Cai Rang Floating Market, Vietnam
Cai Rang is a big wholesale market, and the most popular floating market of the region because of its location and accessibility. It is in fact, the largest floating market in the Delta. You can find all sorts of fruits being sold here, specializing in exotic ones from the region such as Nam Roi grapefruit, Vinh Long pink kiwi kumquat and the Cai Mon durian.
The easiest way to get here is by taking a bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Can Tho. Then walk your way over (or take a xe om or a taxi) to Ninh Kieu Wharf and then board a boat here, which will take you around 30 minutes to get to the market. Go early in the morning as the market is best during this time, and plus you can enjoy beautiful views of the sunrise on your way. You can also have breakfast here, you’ll see many boats with plastic chairs available, turning it into a makeshift restaurant. Try some bun ca (fish noodle soup) or hu tieu Sa Dec (dry noodle).
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Thailand
Damnoen Saduak is the straightest and longest canal in Thailand. The canal was built on the royal initiative as King Rama IV of Thailand wanted to link the Mae Klong River with Chinese river ways to support transportation and trade. It took over 2 years to dig, but in the end, the canal is 32 kilometers long and has more than 200 branches.
This is Thailand’s most famous floating market, with numerous tourists travelling here to shop, eat, or simply absorb the atmosphere. Unlike most of the other floating markets, the popularity of Damnoen Saduak attracts many fruit sellers rowing their boats along the narrow canals, meaning that you’re guaranteed great pictures. There's plenty of tasty food to try along the docks, from freshly-made mini coconut pancakes to boat noodles in their rich, meaty broth.
Amphawa Floating Market, Thailand
Amphawa is the second most popular floating market near Bangkok, not as large as Damnoen Saduak but more authentic, with visitors almost exclusively Thai. Located 50 km from Bangkok, this once small village has been around since the mid-17th century. It’s become such a magnet for Bangkokians during weekends that food stalls have grown from the riverbanks and stretched far into the surrounding streets.
The main draw is, of course, eating seafood grilled precariously on wooden boats moored around the famous central bridge, serving an appetizing array of prawns, shellfish and squid. From noon until late in the evening, the smell is simply irresistible and customers flock to each side of the river all day long.
Once you have had enough of walking (or trying to walk) around Amphawa, it's time to take one of the many longtail boats and explore the surrounding canals and rivers. It's not as impressive as the Bangkok Khlongs but it's always good fun. After the heat of the market, the breeze from the river is a welcome relief. At night, visitors can arrange for a boat trip to watch fireflies in cork trees as a fascinating night scene of the day.
Dal Lake Floating Market, India
Located within Srinagar, the summer capital of the Jammu and Kashmir state in India, Dal Lake, is the floating market where Kashmiris living within the lake buy their daily fruits and vegetables. The lake is also famous for its houseboats and it’s a great place for photography.
The market is active only during the summer months; some of the boatmen row almost 15 km every day from their fields. During the winter season, all the residents join together to get their supplies from the mainland. The market is said to be almost a century old and has many legends. One of the fables says that the melons which grew here were so delicious, that the first crop of the year would be sent to the royal table of the Mughal rulers in Agra. Most of the vegetables sold in the floating market of Dal Lake are grown on the waters of the lake itself and are harvested a couple of hours before being sold. The ecosystem here is rich in the wetlands which produce a large amount of tomatoes, cucumbers, water chestnuts and not to forget the much famed nadru, a delicacy which is prepared out of lotus roots in the valley.
There is no other better way to catch life on the Dal Lake than from the comfort of a shikara. Once the floating market winds up, hop on to a shikara for a leisurely two-hour ride which takes you through the local canals and for sure you would return spellbound.
Lok Baintan Floating Market, Indonesia
Lok Baintan Floating Market is the most crowded among other floating market which located in Pinang River, Banjar and only 10 kms away from Swiss-Belhotel Borneo Banjarmasin. Commerce acitivity here starts from 6 am to 9.30 am (GMT +8). The products you will find at Lok Baintan Floating Market are vegetables, fish, fruits, traditional cookies and snacks.
What makes Lok Baintan Floating Market more rare and unique is that the buyers usually pay in barter method. Rupiah is not the main currency exchange here. So generally, people will exchange crops such as vegetables and fruits and the exchange amount depends on the agreement between merchants and buyers.