How to shop in the Floating Market
There are actually two separate ways to shop in the Floating Market
Let the shops come to you
When you first arrive in the market you will be at one of the cover
piers with food hall along the edge of the river. If you simply stay
here at the edge of the water then small vendors in boats will come up
and offer you things.
Sit at the tables and have a cool drink while watching the small boats go slowely buy and wave to the boatman or boatwoman when you see something that interest you. Many are moored by the steps an dyou can browse their wares. Many traditional snacks can be purchased from these boats as well as more substantial food like bowles of tradition thai noodles. Many boats also have fruits and vegetables that will be purchased by local people as well as visitors to Thailand.
You go to the shops
Hire a small boat to take you on a shopping trip. This is the best way
to see more of the market as many of the interesting vendors are
actually not on boats but in small stalls along the khlong which can
only be reached by boat.
There are many small boats for hire and each one can take a party of at least 8 or more for larger boats. The boatman will use an oar to row and punt you along the khlong as far as you want.
Stalls include many souviner stalls with traditional Thai wood carvings and fabric items. There are also boutiques which sell modern western clothing for ladies.
Silverware and traditional Thai handicrafts are available from many of the riverside stalls.
Each stall has a small landing platform where your boatman can stop the boat so that you can go in to the stall to discuss directly with the vendor what things interest you.
Colorful straw hats, woven bags, bamboo windchimes and careved wooden dolls are some common items that are very reasonably priced and would make great items to take home with you.
There are plenty of snack stalls as well to get a drink, be it a international soft drink or soda or a local favourite like Green Spot orange drink. Or a freshly made hot coffee.
Motor boats are also available for hire and are similar to the longtail boats in Bangkok center with large engines and a sunshade. Good for a longer trip but not necessary for shopping. The
You may be amazed at the food on offer including deep fried foods cooked on tiny boats.
Boat rental is about 300 Bhat per hour for the whole boat regardless of passengers for the manually rowed traditional boats. The fee is not all for the rower who only has a small fee, the other is shared with the owner of the boat and the agents. Please give tips to the rower if they have provided good service.
Of course like any place in Thailand the boat will take you to souvineer shops, if you don’t wish to go there then please clearly tell the boatman where you want to go.