Lam Phaya Floating Market
Lam Phraya Floating Market is one of Thailand's original, genuine floating markets, and it is all you might expect - a rural river setting, with local farmers and other folk selling their wares from boats and floating docks along the side of a river. Unlike other so-called floating markets, there is no entrance fee; the vendors are not pushy, and there aren't hordes of tourists arriving in ubiquitous double-decker buses. Some love it - some hate it, but most of those who have negative impressions have probably taken one of the many small day tours from Bangkok. These tours often stop off at numerous tourist "scam shops" along the way, where the tour guides receive a commission on your purchases; which means a very long, hot day can become an unpleasant, tiring experience. If you come to the floating market under your own steam, especially if during a stopover at Nakhon Pathom, you are much more likely to spend an enjoyable few hours. In the tiny village of Lam Phraya, you will have to walk through the grounds of the ancient Wat Lam Phraya temple to get into the market, on the banks of the Tha Jeen River. The market was originally set up for locals to sell their produce, including fruit, vegetables, basketwork, clothes, dyed cloths, and cheap food. These days it is divided into two sections. The 'land section' is a long covered walkway with the vendors selling anything from potted plants to food, and fruit. Pomelo is a scrumptious local delicacy - similar to grapefruit but much sweeter. You can also enjoy sit-down dining, where you can order dishes such as whole grilled fish - Thai style, as well as curries from the floating section. The ‘water section’ consists of 15 floating docks where vendors set up their stalls, and the walkway offers a vast variety of finger food dishes, such as duck, curried fish patties, Thai sweets, curries cooked in banana leaves, and so on. As well as the stalls on the docks, there are also many vendors who row their own boats into specially constructed dock areas which have walkways for the customers make their purchases. They sell a variety of food, some freshly cooked by floating chefs on the boats. Other boat owners get their produce to buying customers by way of long fishing net type containers. No visit to a floating market is complete without a boat ride. There are a number of options for rides on the Tha Jeen River, ranging from a traditional, ancient rowboat made from teakwood with a bamboo roof, to a tugboat, or a boat with a canopy; all of which take different routes, lasting from 30 minutes to 2 1/2 hours. The rowing boats will take you on a leisurely ride to a nearby shrine, and the motorised craft, which have tables for dining, will take you to temples along the riverbanks. Entry: Free Open: 6:00am - 5:00pm, weekends and holidays only Address: Lam Phraya Village Getting Here: From Nakhon Pathom: By car, it will take you about 50 mins, via Route 4 and Route 5032. By tuk-tuk approximately 700B for the round trip. From Bangkok: Minibus from Bangkok's Sai Tai Mai (Southern) terminal to the town of Salaya, then take a songtaew which passes through Lam Phaya. By Taxi - negotiate a round trip for about 1,200B incl. waiting time.