Established in 1987 to honor King Bhumibol’s 60th birthday, the market has grown from just five interconnected bamboo rafts to a bustling nexus of platforms kept afloat by metal pontoons on the Thonburi bank of the Chao Phraya River.
Once aboard, take care to pace yourself, as you’ll be confronted with a profusion of traditional Thai barbecue, deep fried tofu and taro root, crispy sweet dishes made with shredded egg and pork, pork or seafood dumplings, and dozens of other mouth-watering options, all of which are unbelievably cheap. The fact that the majority of shoppers are locals has kept the markets largely free of scams and inflated “tourist prices”. There is also fresh produce and seafood available at several stalls, for anyone interested trying their hand at cooking at home. Visitors purchase goods and sit on mats at low tables to consume them. The ambiance at Taling Chan is further enhanced by live Thai music performances from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Though a recent addition to modern Bangkok, the concept of floating markets has its roots in Thai history and tradition. A visit to Tailing Chan makes a perfect tourist activity for travelers interested in an affordable short course in Thai cuisine and culture. The market is open year-round on Saturdays and Sundays from 6 a.m.-5 p.m. and admission is free.