You have many choices for floating markets to visit in Thailand.
Tha Kha Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำท่าคา), located in Samut Songkhram province (about a 1 hour drive from Bangkok) is one of the most relaxing and local floating you can visit.
In this blog post I’m to share with you all the details of how you can visit this amazing floating market, and what to eat when you’re there.
Watch the video:
If you have a few minutes, you can press play below to watch the full video of this trip to Tha Kha Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำท่าคา).
(Or you can watch the full video on YouTube here)
Tha Kha Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำท่าคา)
There are a number of floating markets within Bangkok, Khlong Lat Mayom being my personal favorite.
Then, there are also a number of even more famous Thai floating markets about an hour drive outside of Central Bangkok in a province called Samut Songkhram.
Damnoen Saduak is probably the most famous of all, and it’s quite an extreme tourist attraction. Amphawa is another floating market that’s huge and very popular to visit for both Bangkok locals and tourists.
But if you’re looking for a quieter floating market experience that has a great local feel to it, Tha Kha Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำท่าคา) is a wonderful market to visit.
Originally the market was only open only 4 – 5 days determined by the phase of the moon, but now it’s open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays as well.
Still to this day, the canal and market is used as a hub for people in the area to trade and sell local, mainly food products.
Arriving to the market
Tha Kha Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำท่าคา) is located about an hour or an hour and a half drive (depending on where you’re coming from in Bangkok) from Bangkok.
Since it’s located quite a ways off the main road and within the coconut sugar plantations, the best way to get there is by private vehicle — you could either rent your own car and drive yourself, or hire a private van / taxi for the day.
Directions are a little confusing. I plotted the market on Google Maps, and luckily that directed us straight to the market, through many small farm roads. It was a beautiful drive, but I don’t know how I could have ever found it without Google Maps directing.
At the front of the market there are a series of covered shops, and at the end of the shops you’ll get to the canal and the floating market.
Along the canal at Tha Kha Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำท่าคา) you’ll find a number of boat vendors selling both produce and cooked ready to eat food.
There are also a few stalls along the edge of the canal (not floating) where you can also buy more things to eat.
It’s not a huge market, but I thought there was plenty to eat and see, and it’s especially a wonderful place if you want to avoid the main tourist floating markets, and visit a floating market where you can have a relaxed countryside local Thai experience.
Another thing that impressed me about Tha Kha Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำท่าคา) is that many of the vendors I talked with and ordered from were extremely friendly.
Fried oyster omelet (หอยทอด)
Something about eating greasy fried oyster omelets (hoy tod หอยทอด) goes so well together with floating markets. It’s kind of like eating a hot dog at a sports game, they are just a natural food fit.
Smelling the smoke from lard pouring off the boat, I knew what I needed to eat first.
The Aunty who sells fried oyster omelets, sits in her boat, tossing the the ingredients on the hot griddle which sits above a wood burning fire.
What I loved most about her is that when it came time to throw on an egg, she cracked it onto the hot plate, then tossed the egg shell into the garbage at the front of the boat — she didn’t miss a single shell when I was watching her!
The fried oyster omelet included a gooey batter, egg, bean sprouts, and finally a handful of fresh oysters.
It wasn’t quite on level with one of Bangkok’s best fried oyster omelets, but it was pretty tasty, and well worth eating, especially for just 20 THB per plate.
Grilled chicken skewers (ไก่ปิ้ง)
As we were finishing off the oyster omelet, I next smelled the grilling skewers of chicken (gai ping ไก่ปิ้ง) just downstream, and it lured me in.
This is a Thai street food snack you can eat all over the streets of Bangkok, often eaten with sticky rice as a snack or even breakfast.
I especially wanted some liver, which was as good as expected — a little on the sweet side — but nice and creamy, and grilled fresh.
Shopping for local produce
This area of Samut Songkhram is famous in Thailand for producing things like coconut sugar, coconut oil, and even honey.
So if you’re ready to go shopping when you visit Tha Kha Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำท่าคา), there isn’t a huge selection, but there are an adequate amount of stalls where you’ll find fresh coconut sugar.
Additionally, fresh fruits and vegetables are sold in abundance throughout the market, both from stalls on ground and from boats.
Much of the produce likely comes directly from vendors’ home gardens, and they just boat them into the market each weekend to sell.
Something I couldn’t resist buying as soon as I saw it were starfruit (มะเฟือง mafuang), one of my many favorite fruits.
I bought a bag of starfruit to take home, but also since Thailand is one of the most convenient countries in the world, they also had pre-cut starfruit to eat on spot.
The starfruit was incredibly juicy, crispy, and sour and sweet.
Fried spring rolls (ปอเปี๊ยะทอด)
I don’t normally eat deep fried spring rolls too often in Thailand. But seeing them fried hot and fresh, and how friendly the lady making them was, we ordered some.
They turned out to be delicious, filled with a mixture of minced meat, cabbage and mung beans noodles. Largely they were so good because they were freshly deep fried.
Gold bags (ถุงทอง)
Literally translated to gold bags or sacks (ถุงทอง toong tong) is another Thai deep fried snack. They are almost like spring rolls, but shaped like a little gold pouch.
They had a variety of fillings, but these were filled with a combination of minced pork and corn.
I’ve snacked on plenty of gold bags (ถุงทอง) before at various markets in Thailand, but these were surprisingly better than many I’ve had. Again, it was a good combination of ingredients, and fried so they were still crispy and hot.
Ba mee moo (บะหมี่หมู)
Bowls of noodles are one of the most popular things to eat at floating markets in Thailand, including Tha Kha Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำท่าคา).
So after doing some snacking while walking around, we stopped for a quick bowl of noodles to cap things off. I had a bowl of egg noodles with pork (ba mee moo บะหมี่หมู).
I will say that it wasn’t amazing, but it was ok, and it did hit the spot after all the snacks. Next time I go, I would probably eat boat noodles, serves from the boat near the main bridge, which looked pretty good.
Price – 20 THB
Khao tom mad (ข้าวต้มมัด)
While slurping down my bowl of noodles, I noticed some lovely Aunties at the very end of the market, preparing a Thai sweet snack called khao tom mad (ข้าวต้มมัด).
Khao tom mad (ข้าวต้มมัด) is a Thai dessert that includes sticky rice and coconut milk, topped with a slice of ripe banana, wrapped in a banana leaf, and steamed. I’m not huge into any types of desserts, but khao tom mad (ข้าวต้มมัด) ranks among my favorite Thai desserts.
The Aunties made no mistakes.
Their khao tom mad (ข้าวต้มมัด) was delicious — perfectly gooey sticky rice, rich and sweet from the coconut cream, with a sweet and sour, almost pudding like banana in the center, all wrapped up with the essence of the banana leaf steamed into it.
It made the perfect end to a snacking feast at Tha Kha Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำท่าคา).
Canal boat ride
Along with eating, one of the best things to do when you visit Tha Kha Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำท่าคา) is to take a leisure paddle boat ride through the canals to see the tree orchards and neighborhoods.
I wasn’t able to go on a boat ride this time, as I was with my 2 month old baby and my baby niece. However, if you come to this floating market, I think it would be a chance you don’t want to miss.
I’ve taken plenty of boat rides in similar areas in Thailand, and I love how you can breeze through the canal, see the trees and houses on either side, all from the peace of paddling in a boat.
Along the canal at the market, you can easily hire a boat to take you around for a few minutes or an hour.
If you’re looking for a Thai floating market that’s action packed and jammed with boats and tourists, Damnoen Saduak or Amphawa would be the floating market to visit.
If you’re looking for a quiet, peaceful, and very friendly floating market, although there’s not that much to see or eat (but still plenty), Tha Kha Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำท่าคา) is one of the best relaxing floating markets in Thailand to visit.
We spent about 2 hours just enjoying the ambiance and slowly eating at Tha Kha Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำท่าคา). I thought it was fantastic, and what I loved most was the friendliness of the vendors… the fried oyster omelet was awesome too!
Tha Kha Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำท่าคา) is a relaxing local floating market located in the Samut Songkhram province of Thailand, about an hour drive from Bangkok.
You’ll find a good amount of vendors selling food from boats, as well as an abundance of fresh fruit and produce sold at stalls on the edges of the canal or from boats as well.
I fully enjoyed my visit to Tha Kha Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำท่าคา) for the food, the peaceful atmosphere, and for the very friendly vendors.
Tha Kha Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำท่าคา)
Address: Tha Kha, Amphawa District, Samut Songkhram 75110
Open hours: 6 am – 2 pm on Friday, Saturday and Sundays
ที่อยู่ ตำบลท่าคา อ.อัมพวา จ.สมุทรสงคราม
เปิดทุกวันเสาร์ อาทิตย์ 6.00-14.00 น.
How to get there: The easiest thing to do is either rent a car or hire a private van or taxi for the day. Follow this Google Map to get there.