Another popular destination about 100kms southwest of Bangkok is the Damnoen Saduak floating market, which can be reached by the frequent bus service or by one of the many local guided-tour operators. It is probably touristier than other floating markets, but it is great fun nonetheless. The chaotic, colourful, and bustling stream of wooden boats carry fruit, vegetables, crafts, souvenirs and other local produce to sell and is Thailand’s biggest market. Unlike other floating markets, this one is open every day from 7am to 11am.
A more peaceful alternative is the Kha floating market, just 10 km from Damnoen Saduak, which has a charm of its own but only operates six days during the lunar calendar from 6am to midday, so check your dates.
You will also find other attractions in this area that are worth seeking out, like the Samphan Elephant Ground and Zoo, featuring crocodile and elephant habitats, elephant rides, orchid growing centre and buffet restaurant. While you are in this area a trip to the Rose Garden Cultural Centre and Thai Village might be worth considering too. Their performances present the history, culture and traditions of Thailand and Siam. With its shows, crafts, beautiful gardens, boat rides, play area and activities, there is something to interest both the young and old.
If you’re looking for some original, handmade Thai crafts to take home then consider the Royal Thai Handicraft Centre where you can see local, highly skilled craftsmen produce woodcarvings, statues, furniture and souvenirs. Guided tours are available but feel free to browse and roam the extensive showrooms and outlets.