Damnoen Saduak is a village west of Bangkok, a popular day-trip from Bangkok for its floating market. It is a district (amphoe) of Ratchaburi.
Damnoen Saduak (pronounced Damnern Saduak), is actually the name of the canal dug in the reign of King Rama IV. He had the canal dug to connect the Taachin River in Samutsakorn Province and Maeklong River in Samutsongkram Province together.
Nowadays, most people live densely along both sides of the canal from one end of the canal to another. They grow different kinds of fruit and vegetables. Apart from providing transportation, Damnoen Saduak Canal also provides farmers with adequate water for agricultural purposes for the whole year around.
By Bus: There are public buses leaving from the Southern Bus Terminal every 40 minutes from 06.00 hrs. onwards. Damnoen Saduak in Ratchaburi about 109 kilometres south of Bangkok or approximately 2 hours drive. Fare is around Baht 50 one way. The most suitable time to be at the floating market is from 08.00-10.00 hrs.
Warning: The bus or taxi might drop you 1 km away from the central area, but still next to the canal. You can hire the boat from there, but it’s pretty much a scam. The stuff are very rude and pushy, and prices varie between 1000-3000 per boat. The market can be visited walking. Ignore this pier and keep walking for 1km.
The central area is close to the road bridge and surrounded by many souvenir shops. If you want to see all the three of the Floating Markets, Ton Khem, Hia Kui, Khun Phithak, you can hire a boat at the price of Baht 300 per hour. You can also take a paddle boat at the pier at the price of Baht 10 per person or just walk on the passage along the canal. Price quoted for paddle boat per person in Apr 2014 - 150 baht!
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำดำเนินสะดวก). Not so long ago, everyday hundreds of vendor boats crowded the market area in the early morning till noon, sellling fruit and vegetable. Unfortunately tourism has turned this area into a floating souvenir market with matching restaurants. “Traffic jam” on the waterways due to lots of quite noisy tour boats is not uncommon around noon. Even worse, unscrupulous vendors (illegally) offer photos with endangered wild species such as slow loris (it is highly advised not to do so and better gut oogle “slow lori abuse” for further information).
However this can be an interesting spot to explore some village life if you rent a private boat and go for the residential canals.
Vegetarian - Sticky rice with Mango - 50 baht