Bang Nam Pheung floating market should probably be called a ‘riverside market’ as like many others it only has a few boats parked along the banks, with most of the stalls on solid ground. But with the success of the famous Damnoen Saduak or more recently Amphawa, this popular type of market is flourishing all over Thailand and every village near a river has its own version.
Bang Nam Pheung is only few kilometres east side of Bangkok but it is not easy to find or to reach without your own transortation. Because of this it has remained relatively low-key and the proximity to Bangkok makes it a great way to step away from the hectic town and step right into village life.
Bang Nam Pheung is located in an unusual loop of the Chao Phraya river nicknamed ‘the Green Lung of Bangkok‘, a surprisingly untouched area clearly visible from the sky and still covered with vegetation despite being so close to town. If your vision of a floating market is a canal crowded with a fleet of wooden boats, this might not be what you have in mind. A complete contrast to touristy Damnoen Saduak, Bang Nam Pheung is a real local market with a lot of interesting food and sweets to try. Whilst it doesn’t offer the usual photo opportunity, it still has a plenty of charm.
What to see in the market
If you come from Bangkok and drive through this green enclave, you will see many road signs pointing to the right direction, leading to a large car park near the river. The river itself is narrow and rather unimpressive with only five or six boats cooking for customers. As always, rows of low tables are set along the riverbank under a long thatched roof and atmosphere is relaxed and pleasant. Expect the usual selection of seafood and noodle soups which are actually quite good; it is definitely a lot more fun to eat by the river than on a busy street in Bangkok.
Despite being well promoted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the market is surprisingly authentic with a large majority of Thai visitors. For everyone it is a chance to discover and sample a lot of local foods, sweets and unusual fruits including the huge and smelly Jackfruit or the weird looking Fak Kao, an unusual spiky orange fruit that belongs to the pumpkin family.
Bang Nam Pheung floating market is not vast, but still large enough to entertain you for a morning and signs of further expansion clearly show the success of the place. Exploring the narrow lanes and meandering under very large trees is very enjoyable compared to the over-heated narrow constructions found in other markets. People are very friendly, especially if you are daring enough to sample any of the interesting looking dishes on display. For travellers, it’s always fun to try to imagine what this object or that lotion can be used for and Bang Nam Pheung market is definitely full of surprises!
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