Another one of those riverside markets in Bangkok that isn’t visited much by foreign tourists is Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market. It is in the same district as the more famous Taling Chan Floating Market. I had never been there before and when I visited last Sunday I was expecting to find a quiet market. I guess the first sign for me that Lat Mayom is a popular place for locals to visit at the weekend were the numerous car parks. In 2007 it deservedly won the Thailand Tourism Award for Community Based Tourism.
It is probably best to go early as it got very crowded as the morning progressed. Like other markets, it is only open at the weekends and public holidays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. I was there shortly after 9 a.m. and even though some stalls were still being set up, it was easier for me to park and then explore the market. When you arrive you will soon discover that there is more than one area. There are numerous stalls around the car park, in an orchard and also along the canal bank.
Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market was set up in November 2004 after the local community saw the success over at Taling Chan. However, this one prides itself on being more of a green market. It is famous for organic vegetables as well as freshly-cooked food and home-made desserts. You will find vendors selling food on both the land and on boats along the canal. The stalls in the orchard area sell mainly local products and souvenirs under the OTOP banner.
The highlight of any floating market for me is the opportunity to eat some delicious food. Lat Mayom certainly didn’t disappoint. There were plenty of large eating areas that were served by vendors on both the land and on boats. It is always best to come here hungry so that you can snack as much as you like. There are so many temptations here. My favourite was Kuay Tiaw Kua Gai bought from a boat vendor. This is a wide noodle cooked in a pan with chicken and egg.
A visit to a floating market wouldn’t be complete without a trip on a boat. This is the best way to explore the local communities that use these canals as their life-line. If you want to just explore the immediate area then you can go on a small flat bottom boat for only 10 Baht each. There are no seats, just a cushion. You can also join a longer tour on a bigger long-tailed boat. This is what I did. The 90 minute boat tour costs only 50 Baht per person. They will leave as soon as they have at least 15 people.
We travelled quite far on our trip. We ended up in a small community where we disembarked so that we could explore on foot. We were first taken to an old house alongside the canal where we were told some of the local history. We then walked a bit further to visit Sawangchan Homestay. Here we were able to buy some food and refreshments being sold by the local people. It is a good idea to help support them. From here we continued on until we reached the canal again for our return journey to Lat Mayom.
Map showing location of Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market:
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Klong Lat Mayom Floating Market is located on the Bang Lamad Road (off Bang Khae-Bang Bua Thong Outer Ring Highway) in Taling Chan, Thonburi, Bangkok
By Bus: Take No. 146 to Kanchanaphisek Road and alight at the offices of Samakom Chao Pak Tai (Association of People from the South).
Then take a 15-minute songthaew (Rod Fai-Wat Pu Theun route) to Bang Ramat Road.
By Car: If you’re driving, take Kanchanaphisek Road and turn onto Bang Ramat Road when you see the sign for Natibunditiyasapa (the place where Thai law students sit examinations for admission to the Bar). I also saw plenty of meter taxis here if you don’t have your own transport.