The Damnoen Saduak floating market and the Maeklong Railway Market are two of my favorite attractions near Bangkok! Forget the super crowded famous temples in the city, the floating market and train markets are absolutely stunning. If you’re going on an adventure to Thailand and Bangkok is one of your stops, you’re in for a treat because the Kingdom’s capital is filled to the brim with numerous attractions. Places such as the Royal Grand Palace and sacred sites like Wat Arun and Wat Pho are staples in most tourists’ itineraries, but one of the areas that you definitely shouldn’t pass up on is the Floating Markets.
Book a day trip if you’d like to see both the train market and the floating market in Bangkok on the same day and still have a spare afternoon to enjoy sightseeing in the rest of the city, you can easily book a day trip for as little as 27 EUR per person!
Thus, if you’d like to save time, it’s definitely worth booking a day trip to Damnoen Saduak floating market and the Maeklong Railway Market.
If you rent your own car you better stay somewhere around Damnoen floating market and you can visit the train market the next morning before 08:00 and you see passing the train at 08:30 and 09:00. I will give you a nice place to stay bellow
The Bangkok Floating Markets is one of the country’s most important attractions. Before becoming the city that it is today, people had to cross the canals in order to engage in trade with and sell wares to locals and international merchants. But even with today’s advancements, the markets continue to endure and remain popular among locals. They have become popular tourist and shopping destinations for local items and food for Thai and foreigners alike.
There are a total of 5 floating markets in Bangkok. However, the Damnoen Saduak floating market is the largest one! You can find a wide variety of food, clothing, and souvenirs there, unlike the other ones. Yes, it’s pretty far out, but it is still the one that is certainly worth seeing during your visit to Bangkok.
The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is located in Samut Songkhram, about 109 km, or 2 hours southwest of Bangkok. The best way of getting to the market is by minivan. A ticket costs about 150 THB per person one way. It is also only a short 15 km drive from the larger and more authentic Amphawa Floating Market and the Maeklong Railway Market.
The best and most lively time to visit Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is in the morning from about 7 am. The market is open until about 4 pm in the afternoon although many of the shops will be closed by that time. You can still enjoy a boat ride through the canals though.
The best way of getting around the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is by hopping on a rowboat. This should cost about 300 THB per boat. A boat tour through the canals will last for up to 2hrs. This gives plenty of time to visit the stalls along the way.
Maeklong Railway Market
Out of the two train markets, the Maeklong Railway Market is the more spectacular one. Do not confuse it with the Train Night Market, as you might be disappointed when you reach it and expect to see the train passing right through the market.
The Train Market is mostly full of spices, fruits, and vegetables, seeing the street sellers fold their specially designed awnings and the tourists gasping, waving to the people on the train itself while trying to stay as far back from the train as possible it is definitely an experience you will not forget!
Getting to the Maeklong Train Market
There are a few different ways to get to the train market from Bangkok. The option you take depends on time, budget, and your adventurous spirit.
Minivan: departs Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai) and the Northern Bus Terminal (near to Mo Chit BTS) for 70thb per person. Minivans depart from the Southern Bus Terminal every 40 minutes or so. The trip takes 90 minutes and drops you off right by the market.
Taxi: a driver for the whole day costs about 2,000thb which is economical with a group of 4. The driver can also take you to the Damnoen Saduak or Amphawa Floating Markets for the same fare.
Train: takes about 3 hours in total, one way. Catch a train from Wongwian Yai Station to Mahachai Station. Cross the river to Tha Chalom Pier. Catch another train from Ban Laem Station to the Maeklong Railway Market.
Tour: if all of the above seems a bit too challenging then you can also take an easy day trip to the Maeklong Railway Market from Bangkok.
Maeklong Railway Market Train Schedule
Trains arrive at Maeklong Station 7 days a week. You can visit any day.
The Maeklong Railway Market Train Schedule:
Train Arrival times: 8.30 a.m., 11.10 a.m., 2.30 p.m. and 5.40 p.m.
Train Departure times: 6.20 a.m., 9.00 a.m., 11.30 a.m. and 3.30 p.m.
I recommend you hang around the railway tracks 10 to 15 minutes before the train arrives or departs. Trains in Thailand are notorious for being late, so you don’t want to wait another hour if you miss the train by just a few minutes! We had breakfast at Punjung Cafe which is a great spot to see the train passing by
Maeklong Railway Market Opening Hours
The train market is open 7 days a week from 6.20 am to 5.40 pm.
The Maeklong Railway Market opening hours coincide with the first arrival and last train departure from Maeklong Station. It is best to visit the market in the early morning. Around midday and in the afternoon the market is hot and uncomfortable, especially in the summer. That’s why all the locals are sleeping! After this market, you can continue on to the nearby Amphawa and Damnoen Sadauk Floating Markets
The Amphawa floating market is one of the most iconic places to visit in Thailand. It’s located just 90 minutes southwest of Bangkok in Samut Songkhram on a series of small canals (klongs) branching off the Maeklong River. It is a great Bangkok day trip and an easy escape from the city.
The canals really come to life at the Amphawa Floating Market on the weekends. Boats zip around offering all sorts of goods, old ladies yell about how tasty their fresh mangoes are, and you’ll probably even see people showering in the canal. It is a very local area, not overly developed for tourism so expect to see an authentic view of the Thai lifestyle.
The market itself can get quite busy with tourists on the weekend. Boats will pull up to hungry visitors offering grilled seafood, fresh fruit, Thai desserts, and local souvenirs. It really is life on the water. There is so much happening along these canals.
Amphawa Floating Market Opening Hours
The market is open on weekends only. Don’t visit during the week as the stalls will be closed and the canal will be quite lifeless. The market is open on both Saturday and Sunday from 11 am until after 8 pm. I’d suggest that the best time to visit is after 2 pm. This is when the market comes to life with lots of the food stalls opening up for lunch. The market stays busy from 2 pm through to late at night. The last bus leaves the market from around 7 pm to 8 pm. Be sure to check the timetable on the day you go, so you don’t have to get a taxi back!
How to Get to Amphawa Floating Market
Bangkok – the best way of getting from Bangkok to the Amphawa Floating Market is by minivan. Tickets start at 150 THB (USD 5) per person. A one-way journey takes about 90 minutes and takes you directly to the market.
Minivans depart hourly from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tia Kai Pinklao). You will need to catch a taxi to get to Sai Tai Kai Bus Terminal in Bangkok as it is located a fair way out of the city center already, in an area that lacks a public transport train line. A taxi to the bus terminal could take up to 30 minutes itself, so allow plenty of time.
Back to Bangkok – the return journey from Amphawa to Bangkok could take much longer than 90 minutes depending on traffic. This is one of the busiest highways in Thailand as it is the main thoroughfare to the provinces in the far south. Do not plan on flying out of Bangkok the same night as you visit this floating market.
Accommodation near the Train Market and Floating market
Should you spend a night out of Bangkok near the Maeklong Railway market? It is a great way to experience part of ‘outer Bangkok’ that many other travelers just don’t get to see, a true insight into what the non-touristy Thai culture looks like. The lifestyle out here is slower than in Bangkok. You can forget about the endless traffic jams, annoying Tuk Tuk drivers, and the Khao Sarn Road party scene. Replace that with a laid-back village atmosphere where people live by the canals and still get around by boat instead of a car.
For an authentic experience, I suggest the Baanrak Amphawa This small guesthouse is located right next to the canal (Klong in Thai), where you can watch the boats go by in the morning and afternoon. It is also within walking distance of the Amphawa Floating Market, perfect for enjoying the bars and restaurants at night without needing to rush back to Bangkok on the last bus of the afternoon. From just 25 Eur per night for a double room (including complimentary breakfast for two),
Maikaew Damnoen Resort is another great place to stay as it's just a few minute's walk to the Damnoen Floating market. Rooms come without breakfast but they have a new cafe which reasonable price to go for breakfast lunch or dinner. It also has two swimming pools if you want a lazy afternoon by the pool. Basic rooms are around 28 Eur and the bigger rooms are around 50. Maikaew Damnoen Resort is an idyllic retreat on the bank of the canal of Damnoen Saduak offering contemporary Deluxe Rooms and Luxury Thai Villas in a comfortable and relaxing tropical garden setting creating the perfect hideaway for those looking for the cityscape.
Half Day Trip to Maeklong train market and Floating Market
Experience two of Bangkok’s most famous traditional markets on this half-day tour. Benefit from a small group size as you ride the train to the Maeklong Railway Market, uniquely situated on a working railway track. After free time for shopping, continue to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and cruise around the stalls on a longtail boat. Two popular Bangkok markets: Damnoen Saduak and Railway Market Learn about local culture and traditions from a local guide Hassle-free hotel pickup and round-trip transport from Bangkok Small-group tour with a maximum of 15 people Read more about Half-Day Railway Market and Floating Market Tour in Thailand
Here are some resources to help you get your trip going:
Travel Essentials what's in my bag: To help you get started on packing, here are my essential travel and photography gear
Flights: WayAway to start looking for cheap flights and great deals from your home country.
Accommodation: Hostelworld, Booking.com, and Agoda.com are the ultimate go-to platforms to search for amazing hostels and hotels at affordable prices.
Car Rental: DiscoverCars.com is a great and reliable platform to find rental cars all over the world.
Internet: Airalo is the best way to get a sim card and has reliable internet access for your trip. All you need is an Esim-compatible smartphone, install it on your phone prior to your trip, and you are all set.
Day Trips & Tours: Viator, and GetYourGuide, are great platforms to search for activities to do
Tickets & Deals: Tiqets is always my go-to website when I want to find cheaper deals for entrance tickets to tourist attractions
Klook to find the best deals for trips in Asia, somehow they are 30% cheaper than when you buy them at a local agency
Train, buses, and ferries 12Go to find your travel route for local buses, and ferries, we use them all the time as you can easily see the reviews, and the vouchers are everywhere accepted. tickets are sold for more than 5,000 destinations in 100+ countries worldwide.