If you are looking for a place to escape the craziness of the Songkran celebrations then try the fast emerging Bang Nampheung Floating Market. It is just across the river from Bangkok in Samut Prakan in the place where many people call the “lungs of the city”. This is due to the fact that the land here is mainly undeveloped and that there are still jungles of some sorts here. The floating market is normally only open at the weekend from 8 a.m. until mid afternoon. However, due to popular demand, the market is now open during popular holidays such as Loy Krathong and Songkran. As well as the regular market stalls, they also have special activities during the holidays.
Although the market is so close to Bangkok it still doesn’t see many foreigners. During my last trip there at the weekend I only saw one other foreigner among the thousands of Thai people. The best time to go is at 8 a.m. This is not only to beat the heat of the day but also the crowds. Be warned, by 10 a.m. some stretches of the market are so crowded with people that it will take you a long time to walk a short distance. This is obviously the downside of its growing popularity. However, a new feature they recently opened in time for Songkran are the food vendors on boats tied up along the banks. This now makes it more of a floating market and similar to what they are doing at Amphawa Floating Market.
Most people eat at places like this which are alongside the canal. But, it is not really a floating market. The addition of the new section makes it far more attractive in my opinion. If you like, you can even rent a boat for 40 baht for an hour to paddle up and down the canal. But, it doesn’t seem to be very popular due to the heat at this time of the year. If you go to the market then make sure that you don’t eat anything beforehand. Come early and have a light breakfast here. Don’t fill yourself up too much as you will be tempted many times when you are walking around the rest of the market by some really delicious Thai desserts and treats,
The floating market isn’t just about the food. It is of course the highlight as there is such a large variety. However, people also come here to buy plants, handicraft and other household items. There is also another section which is a more traditional village market which sells cheap clothing. I have been here many times and always enjoy bringing friends to eat at the market. Now that there are floating vendors I think I will come more often. This is a great alternative to Amphawa and Damnoen Saduak floating markets.