We capped our day at Ayutthaya at its floating market. It was not the “floating market” that we saw in National Geographic images. It was very far from it. I read (after we visited the market) that this was meant for the locals, which explained why there were only a handful of foreign tourists, and I would not be surprised to learn that the river was a manmade river. Despite this, and the steep 200baht for a few minutes of river cruise, I think I enjoyed looking at how Thai people spend their holidays. Read on if you want to know more about this floating market.
After visiting the reclining Buddha at the Wat Lokaya Sutha, we asked our tuk-tuk driver to bring us to the floating market, which was at the opposite side of the small city (the side where the first wat we visited, Wat Yai Chai Mongkol, was located). We had more or less two hours to explore the market but we were not in a hurry as the market was not that big.
If you want to ride the boat, you pay 200 baht. We paid the amount and did the floating market cruise, but I thought it was not worth the money because it was more fun walking around the market. And, anyway, the vendors are not selling their goods on the river, but along the river and the boat we were in does not stop for us to buy from these vendors. So, I suggest you skip riding the boat. There was also an elephant show but I feel sorry for elephants so I declined the offer at the entrance.
After our uneventful boat ride, we decided to have lunch at their “food court,” which was located in the middle of the “river.” The dining table was very low, and we had to take off our shoes lest we dirty the mat. I wasn’t very excited about our dining situation, but since my sister was paying for lunch and she is a nurse, I wasn’t very worried in getting any food-related disease. As usual, the Thai’s habit of filling your cups to the brim with ice was very welcome during that hot day. We ordered a big plate of fried rice, stir-fried morning glory, chicken satay, chicken wings, fish cakes, tom yum soup for my sister, and cola. My sister paid 600baht. The food was not superbly delicious, but, just like all Thai food we ate during our stay, it was good.
We burned all the calories we ate by circling the market once more to see if there are interesting things to bring at home. I bought a pink dress made of locally woven fabric for only 200baht, and my sister bought an elephant hat for my nephew. My sister was also able to buy 3 big packs of delicious ikasen (squid crackers) for 100baht.
Was the floating market worth it? The 200baht boat ride was not worth it. But I believe our tour around the market was worth it. I got delighted by the many things sold by the Thai vendors, and was relieved to be able to do some sightseeing without other tourists pushing me out of the way.
Expense: 200baht for boat ride, 200baht for lunch (or less)
How to go to Ayutthaya floating market: This was part of our tuk-tuk tour that we paid 800 for four hours. The floating market was our last stop after our Ayutthaya historical park tour.