When we used to think of Thailand, pictures of floating markets came to mind. Images of men and women sitting in long, narrow, wooden boats selling fresh produce, sweets, and freshly grilled snacks. We had our first glimpse of these iconic vendors selling food from their boats at the Taling Chang Floating Market in Bangkok.
Welcome to the Taling Chan Floating Market
What began in 1987 as a handful of bamboo rafts has prospered into a floating market made of 11 metal pontoons paired with a walking street that the local Thai people residing in the surrounding streets and canals have grown to rely on for their larger weekend hauls.
In the midst of all of the action, huge catfish circle the waters of the Taling Chan Floating Market and wait for anything to be dropped, whether purposefully or accidentally. If fueling a feeding frenzy is on your list of things to do, fish food can be purchased for 10 to 20 baht a bag.
The Taling Chan Floating Market consists of both old and young Thai merchants that have set up shop in hopes of peddling their specialty goods and snacks from their long wooden boats.
Tasty Food at the Taling Chan Floating Market
The floating vendors display their boats with their colorful ingredients, cooking gear, and servings utensils for all to see. The visual display of goodies makes it a unique experience.
The food is cheap, quick, and typically ranges from 30 to 60 baht ($1-$2). In other words, don’t be afraid to skip breakfast or lunch and attempt to eat your way through the Taling Chan Floating Market.
Savory snacks are made to order, freshly plucked from a charcoal grill and served on a banana leaf or on the end of a stick. Grilled meats of all sorts are very popular with Thai people, and we personally find it difficult to deny some good old-fashioned meat-on-a-stick. Stay in Thailand longer than a day or two and you will undoubtedly hear passionate arguments about which type of street food is best.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables of the Taling Chan Floating Market
Although this particular market originates in the water with the small boat vendors, it soon transitions into a smattering of small shops along the dock. Walk a little further and you will find that it spills onto the nearby covered street where vendors sell various types of fresh produce from the local orchards.
You will be sure to find native seasonal fruits and vegetables stacked high through the walking street area of the Taling Chan Market. If you aren’t sure what something is, most vendors are happy to give you a free taste before you commit to buying a large quantity of the exotic treats. We happen to love just about every fruit we have come across so far…even the much feared durian fruit!
Shopping for your fresh produce at a place like the Taling Chan Floating Market rather than one of the big name box stores like Tesco Lotus or Big C will save you cash, and the freshness is usually a step above as well.
Flowers & Gardening Goods at the Taling Chan Floating Market
As you enter the final length of the market, you’ll find a selection of beautiful flowers and shrubs available from the many green-thumbed merchants. Along the walking street portion of the market, some plants can even be bought for as cheap as 5 baht (about 15 cents US)!
In addition to the wide variety of plants, you will also find everything you need to get your own garden project started. Bright, colorful, and unique planters can be had for a relatively small price. If you are a smooth talker, you should have no issues coming to an agreeable price for something you can’t leave without.
Many merchants and mobile street vendors also sell fertilizer, small axes, rakes, and machetes on small wheeled carts at the very end of the market.
Information about the Taling Chan Floating Market
Although there are many floating or river markets throughout Thailand, our first visit was to the Taling Chan Floating Market. It is a little further out of the usual tourist track, so it is sometimes overlooked by Bangkok’s visitors. Most tourists opt for the larger Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, but if you want to avoid the crowds, then the Taling Chan Floating Market is probably one of your better bets.
The Taling Chan Floating Market is open on weekends from approximately 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and can be reached by several different ways, including:
- Taxi from the Wongwian Yai Station (closest BTS station 10 to 12 km)
- Public Bus 79 from CentralWorld
- Water taxi
There are even a few, slightly more expensive organized tours that leave from River City Shopping Complex and slowly tour along the unique back waterways of the Chao Phraya River before reaching the floating market.
Map of the Taling Chan Floating Market and Points of Interest
*Located in front of the Taling Chan District Office on Khlong Chak Phra Canal
View Taling Chan Map in a larger map