One of the most popular things to do in Bangkok is visit a floating market, and there are quite a few markets to choose from.
While some of the most famous floating markets are located outside of Bangkok, like Damnoen Saduak and Amphawa, there are others that are well worth visiting right within the city.
For the atmosphere, natural beauty, and most importantly for the food, Khlong Lat Mayom (ตลาดน้ำคลองลัดมะยม), a floating market located on the outskirts of central Bangkok, is one of my favorite floating markets in Bangkok.
In this blog post I’ll be sharing all about the food, things to do, and what you can expect when you visit Khlong Lat Mayom.
Due to the vast network of canals and waterways, Bangkok and the surrounding area, were formerly known as the Venice of the East.
People relied on canals for transportation, and therefore people would tend to sell things directly from their boats, and congregate in certain areas to have floating boat markets.
Fast forward to today, and although canals are still used as transportation in areas in and around Bangkok, many of the canals have been filled in to make way for roads, and boats and have turned into cars.
But visiting a floating market, while not totally so authentic anymore in Bangkok, has become a hugely popular Thai tourist attraction – and many local Thais go to a floating market on the weekend to walk around, do some some shopping, and most importantly: to do some eating.
I’ve been to quite a few of the floating markets in Bangkok including Taling Chan, Bang Nam Pheung, and Talad Nam Kwan Riam (Ramkhamhaeng), but still one of my favorites is Khlong Lat Mayom (ตลาดน้ำคลองลัดมะยม) – situated in a lovely green lush area with an abundance of good food to eat.
A couple years ago I wrote a blog post about visiting Khlong Lat Mayom (ตลาดน้ำคลองลัดมะยม), and at that time I thought it was one of the best weekend markets in Bangkok and it still is – so this is a much needed updated post.
About the “floating” part of the market…
When I say floating market, don’t think of Khlong Lat Mayom as that image of a thousand boats in the river, brimming with food and color.
The actual “floating” part of the market is very quiet (while the non-floating part is massive), and there are just a few vendors who mostly sell things like potted plants and flowers and fresh fruits and vegetables from their boats, with just a few restaurant boats.
However, the canal is still used frequently as transportation in this area of Bangkok, and people really do sell things out of their boat – so although the market is very Thai touristy now, it still a little bit authentic, and a lot of fun.
Let’s start with the food because that’s one of the top reasons to go. Due to the abundance of food available and how good it looks on display, I can almost guarantee you’ll be ready to start eating when you arrive.
Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำคลองลัดมะยม) is pretty good sized sprawling market (even though it looks small from outside), so it’s a good idea to take a look around quickly before you sit down.
From the main road, I like to go to the left side of the market, and then go through the market to the canal-side, and there are some bamboo picnic tables, kind of in a food court seating area, which is one of my favorite areas to sit.
The tables are first-come-first-serve, and if you grab a table, you can then start buying food from all the different stalls, and bringing everything back to your table to start eating.
Pla pao (ปลาเผา)
One of the absolute best things to eat at Khlong Lat Mayom and at any Bangkok floating market is pla pao (ปลาเผา) – Thai salt crusted grilled fish (you can check out my recipe here if you’re interested).
There’s a stall right in the middle of the market that grills some serious fish. They have about a dozen half barrel grills lined up, and they probably grill a couple hundred fish at a time.
You can either order snakehead fish, tilapia, and I also saw that they had some barramundi as well. I got the snakehead fish, known in Thai as pla chon pao (ปลาช่อนเผา), and they dished it onto a pizza like box, with some sauce and vegetables.
The grilled snakehead fish (ปลาช่อนเผา), despite its scary looks, was incredibly delicious. It was fresh, and grilled so it was moist.
The sauces were also quite good. One was a typical Thai seafood sauce with garlic, chilies and lime juice, and the other sauce was a roasted chili sauce with a touch of giant water bug essence in it to give it a unique twist.
Price – 250 THB ($7)
Goong ob woon sen (กุ้งอบวุ้นเส้น)
There are a couple stalls selling goong ob woon sen (กุ้งอบวุ้นเส้น), but for myself, the superior stall is a few minutes walk down the left side of the artfully preparing goong ob woon sen (กุ้งอบวุ้นเส้น).
If you love shrimp, you’re going to love this.
After you order, they take the contents of the individual pot, put it onto a plate, and you can then bring it back to your table.
After Somsak Boo Ob, this was one of the best versions of goong ob woon sen (กุ้งอบวุ้นเส้น) that I’ve had in Bangkok in a long time.
The mungbean noodles were flavorful with garlic, ginger, black pepper, and a hint of Sichuan pepper, and they had a perfect sticky, yet not mushy, texture. The freshwater shrimp weren’t overcooked, and they were meaty and creamy.
Price – 150 THB ($4.21)
The accompanying sauce was also good, nice and garlicky, a little spicy, and balanced with both sourness and sweetness. The combination of the sauce with the prawns and mung bean noodles was excellent.
Along with roasted fish, I’d give the goong ob woon sen (กุ้งอบวุ้นเส้น) a high recommendation – especially if you’re a shrimp lover.
We did eat a few other small snacks, but after the grilled fish and shrimp and mung bean noodles, I was so happy, I didn’t really even need much else… at least for a little while.
Boat Ride Tour
Along with a great selection of food and nice atmosphere, another reason I think Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำคลองลัดมะยม) is one of the best floating markets in Bangkok is because of the boat ride tour.
Right at the center of the market along the canal they offer longtail boat tours, which are communal, and very affordable.
You can either choose to take the boat ride tour with a stop at the temple, or a boat ride tour with a stop at a homestay. We chose the homestay route, bought our tickets for just 50 THB ($1.40) per person, and waited for our boat to fill up in about 20 minutes.
Then we were off with about 15 other people in our boat.
We rode in the boat through the canal, passing through neighborhoods, homes, gardens, small orchards, and businesses.
It’s so beautiful and a throwback to the old days of Bangkok to be sitting in a boat cruising through the canals.
After about 30 minutes of riding, we got off at a small village, and walked around a couple of old houses, and a community.
There was a small coffee shop at one of the homes, and I took to opportunity to fuel up on a much needed iced coffee.
We then walked through the lush greenery to a different canal where the boat driver picked our whole group back up. The boat ride again took about 30 minutes to get back to the main part of the floating market.
The boat trip tour at Khlong Lat Mayom altogether took about 1.5 hours.
I honestly didn’t think I was going to like it that much, but it was actually quite enjoyable, and I’d really recommend taking the time to do it if you visit – and you can’t beat the 50 THB ($1.40) per person price!
The boat trip was a good little stomach break, and when I arrived back, I had built up a little bit more of an appetite.
The first thing that caught my attention was a stall selling gai galae (ไก่กอและ), one of my favorite types of Thai grilled chicken from the south of Thailand.
It’s quite difficult to find in Bangkok, so I always jump at the chance to have it.
The chicken was grilled and coated in a southern Thai bbq sauce made from coconut milk and dry chilies. It was a bit sweet and creamy, and had a nice nutty and smoky chili flavor to it.
Price – 25 THB ($0.70)
I also stopped for some miniature pineapple, which were from Chiang Rai.
The drumstick sized pineapple, which is known for its sweet, juicy, and crispy texture in Thailand, was excellent, and a refreshing way to end the day at this floating market Bangkok.
Price – 40 THB ($1.12)
Fun and Leisure
Finally, this brings us to the last and final reason Khlong Lat Mayom is such a pleasure to visit: the leisure and relaxation.
Although the market does get packed our and busy on peak times during the weekend, Khlong Lat Mayom is still a pretty calm and friendly market. It’s a great place to spend a few hours leisurely walking around, and sitting at a table eating and contemplating your next thing to eat.
The market is just far enough from Bangkok to make it feel like you’re deep into the countryside, yet so close to Bangkok that if you were to peek above the canopy of trees, you could probably see some skyscrapers.
Within the market you feel far removed from the city life, which is great.
When you’re about to leave the market, make sure you stock up on some snacks to bring home.
My wife in particular really loves khao lam (ข้าวหลาม), sticky rice combined with sugar and coconut milk, all stuffed into a pole of bamboo, and slow roasted on a lean-to.
The slow roasting and cooking process makes the rice creamy and sticky, and almost to the point of custardy, and it should have a nice bamboo tasting flavor to it from being roasted in the green bamboo.
Price – 40 THB ($1.12)
It’s not always easy to find a good version of khao lam (ข้าวหลาม) in Bangkok, but Ying and I sampled it right as we were leaving the market, and it was quite good.
The top was creamy and sweet, while the bottom of the rice was less sweet and less rich – the coconut cream and sugar rise more to the top.
That was our final bite at Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำคลองลัดมะยม), before we jumped in a taxi to head back to central Bangkok.
Video of Khlong Lat Mayom
If you have a few minutes, click play below to watch the full video of visiting the floating market, the food, and the boat ride:
(If you can’t see the video, watch it on YouTube here)
If you love food, relaxation, and markets, a floating is a great place to visit when you’re in Bangkok.
Although there are many different floating markets throughout Bangkok and the surrounding region, one of the best (at least I think), for the abundance of delicious food and relaxed and beautiful atmosphere, is Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำคลองลัดมะยม).
One of the main reasons to go is for the food, and you shouldn’t miss eating a grilled fish or two when you go. But in addition to eating, you can also take a boat tour, which is quite fun, and just leisurely walk around and enjoy the lush green area.
Khlong Lat Mayom remains one of my personal favorite floating markets, and one of the attractions you shouldn’t miss when you’re in Bangkok.
Floating Market Bangkok: Khlong Lat Mayom
Open hours: 9 am – 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday and major holidays (closed on weekdays!), I think it’s best to go around 10 am or so.
Prices: Prices are average Bangkok prices
How to get to Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market:
You have a couple choices of how to get to Khlong Lay Mayom, but since there’s no real good way to get there by public transportation, I’ve found that probably the easiest and cheapest way is to just take a direct taxi. But here are the main options:
- BTS and Taxi – Take the BTS Skytrain to Bang Wa station on the Thonburi side of Bangkok. From Bang Wa, jump in a taxi, tell the driver Talad Nam Khlong Lat Mayom (ตลาดน้ำคลองลัดมะยม), it will take about 15 minutes to get to the market and cost about 80 THB ($0.70).
- Direct Taxi – Depending on where you’re staying, especially if you’re in Silom, Sathon, or around Khao San (Banglamphu), I’d recommend skipping the BTS, and just taking a direct taxi (should cost about 120 – 180 THB to get to the floating market). I took a taxi from the market back to Khao San area for 125 THB ($3.51).
Have a great time visiting this floating market in Bangkok and hope you enjoy the food.