Contrary to its’ name, Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market doesn’t really float. It’s more a collective of stalls that meander along a canal of silty water. What I love about this weekend market, besides that it’s off the beaten tourist track, is that it actually caters for locals so you experience Bangkok as a local.
Just south of Bangkok in Phra Pradaeng, Bang Nam Phueng contributes to the City’s “green lung” in a designated agricultural zone and while it is quite a trek to get to, it’s well worth making a day trip because it showcases regional products with emphasis on sustainability and eco-awareness. Expect to find local foods wrapped in coconut shells and banana leaves rather than Thailand’s ubiquitous eco-nightmare, the plastic bag inside a plastic bag inside another plastic bag.There are handcrafts and clothing, but the emphasis is on fresh produce and good cheap food in abundance.Make sure you stop and meet my absolute favourite Thai lady, the delightful and diminutive Samran Eiamshoey on her stall called the “Golden Bag” shop. Her shrimp parcels are that good I ate too many 🙂
An economical way to get to the Market which offers a variety of Bangkok transport modes in one day is to catch the BTS to Bang Na, followed by a taxi to Sam Phawut pier and then the ferry across the river to Wat Bang Nam Phueng Nok. From the temple we decided to walk everywhere knowing the feast that was waiting (my son lives in Bangkok), but you can also rent a bicycle for the day.
A word of caution: Watch out for monitor lizards, often as big as dogs, especially near the water. You can’t run as fast with a full tummy: I know this first hand 🙂