't have to be very descriptive.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

It is possible to visit the market both on foot and by boat. We recommend doing it in both ways. You can take a walk along the banks of the canal.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

There are few local farmers selling a wide variety of fruits and vegetables but most of the stalls on the sides of the canal sell the typical products intended for tourists. There are handicraft stalls selling vases, lamps, fabrics, wooden objects to buy as a gift from Thailand. Souvenirs here are sold at inflated prices and you can find them all being sold in the center of Bangkok.

If you are expecting to see boats of local people selling or exchanging products with other Thais, you will be disappointed. Of course, you will see many boats of locals selling some cooked food, fruits, and crafts, but mainly to tourists as the majority of people visiting Damnoen Saduak Floating Market are tourists while locals prefer other floating markets around Bangkok.

Before getting into the boat, we crossed the wooden bridge to the pier to sit on the bench where you can order food from the boats. We’ve ordered Thai-Style Fried Mussels (Hoy Tod) that cost 50 THB for Thais and 70 THB for foreign tourists. The Fried Mussels were good enough but different prices applied to Thai people and foreigners at the floating market leave a bitter taste in the mouth.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

For a dessert, the sticky rice with mango is quite tasty. You can also try walking straight to the end of the market where stalls selling fresh and delicious coconut milk can be found.

After exploring the market, you can rent a boat, which is the best way to experience this local tradition firsthand. It's fun to take a boat down the narrow canals (called Khlongs in Thai) especially on the secondary channels that can only be visited by boat.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

All you need to do is dealing with the boat price. Normally there are 2 types of boats and whatever price they offer, keep in mind that the price for foreign tourists should be as follows (and if you go with local, it should be much cheaper):

Row Boat: For the persons who prefer the traditional atmosphere, limited for 4-5 passengers:

  • 300-500 THB/one boat for 40 minutes
  • 400-600 THB/one boat for 1 hour

Motorboat: For the persons requiring greater distance and speed, limited for 6-8 passengers:

  • 400-700 THB/one boat for 40 minutes
  • 600-1,000 THB/one boat for 1 hour
  • 1,200-1,500 THB/one boat for 2 hours

In our opinion, the rowing boat is the best option because it is quieter and environment friendly. The market is so small that you do not need an engine and one hour is enough to explore it. The stalls where you can rent a boat at an affordable price can be found next to the main bridge.

Before boarding a rowing boat, make sure to ask where exactly you will be taken. Most boats will bring you to see the orchards and the process of sugar palm making. However, some only take you to the souvenir shop with a sign saying "Sugar Palm Farm".

While rowing, you can look at the houses and lives of the Thai people along the waterfront. Several times our boat docked to souvenir sellers. And many times, it was also stopped by food vendors who cook on their own boats. The boat drove fast, occasionally the boat passed each other or intersected with other boats most of which also carried tourists. The canal waters were not exactly clean but there was no garbage. If you come to the market early enough (around 8:00-9:00), you will be able to visit it calmly crossing all the channels. Apart from that, expect jams of tourist boats in the main channel.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

How to get there

By Half Day / Full Day Tour

You have several options for getting to the floating market, but the most worry free is joining an excursion that takes you to the market. Visiting Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is one of the most popular day trips in Bangkok as it is a suitable way for those of you who don't want the hassle of arranging schedules and budgets.

If you’ll decide go to the floating market with the tour, you need to check if the boat trip of the market is included in the total price of the tour or not. We advise you to first take a look online, to get an idea of prices and people's opinions about the tour to avoid being cheat. Basically, they all offer more or less the same, which includes transportation sharing (in the form of a minibus), boat rental, and a tour guide during the trip. However, you can save some money if you have the patience to research a few.

Some of the popular tours are as follows:

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Half Day Tour

Bangkok Floating Markets Tour: Damnoen Saduak and Amphawa Markets

Bangkok Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and Grand Palace Half Day Trip

By Bus

If you choose the bus, expect to spend almost the whole day for visiting the floating market. The air-conditioned bus No. 78 departs from Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal to Damnoen Saduak. This bus only costs 64 THB. The bus departure is scheduled every 40 minutes, and at the earliest it departs at 06:00. From the drop-off point, you still have to walk or take a motorbike for approximately 1 km to get to the market.

In addition, you can travel with buses on other routes such as Bangkok - Ratchaburi, Bangkok - Phetchaburi and get off at Bang Phae intersection. After that, you can walk or take motorbike which runs between the Bang Phae intersection and Damnoen Saduak.

The journey takes about 2 hours, not to mention the congestion in Bangkok. Therefore, it is highly recommended to leave early in the morning.

By Minivan

The minivan No. 996 also departs from Bangko Southern Bus Terminal. The minivan passes Mae Klong Market and Amphawa Floating Market before reaching Damnoen Saduak. As it was mentioned above, the minivan will park at the boat hiring place so be preparing for that.

To take the minivan back, you can wait for it in front of Damnoen Saduak Hospital.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

By Taxi

If you don't want to bother waiting for a bus or minivan, you can use the taxi services available in Bangkok for the trip to be more comfortable. You can expect to pay around 600-1,000 THB for the trip to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market from Bangkok. Considering that the market is an hour and a half drive from the center of Bangkok and the taxi can fit 3-4 people, it's not bad.

You should expect that when you reach the Damnoen Saduak area, you will be offered several boat trips to the market. So, it's important to get a reliable and honest driver not to get cheated at the boat hiring place or be stopped by at the souvenir shop.

Opening Hours

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market opening hours are in the morning, from 7:00 to 12:00 approximately. The market opens every day of the year. Our recommendation is going there as early as possible to try to avoid the crowds of tourists.

Our personal experience

We were not very impressed with the trip to this floating market as beforehand we’ve visited all other floating markets around Bangkok and came to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market just to see how it looks like and to share our experience. When you get familiar with other places, this floating market hardly has any charm and it feels just a real tourist trap if compared to other Bangkok floating markets as everything here is overpriced.

The worst part of the trip was that the minivan driver decided to participate in the scam by dropping us off at parking section where the scammers were waiting.

It’s an experience we would not recommend unless you want to take some photos of the floating market, or if you’re first-time traveler to Thailand and only weekdays are included in your stay in Bangkok. Otherwise, it better to visit other authentic Floating Markets in Bangkok.


Be careful if you bring valuable objects, because the market activity is quite high with boats of traders and buyers going back and forth endlessly.

It’s better not to shop here for goods that you can find in the center of Bangkok because prices at the floating market are higher.

If you have more time, take the opportunity to combine a visit to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market with the nearby traditional markets, Amphawa Floating Market and Maeklong Railway Market.