There are hills and seas, which is a preset definition for beauty but there is so much more to the word “beauty” than just that, chaos to me is one unadulterated form of beauty too. Thailand has a certain reputation across globe for some crazy chaotic floating markets and Damanoen Saduak tops the very list.
Probably the oldest and biggest of the lot, I have seen pictures of this place and heard stories about it even when I was a kid. The place opens early morning, where fruit/vegetable vendors come from nearby villages with their fresh produce only to earn a little extra from what they could have secured in their nearby markets. Now fruits & vegetables is obviously the big part of this market but that’s not all, there are collectibles, utensils, paintings, hot-cooked food, desserts and all other stuff too.
Although with the advent of so many other floating markets in and around Bangkok, this one has somehow lost its sheen but this still is the most preferred option by majority. I will list the Pros and Cons of my trip to Damanoen Saduak below for anyone who plans to see this or is in two minds.
A Photographers Delight– With so many colours and action everywhere around you, it gives you so many wonderful shots and memories that you will remember always.
One-stop Shop– If you don’t like the usual markets and walk then this is it, sit and float around.
Coconut Farm– The coconut farm visit is a unique sight which might or might not, be a part of your tour depending on how much have you paid. But if you have, the process is a good learning experience and the coconut flower drink is absolutely stellar.
Wide availability of Food – The market is flooded with food on every corner, which gives you a very healthy choice of options plus a good bargaining power.
Calm– If you choose to stay after 10 am or so, that’s when half the market has vanished in thin air. Its quiet and soothing to just float, see some fish and not be disturbed by any human sight or sound.
Commercial– Certainly the most commercial floating market of all in Thailand. Now chaos in market is good but not when it takes an hour to buy your tickets and get to your boat.
Distance– Although all the floating markets are placed outside of city limits but this particular one is 100 odd km away which makes it really far and needs planning as you have to reach here early morning.
Super Expensive Tickets– For the tag of 2500 THB and more (INR 1400 or so) this is an expensive affair.
How to get there–
There are 2 ways to get to Damanoen Saduak, one is hire a taxi guy to take you there and back for something like 1000 THB if you are 4/5 people. The other way is catch the bus #78 which drops within the walking radius of this market, but the frequency is 40 odd minutes and it’s not easy to find this bus.