The one and only floating market next to a UNESCO world heritage site.
Central Thailand’s Ayutthaya is an interesting city that is rich with history. The provincial capital of Ayutthaya Province, the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Famous for its ancient ruins that date back to the times of the mighty and powerful Kingdom of Ayutthaya, many people come to stroll around the atmospheric and attractive temples and other ruins.
The city also has other places of interest though, including the Elephant Kraal, where you can see live elephants, a water theatre, and a floating market.
Whilst Ayutthaya Floating Market is significantly smaller than Thailand’s headline floating markets, like Damnoen Saduak and Amphawa, it is still a terrific place to visit when in Ayutthaya. A favourite place with domestic and locals alike, here’s what you can expect from a trip to Ayutthaya Floating Market:
Wander the Boardwalks
Although it is called a floating market, it is more like a waterside market, with the vast majority of vendors operating from small shops alongside the water’s edge. There are, however, a few sellers for novelty value that trade their wares from inside small boats on the water. Stroll along the wooden boardwalks that cross through the market, in front of the various stalls, and enjoy the ambience. Alternatively, boat trips are available for visitors who would like to take a short journey around the market by water.
Peruse a Wide Array of Goods at the floating market
You’ll find a broad selection of items for sale, from typical Thai souvenirs, like striking statues and pictures of the Lord Buddha, amulets, wooden mortar and pestle sets, and carved animal ornaments, to visually appealing and brightly wrapped candies, food items, herbal remedies, and clothing. Prices are reasonable, and you can enjoy relaxed shopping without the grossly over-inflated prices that are common at many tourist sites. Do try your hand at haggling though, as there are still some great discounts to be found!
Enjoy Some Tasty Food
A section of the market contains restaurants and cafes, with many of the dishes prepared freshly to order. You can grab a snack or a drink to go, or pull up one of the wooden seats and enjoy a meal in the midst of the lively market.
See Bizarre Statues
You’ll come across many whimsical and colourful statues around the market, including those that look rather cartoon like. People and animals have huge grins on their happy faces, and there are plenty of fantastic photo opportunities!
Have Varied Animal Encounters
Close to the main entrance of Ayutthaya Floating Market you’ll find a pen with young sheep and goats. You can buy food to feed the cute animals, and have fun petting them. Across from the main waterside market you’ll find another market area with a sheep farm and elephant rides.
Watch a Snake Show
Another unusual attraction at Ayutthaya Floating Market is the snake show. For a small fee you can enter into the viewing area, take a seat, and watch as a man gets up close and personal with hissing cobras and huge boas. Do be aware though that he enters the audience with the snakes – it may be a little too close for comfort for some visitors!
Created to showcase Thai arts, crafts, and local produce, don’t miss Ayutthaya Floating Market when in town!
/// Written by Sarah-Jane Williams, Thailand