The Nation

TRAVELLERS' CHECK

A floating market around Bangkok

Are there are floating markets near Bangkok that operate on weekdays?

Q: I will be in Thailand in September and will be travelling to both Chiang Mai and Phuket. During my stay in Bangkok, I'd like to see a floating market. Are there are floating markets near Bangkok that operate on weekdays? Thank you, JeffA:There are a number of floating markets near Bangkok such as the Lam Praya, Taling Chan and Amphawa markets, but most of them operate only on Saturday and Sunday, so your choices are quite limited. The only one that operates everyday is the Damnoen Saduek Floating Market in Ratchaburi province. It is actually the most famous floating market among foreign visitors and the one you will have seen on postcards of Thailand for several years. It's still a proper market though local people come to trade amongst themselves very early in the morning, long before the tourists arrive. If you go during the day, you'll probably see quite a few tourist boats. Although many people regard Damnoen Saduek market as a tourist trap, you can still have a pleasant time during your visit. If you have time, I'd suggest taking a boat trip and visiting local fruit orchards so you can witness the ways of life of local people in central Thailand.Not too far from Damnoen Saduek is Tha Kha market in Samut Songkram province. This is a real floating market that caters mainly to local people. The market starts very early in the morning and it's best to get there before 9am. It's not easy to find though, as it's in the middle of the orchard in Tambon Thakha. Perhaps you could consider staying a night at a hotel or in homestay accommodation nearby and rising early to visit the market. It's a natural market and is open the "2nd, 7th & 12th days of the waxing & waning moon". I've checked for you and the weekdays that the market will be in operation are September 12, 14, 19, 27 and 29. Hope this can help you plan your visit and enjoy the trip!

Q: I would like to know the names of hotels in Phuket that serve halal or vegetarian food. It would be great if it has a seaside location and a room rate under $150 a night. Thank you in advance. S ShahA: I don't think you will have any problem finding vegetarian food at any hotels on the island, as most of them have a vegetarian menu. However, there are also many hotels that serve halal food, as Phuket is home to quite a large Muslim population. Bangtao Beach Chalet has the Dirham Halal Restaurant, which is popular with Muslim guests. The Royal Paradise Hotel & Spa in Patong has its Indian & Arabian Restaurant and both Bundarika Villas & Suite on Layan beach and Layaline Hotel in Kamala have halal food.Ban Bangrong Seafood and Aopo Seafood, both in Thalang District are recognised by the Department of Halal Affairs. You will also find many restaurants serving halal food in Phuket, among them Ghadafi Halal Food Restaurant in Patong, which offers international food and BanSangDuan Muslim Food Restaurant, which has Thai halal dishes. Look for the halal symbol outside the door.




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