A Bangkok Floating Market. Khlong Lad Mayom. Part 1.
If you’ve been studying up on Bangkok’s most popular tourist attractions, you most likely had come across tons of information on floating markets. The most well known being Damnoen Saduak. However, the most well known doesn’t mean it is the best. No, in my personal opinion, it is far from it. It’s technically not even in Bangkok. Let me introduce you to a floating market where you won’t have to spend a good part of the day traveling back and forth from your hotel and be inundated with useless ‘Made in China’ tourist souvenirs. Khlong Lad Mayom. Ok ok, technically its also not within the boundary of Bangkok, but its only a short BTS and cab ride away from the center of town.
To get there, you can either take the cab from your hotel (the fare will still be considerably cheaper than what we are used to in the US) or if you’re on a tight budget, you can take the BTS to Wongwian Yai, which is the last stop on the Silom line. From there, you can hail a cab to take you the rest of the way, which shouldn’t be more than a couple hundred Baht depending on where you get on.
I should inform you, Khlong Lad Mayom is not a big floating market like Damnoen Saduak, nor is it catered to a huge crowd of tourists like Amphawa. Technically (sorry about all the technicalities), Khlong Lad Mayom isn’t really a floating market as most of its shops and restaurants are located on land. However, that being said, there are long boats that do rides along the canals and rivers, making stops along the way for its patrons to look around the temples, parks and other awesome local businesses and tour spots. You will also notice that it is also catered mostly to the Thai locals. But do not let that stop you from visiting, because it did not stop me and my wife from having an awesome time there.
Some other things you need to keep in mind when planning a trip to Khlong Lad Mayom, is to make sure you go when they are open. Like many other floating markets in Thailand, they aren’t open every day. The weekends are the best bet if you’re looking to get the full experience. If you want to check it out when there is less of a crowd, then I suggest you go on the one weekday they are open, Wednesday.
When my wife and I entered the market, we were just completely thrilled at all the food options that were available. We didn’t really need to see an English sign or even need to speak it, because the displays of grilled fish, prawns, squid, fruit and other local Thai delicacies were all that we needed to decide on what we wanted to eat. I do, however, regret never having tried the salt crusted grilled river fish that was so prevalent in the market.
One of the treats we were so delightfully surprised with was the fried whole squid on a stick. Having asked around, we found out it was originally from Taiwan and made its way into the Bangkok food scene, as does Thai food throughout the world. The squid is coated in a batter/corn flour type mixture and deep fried until crispy and golden brown. It was deliciously salty, chewy and crispy, how we want fried calamari to be.
You can also find small gift shops inside the market. There are various types of items and souvenirs you’d be able to take back with you and would make a great “Guess where I’ve been” gift for all your friends who were stuck at home, already glaring at you with envy.
Finally, if you’ve seen and tasted all the wonderful things the Khlong Lad Mayom market has to offer, its time to purchase a ticket and wait in line for the boat ride throughout the channel.
To be cont’d…