Damnoen Saduak is the most popular floating market in Thailand, great for photo opportunities, food, and for giving you an insight into a bygone way of life. An early morning start is worth it to avoid the heat and catch Damnoen Saduak at its liveliest. The market is over an hour outside Bangkok, and the easiest way to get there is to join a tour.
Once there stepping off the boat, you find yourself amongst the busy stalls selling a variety of products small toy elephants, tiger balm and the compulsory ‘I was here’ T-shirts. It’s not surprising to find this at the most famous floating market in Thailand and it can feel a little commercialised but you you will also find the food-sellers, who not only look more photogenic, but also have some far tastier goods. Damnoen Saduak attracts many fruit sellers rowing their boats along the narrow canals, offering plenty of tasty food to try from freshly-made mini coconut pancakes to boat noodles in their rich meaty broth.
1) BRAKE TAEK (Noodle Soup)
Serves a delicious and renown ‘Tom Yam Noodle Soup’. Here too, hard to get a table for lunch and you might have to wait quite a bit.
2) MEE TON PHO (Bhodi Tree Noodle)
Serving great noodle soups using… Instant Noodles! as well as some amazing porridge. Half the restaurant is full before they even can take the first order, so get ready to wait, but it’s worth it!
3) ANG SEAFOOD (Fresh Seafood)
It looks small and narrow, but once inside it’s much bigger than you think. Very popular among locals and always full (hard to get a parking).
4) MEE SIAM (aka LOKTIEN)
This very local food court was renovated not long ago and doesn’t appears as ‘old and dirty’ as it used to be (I kind of miss that). But they still serve their great food.
5) THAI POTHONG (Modern Thai)
Small and crowded, it’s an all time breakfast favourite, it is always full, no exceptions, you’ll have to wait for someone to finish breakfast to jump on their ‘not yet cleaned’ table or you’ll be missing it.
One of the best things about travelling in Thailand is the food. It is not only delicious, but it is also plentiful and cheap. In fact, you can find it on almost any street corner at any time of day or night. I guess you become spoilt in Thailand in having such easy access to Thai food. After all, one meal in a Thai restaurant in Sydney would probably be the same as the Thai weekly food budget. I know that is not really fair to compare as portion sizes in the West are far greater than what is served in Thailand. In addition, if you order say chicken curry in a Sydney restaurant you are actually going to get a fair amount of meat. Here you will probably get a lot of bone and a bit of meat! Basically you get what you pay for.