An authentic floating market in Bangkok, Thailand

“This one is really bad-ass!” we shout, holding on tight to the wooden side of our old sturdy rowboat while a young Thai speeds through the canal of Lat Mayom with his pimped longtail, as a teenager would do a wheelie on a scooter. The toothless man, who skilfully navigates the traditional boat we are seating in with only one paddle, laughs and shakes his head under his straw hat.

Apart from a few young Thais showing off on this weekend market, the Lat Mayom canal is bordered by close to a dozen boats operated by women. Most of them are loaded with tropical fruits and vegetables of all sorts, and a few are even geared up with a full kitchen to sell cooked dishes. Many Thai families walk the narrow sideways, feeding bread to the fish in the canal, or get into the dry side of the market to stroll through the plenty food stalls.

After navigating the quiet canals around the market, led by our senses, we follow them to explore the Thai cuisine. Delicious smells from fried fish to grilled meat, from lemongrass to boiling coconut milk mixed with sugar, from coriander to hot chillies… Bright colours. A wide array of textures. Tempting sounds from the fresh spring rolls being fried to the juice of the meat dripping on the red charcoal, the blender of the fruit smoothies, the market vendors attracting passers-by, the laughs of the relaxed Thais enjoying good food and good company on this lazy Sunday afternoon.

Last but not least, our taste buds are feasting on roasted prawns with vermicelli noodles (gung op wun sen), one of the many dishes proposed on the market. The floating market of Klhong Lat Mayom is visited by locals and a few Thai tourists, so menus are not translated into English, and the best way to choose is to look at the queue in front of the stalls and take a look under the lid!

Claire & Marcella

Travel tips:

  • The Khlong Lat Mayom floating market is located about 15 kilometres west of the centre of Bangkok, and easily reachable by taxi within 20-30 minutes. 
  • Floating markets have become an attraction, and most of them are very touristy and often quite far from the centre of Bangkok. The Khlong Lat Mayom floating market provides an authentic experience.
  • The Khlong Lat Mayom floating market is a weekend market operating on Saturdays and Sundays until 3:30pm. For a quieter experience, come early. To all the excitement, swing by for lunch time.
  • There are several boat services to explore the surrounding canals, from longtails with big engines and about 25 seats to traditional 8-seaters that are row-operated, hence quieter and greener (and cheaper)!
  • Check out this interactive map for the specific details to help you plan your trip and more articles and photos (zoom out) about the area!

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