Intrepid Urban Adventures
Private Bangkok Tour Beyond Market Adventure: Railway & Floating Markets
The Damnoen Saduak floating market is one of the most popular sites to see in Thailand and for good reason! Some call this area the Venice of the East, where vendors sell their goods from boats and stalls set up along the water's edge of this unique market. In the mid-1800s, to help locals journeying between towns, Thai King Rama IV and his son, King Rama V, commissioned a 32-kilometre canal connecting two rivers together: the Mae Krong river and Tha Cheen River. The name of this man-made canal is Damnoen Saduak, which means "convenience journey" in Thai. You'll start your private tour with a drive-by private vehicle to the railway market, about two hours from Bangkok. Please be on time for your tour! We'll need to leave at 6:30 am sharp or you'll miss the excitement at the surreal railway market. And trust us, you need to see it to believe it! Vendors set up their goods along active railway tracks, with fresh produce, fabrics, cooking supplies, and more all lined up a mere few inches from the track's edge (and in some cases, right on top of the tracks). You'll get to see what happens when the train comes through: vendors gather up their things and lower their canopies, and both vendors and shoppers step aside as the train travels right through the middle of the market. Once the train leaves, business resumes as though nothing had disrupted them! Between the train schedule, your guide will lead you around the market and introduce you to traditional Thai foods, from desserts to snacks to fresh fruits. We'll then continue on a short drive to a palm sugar plantation, where we'll visit the house of a villager who still makes palm sugar the traditional way. There are a lot of coconut palm tree plantations in Thailand, and the local wisdom of making organic palm sugar from the nectar of coconut flowers has been passed down from generation to generation. Onward, we'll board a small boat for a ride through narrow village canals, to reach the famous floating market of Damnoen Saduak — keep your camera ready as this place is a non-stop photo op. If anything catches your eye along your boat ride, let your guide know and you can stop to chat with vendors and purchase something to take home (or to eat right there!). We'll then depart the boat and walk around to explore more of the market. You'll find a variety of Thai foods, such as seasonal tropical fruits from local orchards, as well as souvenirs, all available on both river banks. Around noon, we'll head back to Bangkok and return you to the meeting point which is right next to BTS (Skytrain) station National Stadium. Your local guide will be happy to give you directions back to your accommodation or to other sites you should see.
Local Impact: How you will help the local community by joining this tour:
Instead of visiting one of the many palm sugar plantations that have been set up for tourists to see and learn about the process, we visit a local family at their village plantation where they make palm sugar daily throughout the year. The family has been here for generations and bringing our small groups provides some additional income for them.