It’s ironic that I have never visited a Thai floating market even though I have been to Bangkok quite a few times. My travel companions were only interested in shopping.
I made it a point to visit at least one floating market on this Thailand trip.
Pattaya Floating Market is another of those “incidental findings”. My girlfriend and I were roaming around southern Pattaya on our rented motorbike when we were drawn to this boat-shaped structure. We decided to stop to take some pictures and realized that it is the Pattaya Floating Market.
We were there too early and the place is not open for business yet, so we took to our rented motorbike and found Suriya Land. We took pictures and explore the Japanese second-hand store. My girlfriend fell in love with Suriya Land so she stayed behind to explore more while I headed to Pattaya Floating Market.
Covering an area of around 100000 square meters, Pattaya Floating Market boasts of having all the four regions (north, northeast, central and south) of Thailand all in one place.
This is a map of Pattaya Floating Market. There are cultural performances at different timings from 10.30am – 6pm.
When I read that Pattaya Floating Market showcases the best of the four regions of Thailand, I was expecting to see the whole place divided into the four regions. But it turned out that the four regions of Thailand are only at four locations denoted by red (central), green (northern), blue (southern) and yellow (northeastern) markers. The rest of the compound are filled with tourist-targeted food stalls and merchandise shops.
Judging from the timings of the various performances, you will need to spend a full day here if you want to get the full worth of your entrance fee and watch all the performances.
If you want to walk around by yourself, the entrance ticket is THB$200 per person. If you want to take the boat, it is THB$800 per person.
Personally I don’t see the point of taking the boat. Besides having to pay four times the normal entrance ticket, there is no shelter on the boat so you are literally paying money to roast yourself in the sweltering heat.
The whole of Pattaya Floating Market are basically walkways like this with shops on both sides selling all your usual souvenirs.
The most interesting about floating market is seeing the Thai people selling food cooked on board floating boats. All the boats are nicely docked alongside the pathways. Crocodile meat, anyone?
There are also many food stalls all around Pattaya Floating Market so you will never have to worry about being hungry.
As if all the shops outside does not sell enough souvenirs, there is actually an air-conditioned for souvenirs. You can find handicrafts, apparels and snacks.
All in all, I think Pattaya Floating Market is suitable for those who don’t have the extra time to visit far-flung floating markets but still want to see what the fuss is all about. You get to see everything that a regular floating market will have – boats selling delicious Thai snacks, throngs of people, expensive “tourist prices” and many others. You also have the modern luxury of paved wooden pavement that makes walking around a breeze.
Pattaya Floating Market
Address: 12 451/304 Sukhumvit Road, Pattaya City, Bang Lamung District, Chon Buri 20150, Thailand
Telephone: +66 88-444-7777
Opening Hours: Daily 9am – 8pm