Khlong Lat Mayom is one of the three floating markets located close to Bangkok, Thailand, no more than twenty kilometres from town and accessible by taxi from Wongwian Yai (the last BTS station on the Silom Line). Khlong Lat Mayom is nothing like the huge touristy Damnoen Saduak or the crowded Amphawa but really has the charm and authenticity of a local market and you might be one of the only foreigners around. You can spend a couple of hours here then move to the largest Taling Chan floating market, just a couple of kilometers away.
Floating Market – the favourite places of visitors
Everybody love floating markets – Thai and tourists alike – you just have to see how locals flock to the place on weekends! Local market culture has deep roots in Thai daily life and eating out is not a special event as it is in western culture: it’s fun, cheap and casual, and Thai food has so many variations it can be a travelling theme on its own.
Just like the two other markets around Bangkok, the definition of ‘floating market’ is a bit stretched, the place being in fact more of a riverside market. The canal here is very narrow and only few boats are parked all alongside the riverbank and below a low bridge, cooking for customers who sit at low tables all along the water. Eating is always the highlight of a floating market visit, sitting on a little wooden stool not higher than 10 cm and ordering a dish cooked on a tiny wooden boat anchored just next to your table is such a fun and exotic experience!
Don’t be shy and try some of the dishes you are not familiar with… if you don’t know what it is, just point at your neighbour’s plate: noodle soups, Pad Thai, Kanom Jeen (cold rice vermicellis) or Hoi Tod (oyster omelet) for 20 to 30 baht per plate. The drinks are usually sold by another person walking around.
The largest part of the market is built on firm ground and is surprisingly large and fun. One side is dedicated to the fresh market, mostly beautiful veggies and fruits, while the other side sells all kinds of colorful snacks, sweets and cooked food. You can find familiar or surprising tropical fruits: huge papayas, large green or ripe mangoes, chompoo and sapodillas, massive pomelos like overgrown grapefruits. If you think you know pineapple and bananas, try again! If it’s your first time in tropical county, you will be surprised, it’s nothing like what you have tried in your country.
Further into the market is where you can buy cheap clothing, house decoration, accesories, toys and the unavoidable flowers and plants, two items always popular at riverside markets. If you have kids, take them for a pony ride at the ranch just down the road; they will ride their cute little friend from the ranch to the market and back, definitely a great memory for them and a great photo for you.