Pattaya Floating Market
Visiting a floating market is one of the best ways to experience Thailand’s culture. But not all Thai floating markets are equal. There are normal floating markets – busy, noisy, and, at times, disappointing – and then there is the Pattaya Floating Market.
Also known as the Four Regions Floating Market (after Thailand’s four regions – North, Northeast, Central and South), Pattaya’s only floating market opened to the public in 2008. Since then, it has become one of the most popular attractions in Pattaya.
Why Visit Pattaya Floating Market?
Not only is Pattaya Floating Market the world’s largest man-made floating market, it is also considered as Thailand’s best floating market.
The market’s uniqueness lies in how its authenticity has been preserved over the years. It is one of the few places in Pattaya that hasn’t lost its original look and feel. You get the comforting feeling of being transported to the past here.
Another reason to visit the Pattaya Floating Market is that it is quieter, less crowded, and cleaner than other Thailand floating markets. In a way this is odd because even though it is better than Bangkok’s Danmoen Saduak Floating Market, it is not nearly as popular. But this is a good thing – we aren’t complaining.
The Market is easily accessible. While driving to Bangkok’s floating markets takes an hour or longer, the floating market in Pattaya is only a 10-15 minute drive from central Pattaya. In fact, even if you drive from Central Bangkok, you should take about 2 hours to get here.
Locals and experts claim that the food prepared in the Pattaya Floating Market is the real authentic Thai food. The food here is amazing. You can buy food that’s prepared on a boat or enjoy a Thai meal at a food stall. Don’t forget to taste Thailand’s tropical fruits here.
(Keep in mind that authentic Thai food is very spicy. We thought we could handle spicy food until we ate here! Be sure to let your cook know how much spice you can handle. Here are some useful Thai words that will help you explain yourself).
Pattaya Floating Market Details:
Entrance Fee: 200 Bhat ($6)
Timings: 09:00 a.m. – 08:00 p.m.
Address: 451/304 Mu 12, Sukhumvit Road, Tambon Nong Prue, Amphoe Bang Lamung, Chon Buri
Phone: +66 3870 6340
Reaching Pattaya Floating Market:
The easiest way to reach is by motorbike – the route is fairly straightforward, use Google maps. A cab from central Pattaya should cost you about 300 Baht ($9). The cheapest way to get here is by bus.
Things to do at The Pattaya Floating Market
Apart from enjoying a delicious meal, exploring the market, and taking photographs, you can:
- Go for a boat ride. A 30-min ride costs about 200 Bhat ($6).
- Zip line across the water. Cost: 100 Bhat ($3).
- Watch a Thai boxing fight. Thai boxers fight on a log over the water. They try to knock each other into the water.
- View a Thai dance and cultural show.
- Watch a live music show.
- Shop for Thai souvenirs and gifts. Food and products from all over Thailand are sold here.
The entry to the market is through a hall that has photographs of the market, taken over the years. It’s like a mini museum with photographs, paintings, and a few interesting objects.
Thailand and Floating Markets
The relationship between Thailand and floating markets is centuries old. In the past, life in Thailand use to revolve around rivers, which were used to travel and transport goods. In fact, one of the main reasons why Ayutthaya became one of the world’s most prosperous cities was because its capital was surrounded by rivers.
Until the early 1900s – when construction of roads began – floating markets (‘talat nam’ in Thai) were crucial to Thailand’s growth. Today, Thai floating markets are mainly tourist attractions, but visiting them gives a sense of how life in Thailand would have been.