A visit to Thailand would not be complete until you go to Damnoen Saduak and experience their famous floating market. That’s why I made sure that this would also never be missed in our itinerary. Damnoen Saduak is a district in central Thailand located in the province of Ratchaburi. It is about 1.5-2 hours drive from Bangkok.
Upon searching for directions on how to go to floating market, we thought that for first timers or for those who have tight schedule, it’s better to look for a good tour package. So we decided to just go for a tour. However, we had a hard time on choosing whether to go for a join-in or private tour (rent a car with tour guide). After weighing the cons and pros between the two, private tour won. For the reason of, I’ve read lots of bad experiences in join-in tour. Even the couple from Portugal that we met in Ayutthaya tour, they told us that they were so many in the van, no free snacks, and they were just dropped off somewhere after the join-in tour. 🙁 So upon researching and reading lots of reviews, I came across with this Damnoen Saduak Tour by RatService.com, which included the following itinerary: Maeklong Railway Market, Floating Market tour, Wat Prok Charoen, and Elephant Ride. So we gave it a try.
I tried to contact Mrs. Rat and pre-booked a tour to Damnoen Saduak. We paid 5400 THB, which already included the fees for private long-tail boat (the longest way), fish feeding, elephant ride, hotel pick-up, tour guide/driver, snacks and lunch.
Tip #1: If your are traveling with friends or family, just book a private tour going to Damnoen Saduak. The greater the number of persons in a group the lesser the amount to pay by each in the group.
We were picked up from the apartment by Natt, our tour guide/driver at around 7:30 AM. We traveled about 1-2 hours going to our first destination.
Tip #2: Floating market is until noon only. So it is best to go to the market in the early morning before the crowds arrive and the heat of the day builds up.
Maeklong Railway Market
Maeklong Railway became famous for travelers because of its route through Railway Market, nicknamed (Talat Rom Hup), which actually mean “umbrella pull-down market”. Why umbrella pull-down market? It is because, whenever a train approaches, the coverings and shop fronts are moved back from the rails, to be replaced once the train has passed. Unfortunately, we haven’t witnessed this personally. Because when we visited the railway market, the train was under renovation. 🙁
Maeklong Railway Market is considered as one of the largest fresh seafood markets in Thailand. So going there was like going to a normal wet market. However, if there was one thing that we loved the most during our visit, it was their authentic street foods and milk tea. They were so delicious! We have tried a lot! Haha!
Since we were in a market, we were not surprised to see and smell lots of authentic Thai curry paste.
After railway market, we went to floating market via long tail boat. As far as I could remember, it was about an hour of travel before we reached the market. We were amazed with the houses that we saw along the river; how they’ve kept the river clean despite of the residential area; and how they’ve sustained this mode of transportation up to this date.
What to expect in the buzzing Damnoen Saduak floating market? Of course, full of boats selling food, fruits and other Thai products. The market was huge, lively and colorful!
Tip #3: Most Thai products/souvenirs are pricier in Damnoen Saduak floating market than in the city.
On our way to our next stop, we passed through a store selling Djembes. Vier, as a percussionist at heart did not miss the opportunity to check their locally made Djembes. We asked for its price and originally it was 1500 THB. But I was able to haggle it from 1500 THB to 900 THB. Yey! Happy Vier!
After exploring the floating market, we had a short trip to Wat Prok Charoen for the fish feeding. Then we headed to our last stop, which was the Chang Puak Elephant Camp.
We tried the elephant ride just for the sake of experiencing. The ride lasted for 30 minutes. However, twominutesafter the ride, we felt bad for the gentle giants. They looked old and tired. Imagine walking and carrying 3 persons at the same time for 30 minutes under the sun?! We thought that these elephants did not deserve this kind of treatment. 🙁
Tip #4. Buy fruits for the elephant. Giving the elephant something to eat during the ride is the least thing you can do to pay him back.
Tip #5: During the ride, your mahout (elephant trainer) will sell you some stuff. Well it’s just up to you if you’re going to buy some.
Tip #6: It’s not bad to give some tips to your mahout.
On our way back to the city, Natt suggested other places to visit. And one of those was Hello Kitty House Cafe located in Siam Square. I didn’t know that they already have one in Bangkok. The last time I went to a Hello Kitty Cafe was in Malaysia and South Korea. Hence, as an avid fan of Hello Kitty, I convinced Vier to have a quick visit. Well, he had no choice but to come with me! Haha! And that was it! I suddenly had a quick coffee date with Hello Kitty before we went to MBK mall to buy souvenirs. Happy Vanie!
Twominutesafter reading this, if you want to try and book this package, you can contact Rat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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