Bangkok nearby floating market tips..

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by rossi46, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. rossi46

    rossi46 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 1, 2012
    Hi All,

    I will be having a short vacation to Bangkok next month. I am intending to visit a floating market, there are plenty, the most popular ones Damneon, Amphawa are out of my list due to the distance and lack of time.

    So I intend somewhere nearer such as -
    - Ta Ling market
    - Don Wai market (believe mainly just for food)
    - Bang Phli market.

    Well, among these shortlist, which are best for photography? (I know they can't match Damneon).

    Which has the best boat ride experience, which can bring you to real authentic feeling village houses like in the ghost movie Naeng Nak.

    Any tips other than photographic advise is much appreciated (eg. how to avoid scam, transport tips, etc...)
  2. arch stanton

    arch stanton Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2012
    Watch for happy punters getting out of a tuk-tuk - then get in that one not the one with the tout :)

    Having said that, air-conditioned cabs are so cheap I'm kicking myself for not using them on our first 2 (out of 4 days) to get out to the river/grand palace area!

    We generally found the scamming obvious, just don't let anyone overly smiley take you anywhere! We loved it and wished we had more time there in the end...
  3. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    rob collins
    The floating markets are incredibly touristy and it isnt easy to get any good shots at all. I certainly wouldnt go for a boat ride in a floating market because you will be at the wrong angle to get anything. You are better going on a boat ride through the canals on the Chaopraya.

    Really the only way to get pretty decent shots is to go very early in the morning before the tourists and before the sun gets too bright. Perhaps arrive at 7.00am and leave by 9.00am.

    I cant really offer that much advice because when I went I didnt get any really good shots. Still to me the best vantage point is on a bridge looking down on the market. If you are lower you cannot get any isolation of subject.


  4. benonn

    benonn New to Mu-43

    Dec 15, 2011
    Don Wai market is not a floating market. It's simply a market alongside the river bank. Good place to visit for local food, though. You will like to avoid Don Wai during the weekends because it's overcrowded with local Thais. You can take a boat ride from Don Wai. I have never taken one but I know that you can see local livelihoods along that river (although not as nice as in Nang Nak because the river also houses a few factories).

    As Robbie said, those well-known floating markets are quite touristy. I second the suggestion for a boat ride along Chaopraya and its canals (Bangkok Noi and Bangkok Yai). There is public boat (long-tail boat) service from Ta Chang to Bang Yai and you can see river-dependent livelihoods there (more urban than what you see in Nang Nak). Sorry, my Chaopraya/Bangkok canals photos are from the film days so I can't share them here :). You can also rent private boat from Ta Chang to go along the canals but have to be careful that you may be charged overprice.
  5. rossi46

    rossi46 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 1, 2012
    Guys, thanks for the tips, i am taking it into considerations.
  6. rossi46

    rossi46 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 1, 2012
    Another quick question, I intend to graze just outside of Grand Palace without paying entrance fees, is there much you can see from outside without paying the fees?
  7. the_traveler

    the_traveler Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 12, 2011
    Columbia, MD
    Lew Lorton
    what he said

    Big walls.
    If you take a boat up the Chao Praya, opt for the local boat, ratehr than the tourist special. One third the price and more fun.
    If you get off the boat at the Grand Palace, Wat Po, do not believe anyone no matter how earnest they seem. The Grand Palace is open - albeit way overpriced. Go as early as you possibly can, it gets super hot and crowded.
  8. I thought that the Grand Palace was reasonably priced in the grand scheme of things, but it was six years ago so my memory could just be getting hazy.

    +1 to not listening to anyone who says the palace is closed. This same trick is used the world over; had someone try it on me just over a month ago in Cuba about the Revolution Museum.
  9. sokar

    sokar Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 30, 2011
    Have been to Amphawa twice over the years and although it has a tourist look about it, it is definitely worth the effort to get there. Half day tours from any hotel with pick up and drop off services are cheap. The boat ride is exciting but becomes a little boring after the first 15 minutes. The tour provides ample time to see the market and even stopped off (as they do) at wood carving factories and an area where they make palm sugar.

    Camera set up wise, I would be taking a tele zoom to any floating market. At times you are just not close enough to shot some shots. Robbie is correct about the bridge shots. That is where you will get some of the better opportunities, but you will be fighting with 300 others for the same shot. Welcome to Thailand.

    The 3 you list as possibles are created for the tourist and have little to offer.
    Ta Ling market
    Don Wai market
    Bang Phli market.

    The best way to avoid scams as a new tourist to Thailand is to pay for organsied tours. These tours take care of transport, entry tickets/pricing and will ensure that their customers do not get hassled too much. If you go it alone, you will stand out as a new arrival and be harassed.

    I showed your post to a Thai friend who just dropped by and the suggestion is to visit Koh Kret. Not many foreigners are aware of this place and it is close to Bkk.
    Ko Kret travel guide - Wikitravel

    I have done a tour of the Grand Palace several years ago and I could not imagine not going inside. This tour was part of a temple tour booked from a hotel. The guide spoke great English and ensured that the hawkers were held back. If you hover around the outside, you will be inundated with hawkers that will not take no for an answer.
  10. sokar

    sokar Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 30, 2011
    Another option for your time in Bangkok is Ayutthaya. This ancient city is about one hours drive (76km) from the centre of Bangkok and is worth seeing if you are into ancient ruins. It is a vast complex which has a long history.

    Unfortunately the recent floods near Bangkok effected Ayutthaya and many of the structures are now leaning badly. This is one area where the Thai authorities should charge more for entry to a venue such as this to preserve as much as possible. Currently entry for Thais is 10 baht (30 cents) and for foreigners 30 baht ($1 USD).

    In my past visit there, I drove, but a great option would be to catch the train from Bangkok. High speed train will take about one hour and the slower train around double that time. There have been television documentaries about using the trains around Asia, and the communities that live along the train lines are amazing. I'm guessing there would be plenty of photographic opportunities during the trip to Ayutthaya and back. The link below is for the access to railway ticketing and schedules.


    I have some photos of Ayutthaya on this sites and some more on my own site. The hours of entry can be for day and night time. I visited during the day, but I have just been informed (over my shoulder) that there is a night time tour with strategic lighting highlighting the structures. I think this would bring out the best in what it has to offer.
  11. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    rob collins
    The entry fee to the Grand Palace was recently doubled to Bt500, so yes it is a bit on the expensive side.

    Ayutthaya is not a bad call for a day trip. The palaces arent a lot to write home about the train journey there should be good. If you do go, I strongly recommend that you get a boat back to Bangkok. It takes about 4 hours down the river but it is very interesting.
  12. boatman37210

    boatman37210 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 28, 2012
    Would recommend a river boat ride in Bangkok. Can see many interesting things along the river.

    Amphawa Floating Market is located in the smallest province in Thailand. Close to the market is King Rama II garden. It has many examples of Thai style houses. Also there is a train that comes through the city of Maeklong where the open air stalls have to move to let the train through. Kind of interesting. All this is about one and a half hours out of Bangkok by car. It's a very beautiful province located on the sea. A lot of coconut and banana trees.

    Thailand is a very very target rich environment for photographers.
  13. rossi46

    rossi46 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 1, 2012
    Thanks for all the recommendations and advise.
    I had just done further research of my own, most probably I will be heading to Khlong Lat Mayom floating market, its the nearest, and not touristy, and read lots of feedbacks that it is a great place for relaxation.

    I will update to all of you guys whether this market is great or not when I am back, of course with some photos :)
  14. rossi46

    rossi46 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 1, 2012

    Hi Robbie36 and Bennon,

    Yes, I am certainly interested in both of your suggestions to go for a boat ride in Chao Praya river and to maybe Bangkok Noi and Bangkok Yai canal.

    A quick question, which is the best pier / or which part of Chao Praya river to get a good boat ride, instead of those touristy over-charged rides.

    They normally charge by the hour? Can we dictate them where we want to go, where we want to slow down and take some pictures,...etc etc..?
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