DIY Damnoen Saduak Floating Market (Thailand)

For my second task as part of Bangkok 2012 Challenge (details here), I need to go to Damnoen Saduak, Thailand's most famous Floating Market, for less than 300 Baht.

Fruits and assorted Thai food sold in the floating market
Usual tours from Khao San would range from 300 Baht to 600 Baht, and this includes only transportation to and from the floating market plus a 20 minute long-tail boat ride around the community. You would have to pay extra for a paddle boat tour around the actual market (100 - 150 Baht, shared). Since this is only a half-day tour, leaving Khao San at around 7 AM and you'll be back usually at around 1 PM, no lunch is included. That means you'll have to pay for your own food while in the market - and there's plenty to choose from.

Related post: Damnoen Saduak Floating Market: It's the ice cream, and more

This is actually my third time to visit the floating market. The first two was through a tour agency booked in Khao San. Since there are plenty of competing tour operators, each trip is different. Some include a trip to the Snake Museum, others stop at various cottage industries (silk, painting, carving, etc).

The best ice cream, served on top of fresh coconut flesh

But my trip to Bangkok would not be complete without a trip to the floating market. I want to go back for one reason: FOOD.

(A listing of all the top picks is blogged here.)

Specifically, I'll travel 110KM from Bangkok in search of the world's most delicious ice cream. Well, almost. But it's so good, I'm literally salivating on the way there, and I usually end up ordering 3 to 5 servings for every visit. In fact, I'm such a fan the ice cream vendor knows me even if I just visit once a year.

So, is it possible to go to Damnoen Saduak under 300 baht?

You bet! Here's how I did it:

1. Catch the mini-bus (it's actually a 14-seater van) to Damnoen Saduak. Their terminal is at the Victory Monument in Bangkok. There is a train station a short walk to the terminal (BTS Sky Train Victory Monument Station, 25 Baht from Silom).

First van leaves at around 6 AM, but sometimes you have to wait for another 10-20 minutes as the van wouldn't leave unless full. Fare is 90 Baht, and travel time is around 1 hour and 30 minutes.

(Since there are numerous other van terminals in this area, make sure you ask specifically for the one for Damnoen Saduak in Ratchaburi Province. The other drivers and touts would know and point you to the right direction. There should be a ticket window that says Damnoen Saduak or Floating Market. Confirm with the ticket vendor before you pay.)

2. Tell the driver to drop you off at the market, not on any boat station where they will charge you 1000 Baht (which would eventually go down to 400 Baht if you keep on saying no) to bring you to the market. We forgot to tell our driver, and we (there was a German tourist in same van) we're unwilling to pay another 400 baht for the boat, so we walked for 10-15 minutes from the boat station to the market.

Bus No 511, South Bus Terminal to Silom
3. Going back, you have the option of riding a motorcycle which would bring you  to the mini-bus terminal, or you could walk for about 30 minutes. Mini-bus to Bangkok would be 90 Baht again. Alternately, just across the mini-bus/van terminal is the bus terminal which would bring you to the Bangkok's Main Bus Terminal for only 63 Baht. You would have to take another bus (see picture) to go to the city center, which would cost you another 19 Baht. The difference is 8 baht and it's not worth it. Take the mini-bus/van and it's quicker, just one ride straight to Victory Monument.

So, cost summary is:

Van to market = 90 Baht
Paddle Boat, shared = 100 Baht
Bus to South terminal = 63 Baht
Bus to Silom = 19 Baht

TOTAL = 272 Baht

So would I recommend a do-it-yourself trip to the floating market?

If, like me, it is your second or third time to visit, then I would say DIY is the way to do it. If it is your first time, it may be more convenient to just book a tour in Khao San, provided you get a decent agency (see tips here).

Related articles:

Damnoen Floating Market: DIY or Tour
Tips in choosing the right Travel Agency in Khao San


JesKa said...

Hi! May I know around what time you left the floating market, and what time you arrived back in Bangkok via the bus? :) My friends and I are planning to go to Damnoen Saduak.


JesKa said...


May I know what time you left the floating market to get the bus back to the Southern Bus Terminal in Bangkok, and what time you arrived at the bus terminal? My friends and I are planning to visit Damnoen Saduak when we get to Thailand in December.

Thanks! :)

Last Row Traveler said...

Hi Jessa, the floating market is usually quiet around 12 noon. We left around that time, but if you choose to stay longer, I think there would still be a bus until late afternoon or early evening. But then, there's nothing much to do at the market after lunch.

Enjoy your trip this December!

adventurousfeet said...

thank you for this informative post. I just want to ask, do van drivers understand english if I say, "drop me off the market not in boat station"?

Poy said...

Hi adventurousfeet,

It would be a hit or miss, as there are some Thai drivers who could speak and understand English but there are some who couldn't. The best thing to do is to tell him that before you leave the terminal (while waiting for other passengers) so that if he doesn't speak English there are other people at the terminal who could translate for you. In my experience, the other passengers (locals) were the ones who translated for us. Enjoy your trip!

Hayati Azwin said...


if we want to go back to bangkok via mini van, do we have to go bus/van terminal as well or can we just ask the driver to pick us up Damnoen Saduak Market?

Hayati Azwin said...


Is that possible that we ask the mini van driver to pick us up at the Market when we want to go back to Bangkok?

Last Row Traveler said...

Hi Hayati,

Sorry for the late reply. If you're taking the public van, it is not possible to ask the driver to pick you up at the market. You should go to the terminal. You could take a motorcycle to go there.

Enjoy your visit to the floating market!

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