Thailand’s famed floating markets are not just a paradise for shopaholics, foodies, and bargain hunters. They also offer countless opportunities for avid shutterbugs, who wish to collect postcard-worthy and Insta-perfect clicks in the Land of Smiles. After all, The colors and beauty in disarray in these shopping vessels make for the ultimate travel shot.
Get your camera (or phone) ready. Here are five of Thailand’s most picture-perfect floating markets:
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
When people say they want to see the floating market in Thailand, they’re almost always referring to Damnoen Saduak in Ratchaburi Province. It is arguably the most popular (and most photographed) floating Market in all of Thailand, and is about a two-hour drive away from Bangkok. While this market is either a hit or miss for visitors as it’s very touristy, it doesn’t fail to deliver if you’re a shutter-happy tourist looking for fascinating subjects to shoot. You’ll get a lot of those here. You might want to skip the boat ride through the expansive area, though. The canals get so packed and congested that the best way to see the market is still by walking on the passages along the water.
Amphawa Floating Market
Most floating markets in Thailand are best explored during daytime but not Amphawa. This market gets even more interesting just before nightfall. Adjust your camera’s settings to capture the glow of the boats, the glimmer of the river, and the lively wood stalls against the colorful sky. When you’re happy with your pictures, don’t forget to stop for local bites for dinner.
Bang Phli Floating Market
Established over a century ago, Bang Phli Floating Market is among the oldest of its kind in Bangkok. Although not as rife with paddling vendors as its counterparts, it has colorful wooden shophouses that line the river, selling a plethora of wares, fresh produce, and of course, delicious food.
Pattaya Floating Market
Situated on Thailand’s eastern gulf coast, Pattaya is best known for its vibrant nightlife and bustling beaches that are surrounded by bludgeoning developments in the area. But despite all the changes this former humble fishing village is experiencing, it has also held on tightly to tradition. Take a glimpse of this city’s old-time charm at the Pattaya Floating Market, a 100,000-square kilometer system of waterways accessible by boat. Snap stills of all the action in the area and purchase souvenirs and gifts for your folks back at home while you’re at it.
Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market
If you are looking for the authentic floating market experience, this is the place to go. Tucked away from Bangkok’s tourist traps, Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market is one that’s frequented more by locals than tourists. It is no more than 20km from the city center and can be easily reached by taxi. Since it’s less crowded, you can move around more freely. Capture quaint scenes of community life while sampling regional fare such as pad Thai, noodle soups, and rolls.