The Damnoen Saduak floating market in Bangkok and the Maeklong Railway Market (or the Bangkok Train Market) are two of my most favorite attractions in Bangkok! Forget the super crowded famous temples in the city, the floating market and train market are absolutely stunning, and here’s why you should visit them:
1. They’re Free!
For most attractions around Bangkok, you need to pay. But if you’re sightseeing by yourself around the city, you should absolutely include these two attractions in your itinerary – only the transport there and back would cost you, but not seeing these yourself.
Of course, if you’d like to ride a boat in the Damnoen Saduak floating market, you’d need to pay about 5-7 EUR for a paddle boat (30-40 minute journey around the market). However, to be honest, this is such a tiny fee for the amazing experience you’d be getting, it’s negligible. And, if you’d like to ride the train and ride through the Maeklong Train Market, you’d also need a few more euros for a train ticket. Check out this website for more details if you want to know more about riding that train.
If you’re visiting on your own, here is the train schedule:
Maeklong Railway Market Train Schedule 2019
2. It’s A Cheap Day Trip
A day trip if you’d like to see both the train market and the floating market in Bangkok in the same day AND still have a spare afternoon to enjoy sightseeing the rest of the city, you can easily book a day trip for as little as 26 EUR per person! There are many different trip combinations you can choose from, but for a half day trip, I’d say it’s a great bargain. The truth is that both of these Bangkok attractions are pretty far out, and, if you account for the infamous traffic in Thailand’s capital, you’re looking at a 2-3 hour trip at each direction.
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. Most likely you wouldn’t be saving much money with the day trip, but if you only have precious 2 days in Bangkok (as most people do), just give the extra few euros and book the trip! 🙂
3. They’re Unique
There are a total of 5 floating markets in Bangkok. However, the Damnoen Saduak floating market is the largest one! You can find a vast 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 at your visit in Bangkok. I got the most interesting hat a.k.a. handfan from there! There are some pretty unique and interesting items that you will absolutely love.
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.
4. It’s An Experience
I’ve been to quite a few different cities and sights, and while I do love museums and galleries (the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam took my breath away!) sometimes you get the feeling that *you’ve seen it all before*. This is why it’s actually spectacular to visit sights that let you experience them, rather than just *see* them.
As mentioned above, you can cheaply rent a boat at the Damnoen Saduak floating market in Bangkok and actually experience it! You can buy so many different things while riding on your boat and at least for a little while, you’ll be able to immerse in the Thai culture. Yes, of course everyone will still see you as the cash cow tourist, but it is absolutely worth the fun!
The Train Market is mostly full of spices, fruits and vegetables. As I mentioned already, you can absolutely ride the train, but it is still pretty spectacular to even see it from below as it passes by. 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!
5. They’re Not THAT Crowded
Well, to be honest, they’re not that deserted either. But taking into consideration how far out of the city these two attractions are, there aren’t THAT many people there constantly. Indeed, they do get a bit crowded after 10-11 am, but this gives you the opportunity to turn seeing the train and floating markets in Bangkok in just half a day and spend the afternoon exploring other attractions.
I also visited the infamous Grand Palace in Bangkok and it was, honestly, one of the worst experiences in my life. There were so many people, you had to wait about an hour to get in, while being pushed around by sweaty tourists, literally, that this got me to appreciate how few people we saw while we visited the largest train and floating markets in Bangkok.
Whether you’ve decided to book a day trip to the Damnoen Saduak floating market and the Maeklong Railway Market in Bangkok, or you’ve decided to organize it yourself, you will definitely not regret seeing these two attractions. For me, seeing these was my favorite half-day activity in Bangkok, so don’t miss them!