Guide to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market (Bangkok)



Want to travel to Damnoen Saduak but unsure of the directions to get there? Fret not. This guide will give you detailed description on how to budget travel to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market starting from Bangkok, using methods that only locals will know. 

Be careful of tourist traps like boat rides, this guide will show you how to really get into the floating market without having to be ripped off by those expensive boat rides.

For those who are looking to stay near the Floating Market, you can find a couple of places mentioned below that are just a stone's throw away from the place. This also serves as a review for the floating market.
There are a lot of things to do in Bangkok, and visiting Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is one of them. But before I proceed, let me tell you that IMHO, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is really too commercialized. I am not sure how it was one or two years ago, but it is now really more catered to large groups of visiting tourists (there are hidden gems though but you need to know where to look for). If you still want to go there, then read on...

This guide is based on my visit to the floating market on June 29, 2012. All prices listed as accurate as on that day. The usual disclaimer is found here.

Update 3:

For some reason, seems my previous Google Maps data went off. Happened to some other pages too. I have redrawn another one, readers do highlight to me if the map in Update 2 below looks off again.

Update 2:

Wow! What a difference 1.5 yrs makes. When I was there in Jun 2012, the area was generally still unmapped in Google Maps, much less to say street view. But today I thought I will search the area again, and boy did I see a huge difference in GM. And so again, a map speaks a thousand words.


View Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in a larger map

Green Marker (A) = Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Yellow Marker (B) = Where you get off if you took the public bus 78 to Damnoen Saduak from Bangkok
Blue Marker (C) = Where you can get on public bus 78 for return trip to Bangkok

Points B and C are a little hazy, but should not be too far off. Because the surroundings look a little different from what I remember. The route from B (where you get off bus 78) to A (Floating Market) looks a little different from what I remembered, but as I move further in, the area looks more familiar. If you explore the street view of the road, you may even spot the Yellow Bus!



Another thing to add, I see some queries on the Elephant Village. Much as I would like to give info on how to get there, I have not visited the place personally so I do not wish to claim otherwise.

If any fellow traveler is willing to share info on how to DIY a trip there from the Floating Market, I will be most glad to put it up for others' reference.


Update 1:
  • Fellow traveler Bryan suggested getting a tour from Khaosan for 250 Baht if you try to bargain.

  • Fellow traveler Lina Lona commented that her tour started from Victory Monument for 90 Baht per person but do remember to insist that the driver drop you at the actual market and not outside where the scam piers are.

  • Included a map below to show the rough location of the floating market viz-a-viz the piers and where you will drop off if you take bus 78. 



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44 comments:

  1. hello there... im planning to go bangkok this sept...and one of my major highlight is this floating market! so im gonna follow exactly ur DIY hopefully everything goes smoothly!! thanks again for ur guidance! oh, any guides on how to go to those grand palace and other nearby temples like Wat Arun and Temples of Emerald Buddha? im planning to go here the same day..

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  2. Hi there, I hope you enjoyed the review :)

    I did Khao San Road + Grand Palace + Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) + Chinatown together on the day I arrived. But I have been too busy to pout together a guide for a combo visit to these places.

    If I don't get to write one before you visit Bangkok, do take note to IGNORE THE TOUTS that are standing outside any temple and telling you that the temples are closed due to public holiday or whatever crap reason they can give. ITS A SCAM SO SCRAM AS FAR AS YOU CAN FROM THEM!! They just want to lead unsuspecting tourists to some other temple and probably charge you exorbitant rates when you get there.

    The Grand Palace is opened till 4.30pm (last entry at 4.00pm). The Wat Pho temple is opened till 6pm. In fact, at Grand Palace, there will be constant overhead announcement telling visitors to be wary of touts/scams and that it is opened for the day.

    As Grand Palace is big, the entrance might not be immediately obvious. If you are unsure of the entrance, just catch any local Thai that are walking on and minding their own business and ask them where the entrance is. Avoid those that seem to be hanging around and especially if they are looking at you and "smiling".. I had asked a Thai school girl for the entrance and she helpfully pointed to me the right direction (I was actually going the opposite direction)

    Oh, and there is a dress code for Grand Palace, basically you have to be fully clothed (men and women) before you can enter. No worries though, you can rent the necessary outfit at the entrance (fully refundable).

    I hope you enjoy your visit and return home scam-free :)

    If you found my guides useful, do drop by again and let me know. Or tell me which areas that I can improve on the content so that other travelers can benefit from it :)

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  3. Hi,
    1 question: are the market open daily?
    thank you
    Laura

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    Replies
    1. Hi Laura

      As I understand, Damnoen Saduak market is open everyday, unlike some other markets which are weekend only

      Delete
  4. Just as a heads up, you should be able to get the tour on Khoasan bargained down to B250.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Bryan

      Can share more details on your tour for the benefit of other readers?
      - Where's the pickup point and time?
      - Where were you dropped off? inside the market or outside where you had to take the speed boats?
      - How long were you given to sight-see the place?
      - Any other places on the tour itinerary?

      Delete
  5. Hi, just got back from my bangkok trip with friends. you blog truly helps with our planning to floating market. we went there with van from victory monument where we paid 90 baht each. but we forgot to tell the driver to drop us at the entrance and not boat pier. when he dropped us at a pier, it was too late when we knew it. the pier owners tried to sweet talk us but we knew all the tricks, thanks to u! Tho they told us that the entrance is so far away, maybe 3km away, we decided to just walk to the entrance from the pier. it wasn't that far actually, and signboards are everywhere. When we got to the entrance, or the actual market, we were thinking to just stroll along. However, when an aunty offered to take us on padlle boat for only 100 baht each, we just cund't resist it. It's definitely wayyyy cheaper than having to pay 1000 baht at the pier. We took yellow baht and bus no 78 on our way back to bangkok. Thanks for the info!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lina lola, may i know for THB 100 / each paddle boat ride, for how many minutes ? and is it private or share with others tourists ? thanks a lot.

      @Admin : Thanks a lot for the info, very details and helpful

      Delete
    2. Thanks Lina and Zoe for your comments :) Glad that my experiences helps others to enjoy their trip more

      The paddle boats are definitely worth a ride if you have the time, you get to enjoy the place at a more leisurely pace, and of course a much cheaper option than the fast boats.

      Though I did not get the chance to try the paddle boats, I am guessing that it will be the same route as the fast boats i.e. the three main sections of the floating market should be covered, give and take some extra time for you to buy anything from the boat peddlers. If you feel you want a longer ride, you probably can negotiate with the boat paddler on the boat for some extra baht (talk to the one paddling you around, not the boss that took your money). They will most likely be glad to earn some extra pocket money from you.

      And my apologies to Zoe if you were wondering why your comment did not appear. It was marked as spam by blogger even though I have set all comments to be auto-published.

      Delete
    3. Hi Lina lola, I will be going on 1st November, can you provide the information about the mini van from victory monument to damnoen saduak floating market? the mini van company name and the direction to there? Besides, what is their 1st and earliest time to depart to the floating market? It is much appreciate from your help for the info as unable to found the details of the mini van info.

      Delete
  6. Thank you very much for the detailed information that you have given. I visited Thailand in 2006 but am going back in March. This time I wanted to visit the floating market on my own and not with a tour group. I am definitely going to use your notes.

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  7. Thanks for providing such precise information on a DIY trip to the floating market. I plan to go directly to Damnoen Saduak from the airport, staying overnight there. Can you tell me whether I am allowed to check in luggage on bus 78? Also, other than the "yellow baht", will I be able to find tuk tuks or taxis from the DS bus station to the hotel?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mervin, sorry for the late reply.

      I did not notice if Bus 78 is able to check in luggage, and if I recall correctly, the size of the bus probably does not allow it to have the under-trunk storage of bigger bus types.

      But I am sure if you ask the driver nicely, he would probably allow you to bring up a few pieces of luggage onto the bus.

      Depending on where your hotel is located, you might be better off hoping onto the yellow bus after getting off bus 78. If you want to get a tuktuk and taxis, I would recommend walking out a little further onto the main road that turns into the DS bus station (in fact there's no "bus station" in the sense. You are really alighting within the small pier)

      Delete
  8. Hi,

    Thanks for your tips. Can you advise me on how to go to the Grand Palace on my own? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there!

      I would suggest you can start from the popular Khao San Road and work your way to Grand Palace area which are near each other. These are part of my half day itinerary guide which you can take a look here http://www.diytraveltips.com/2012/09/half-day-itinerary-for-grand-palace.html

      If you are travelling alone, I will suggest you to be careful and stay away from the street touts loitering around nearby Grand Palace to trick unsuspecting tourists. I have more tips on things to look out for in the itinerary guide too.

      Generally Thailand is quite save for tourists but do exercise caution. Enjoy your trip!

      Delete
  9. do have one question, if for whatever reason your dropped off in front of one of the rip off piers like coke, in which direction would you start walking to get to the farmers market, left, right, forward our go backwards, i understand the yellow bus but still not exactly sure how to get to the bus, left, right,etc

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, I have updated the guide with a mini map of the area. That should be better for you to figure out the directions.

      Delete
  10. Hi Admin,
    Thoughly enjoyed reading your blod. Thanks for the very informative guide complete with map and photos. We are heading there around 14 June 2013 and will definitely print and bring your guide along. It is because of unselfish people like you who spent time putting together these useful information so that people like us do not get conned that makes this world a much better place. Thank you from bottom of my heart. May you be blessed, always!
    Raymond

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  11. Hi Raymond,

    I am just glad that my travel experiences can help others to enjoy their trips more. Hope you have fun and let me know if there is any info that is outdated and should be updated

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  12. Hi... this is very helpful! Thank you so much for this! I am a VT member as well and I saw you post about the floating market. I appreciate this very much. I would recommend this link to my friends as well. Have a great day!

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  13. Hello Thank You for you helfpul blog! Do you also know how to go from Floating Market to Elephant Village/Elephant Camp? Thank You!

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  14. Hi,

    Same question as Tiffany. How to get to the Elephant Village/Elephant Camp from Damnoen Saduak Floating Market? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi

      Sorry, as I have not been to Elephant Village myself, I would not be able to provide more info on that. If you ever managed to find out how to get there, do share with us :)

      Delete
  15. once you got to the entrance of the market, how much is it to hire the paddle boat to look around?

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  16. Hi, Kent,

    As I know the cost for the padder boat is 200Baht per boat woth up to maximuium of 6-8 persons. The journey will take around 1 hour.

    Josephine

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  17. Hi Admin,

    I must applaud your effort in putting together such detailed information to help out other tourists visiting BKK. It's truly amazing how you've put all the details on your site. We are visiting June end and contacted Absolute Bangkok (a tour guide company) and they quoted us 5,490 THB for 3 adults and 1 child for Damnoen Saduak Floating Market + Train Market...which in my opinion was a bit too high to just drive us there and drive us back. But we are staying in a hotel in Sukhumvit and cannot find a way to get to the floating market thru skytrain (would like to experience that with the kids) and maybe transfer to Bus 78?

    Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.

    Regards,

    Andy

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  18. Hi again,

    Forgot to mention that the quote of 5490 TBH included the 30 minutes "private" tail boat ride from the scam-pier to the floating market.

    Thanks,

    Andy

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi again Admin,

    An idea just given by my wife...how about we just cab it from Sukhumvit hotel to the floating market and then take a speed boat from inside the market, and then cab it back? Would that be extremely expensive? We have kids ages 11 and 13, so don't want to make it too difficult for us.

    Thanks,

    Andy

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    Replies
    1. Hi Andy

      Sorry for the late reply. Blame it on the world cup fever :)

      Anyway, the floating market is 2hrs ride out of Bangkok.
      BTS Skytrain is the local subway train system in Bangkok, if you want to take train to Damnoen Saduak, I will think you have to take those inter city trains.
      Cabbing will definitely be expensive unless you can strike a reasonable deal with the driver

      Delete
  20. Hi

    Thank you so much for writing about your experience, was great to have when we went there this morning.
    We took bus 78 and the yellow taxi, saved us a lot of money. Don't be persuaded by the boatmen to take you to the market, really expensive. Some were very aggressive, one even followed us on scooter yelling after us.
    Back to Bangkok you csn take the bus from Damneom Saduak District Transport Station, but it drives past the blue marker too.

    Thanks again, it was really helpful :)
    Hal

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  21. so honest and informative indeed :) three thumbs up :)

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  22. dear blogger, thank you SO much for your advice. I visited the floating market today and i had read your blog earlier this morning, i had made a note of your map in my phone. Since we are only in Bangkok for the day, we were in sort if a rush. A taxi driver offered to take us to the market for 1200 bht, we bargained to 800 and were willing to pay the premium for a quick ride. This little scammer knew exactly what he was doing, to my surprise he even had a pamphlet of the market in the car. Anyway, i was ready for their scam. We got off at the parking lot with the small canal and i saw no arch blue sign that said ' welcome to the floating market' i knew exactly what was going on. There was a skinny little guy who forced us to walk to his little stand. I refused! I told the cabbie that this is not the market i will walk. The skinny guy tried yelling at nd and chasing me saying something like 'thus is the market' cabbie got freaked out as i had not paid him yet so he agreed to take nd to the actual market! I paid 100 bht for the busy ride in the canal compared to 900 bht that skinny guy wanted me to okay as a part of his scam. The cabbie was also a part if this whole thing and the only reason he agreed to give me a rude for 800 bht was because he was sure he would make his cut at thd market. Cabbie grumbled with nd all the way back to Bangkok but let me tell you, i taught him a good lesson today.

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  23. hiya!

    Thank you for your amazing information! I did some research and saw that there was another way to the floating market via the minbus/van from Victory Monument? Have you heard of that before? is it more reliable and cheaper? hahaha if not i will probably stick to your methods which i think are good and direct as well!

    cheers
    deb

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  24. Is bus 78 air conditioned and comfortable enough

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. But remember to bring along a fleece because the air con is blasting and can be very cold even after you close the vent panel at the top of your seat.

      Delete
  25. Hi, I will be in Bangkok this August & I would love to include this floating market to my itinerary. A local travel agent I am communicating w/ through email is offering me a 550 Baht/person for a half-day Damnoen Saduak Floating Market tour. Is this a reasonable price? Pls advise. If not, could you provide me a detailed info on how to take a mini-van?

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there

      Be cautious if the price sounds too good to you, especially if you have compared with other agents. Ask for a detail breakdown of the itinerary, they may bring you to some "free" locations which usually end up being places where you are pestered to buy things or risk wasting time and not able to move to the actual places you want to go

      That side, 550 is a pretty good price compared to what I was quoted, but my price could be outdated and irrelevant (I would like to think prices are more competitive these days because more savvy readers have benefited from my guide and boycott such tours :)

      Upside to planned tours means you dont need to hassle yourself with coordinating the travel, especially if you have a big group
      Try asking for a better price if you have a big group, I am sure the agency would rather quote you a better price than lose a big deal

      Downside to such tours are like what I mentioned in the article, due to the time you start the trip, most of the local actions are gone by the time you arrive. You are just bumping around with a lot of other tourists such as yourself, with equally eager vendors catering to tourists. If possible, I would suggest you request for an earlier start so you get more quality time at the market.

      Hope you have a great time :)

      Delete
  26. Hi Admin,
    Thank you for the information, I will take your itinerary but I would love to see also the Damnoen Saduak Elephant Village. Do you have additional info? Thanks

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  27. good info but could have done without the reference to 'Japs' bombing.

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  28. Thank you for your write up. It inspired us to do the trip DIY! We went to the floating market last weekend on a Sunday. We followed your advice to wake up early and took a metered taxi to "Sai Tai". That's The Soutern Bus Terminal, about 20km from our hotel at Suktumvit 20. We paid 150 Baht.We reached there before 6am and saw the stand for bus #78. The lady pointed to us the bus which is about to leave. The bus rate is 66 Baht per person and the journey took about 2 hours and we alighted near to a pier. Of course, this is where the scam started... a young lady came to us to take a boat at their pier but we said we rather walk in. First she quoted the price of 500 Baht per boat and as walked away, the price went down to 300 Baht. Like we said, we rather walked in to the floating market. The walk was about 1.5km and that took us about 15-20 minutes of a slow pace, taking pictures and enjoying the scenery. Along the way, there were a couple more piers and the scammers were all waiting to lure you into taking their boot! Don't bother, ignore them and walk on by.
    At the market, we were there before 9am and not congested yet. You can actually walked along the path along the waters which was nice and peeking through the local houses.
    on our way back, we were not sure where to wait for the bus back to BKK but we saw a tourist information counter just outside the main road where the intersection is. There we saw a map showing how to get the spot to board the bus #78 back to BKK. It was pretty easy and we boarded the bus at 11:30am and we reached "Sai Tai" at 1:30pm thereabout. Taxi back to our hotel was slightly more expensive because of the afternoon congestion in BKK city center. We paid 250 Baht. In total, we paid less than 700 Baht for 2 pax.
    We will try to upload the map of how to catch the bus back too BKK from the intersection.

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  29. Thanks for this DIY tips, just back from the floating market. I stayed at Nana Bts area, wake up 5am took local bus 511 from Nana Bts to Sai Tai Mai (19 Bath), then bus 78 (64 Bath).
    Bangkok to Sai Tai Mai bus can check from http://www.transitbangkok.com/bangkok_buses.html

    While return i took a motor taxi back to Damnoen-saduak town where 78 bus stop n pick out passenger ( Motor Taxi - 25 Bath). While on the way back to Bangkok, the bus conductor lady told me bus leave for Bangkok every 20 minutes. ( Motor Taxi can send you to Bus 78 or Minivan to Victory Monument )

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Thanks for leaving a message. I will try to reply as soon as I can.