If the hustle and bustle of Bangkok is starting to get to you, a half day trip to Damnoen Saduak may just be the antidote you’re looking for. A short 1.5 hour minibus ride away from Bangkok takes you to this postcard perfect village where life takes place right on the river. Canoes and paddle boats are full of merchandise for selling (mostly to tourists), paddled by Thai women in brightly coloured straw hats. While the place caters more to tourists looking for souvenirs than locals trading fruits and spices these days, the imagery is still beautiful.
When you arrive at the floating markets, you will immediately be sold tickets to hire a paddle boat through the markets. While this part of the tour is optional, it really wouldn’t be the same experience just walking around the piers as it is padding through the alleyways that comprise the floating market. It’s an extra 150 baht per person, about $5 CA, so make sure you factor that into your tour price.
You are paddled by canoes filled with goods and stands that can only be reached by boat, with Thai women at each trying to sell you the latest wood carving or fake purse. Afterwards, you have about 45 minutes to explore the area on your own, before a longtail speed boat takes you down another section of river where the inhabitants of this area live on stilted houses above the river. Another hour later and you are back on the bus with plenty of time left in your day to visit other attractions.
In the evening if you’re looking to kill a bit of time before heading out party (or before going to bed), the Flower market, just a short taxi or tuk-tuk ride away from Khao San Road, is an interesting sight. Open from 10 pm to 6 am, the entire city block is decked out in hoards of every kind of flower imaginable. From dozens of rose for only a few dollars to bags of petals and flowers for offerings, this place makes for beautiful photos. It’s a great place to pick up a bag of rose petals to add a bit of romance to your otherwise bare bones accommodations.