To many people when they think of South East Asia they picture floating markets as one of the biggest settings. The hustle of people buying & selling with all the colors of clothing & food. What photographer wouldnt want to go & shoot that. I certainly did, so I serached for the top one listed online & in tour guides. Damneon Saduak Floating Market was it.
I booked a room there so i could stay over night & shoot in the morning. Planned it all out & was ready for it. The very last sec I found one review out of the dozens that said they loved the market that said it was not what it was cracked up to be.... Concern for wasting my time I searched more for this opinion & I began to find people saying that same thing on forums. I am so glad i found that post because in many ways they were right.
The people online said it's a tourist trap only. It totally is. The canals are fun to go down by boat, some good pics to be had and there are a few people but you feel like it's an abandoned Disney ride set in Thailand almost.
So while there are sights like this.....
"This is a more accurate picture of the canals.....pretty dead besides a few locals."
All the time & effort to get to the canal then the huge boat fee on top of that for little pay off tends to leave you wanting. Which is why I only suggest visiting this market if you have a lot of free time or you are passing through heading south.
Be ready for them to ask an arm & a leg to ride the boats. 2000-3000 baht each (Perspective, same price I could hire a private car ride for 6 hours to take me anywhere) They hit me up for 2500 but I said I only had 1500 & they let me go, so remember that trick if you do visit. Sometimes works, they are marking up the prices ten fold for tourist so dont feel bad. Its honestly expected to be crafty with your money there.
Now dont get me wrong about the canal. There are some opportunities for some amazing photos of people here. Just few & far in between.
The entire time my head was on a swivel, hunting frantically to see any photo opportunity & shoot it before the boat moved by.
So there is not an abundance of culture photo opportunities every where you look like the tours pitch it as. I am sure there are days its better but i was there at peak tourist season & still this is what I saw.
Locals doing their morning errands, but usually single people. Not a huge throng of people buying & selling.
If you have limited time in Thailand then use those precious days well & dont waste it going to this Market.The Amphawa Floating Market is by far the better experience. I have written about it in another article, check it out!
All photos ©Mason Lake Photography All Rights Reserved