Floating Market is one of the trademarks of Thailand. You need to visit and experience the floating market in Bangkok. The hotel's Doorman suggested I get a driver service during my stay in Bangkok. One of the services was for 1000Baht, the driver will be with you for 10 hours and he will drive you to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market + Bangkok city tour.
At first, I didn't want to get the service. But after thinking some thinking, I decided to give it a try. I booked the driver to start at 9.30 am. As advertised, the first place that he took us was the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.
However, luck was not on our side that morning. The traffic was so bad, it took us more than one hour and a half just to get there. Usually, the typical time from the hotel to the floating market was plus or minus around 40 minutes.
The driver then dropped us at the first pier. Before getting out of the car, I can see there are also a lot of taxis and tourists there. I also see a group of tourists get into a verbal argument with one of the pier staff. The tourists kept repeating that the pier staff were trying to scam him.
At first, I did not think much about that. We waited for a few minutes before one of the pier staff attended to us. He introduced himself and politely asked us to sit down at the chair and then proceeded to show us the tickets that were available to purchase.
There are three types of ticket (i) one hour private boat for 3000 Baht, (ii) one hour and a half private boat for 4000 Baht, and two hours of private boat for 5000 Baht. To be honest, I was surprised by the price. It is too expensive just for a boat ride.
I told the driver that I wanted to go to the other pier. But he told me that the other piers would also charge me the same price tag because it is the standard rate there. This is where started to I think I was getting scammed.
After a series of negotiations, the pier staff staff agreed to sell me the ticket for an hour private boat for 2000Baht. I am not happy with the price. But since we were already there, I just went with it for just for the sake of experience.
After paying for the ticket, we were instructed to get into the longtail boat. The longtail boat driver slowly brought us out of the pier and glided through the river heading to the floating market.
Along the way to the floating market, the boat driver did stop at a few of the riverside stalls, but we did not buy anything other than a bowl of coconut ice cream. This is mainly because the price of merchandise sold there is on the high side. After paying so much for the tickets, we just wanted to enjoy the experience of boating along the floating market.
The journey was great for the first 30 minutes. But after a while, the boat ride is getting old. We then ask the boat driver to go back to the piers. Once we got to the pier, I asked the driver to drive us back to the city. We want to spend the rest of the trip looking for food in the city area.
Once we reached Platinum Fashion Mall, I paid the driver the agreed sum of 1000 Baht and told him that we would not require his service anymore. We will go back to the hotel using a taxi or tuk-tuk.
At 7 pm, we had our dinner at Samat Muslim Food restaurant. While having our dinner, the family that sat at the next table asked whether we were Malaysian. I said yes, and I could see that they were so excited to hear that and proceeded to have a long chat with us.
The family were also from Malaysia, and coincidentally also had their floating market trip at Damnoen around the same time as ours. I tell them about our experience, and how frustrated I am with the floating market longtail boat's exorbitant ticket price.
They told me that there are other piers at the end of the road that only charge 100 Baht for a one-hour boat ride. The only difference was, that it was a paddle boat instead of a longtail engine boat. Also, they rented a car and drove themself there.
So I learned my lesson that I need to ensure the driver takes you to the end of the road. Most importantly, not to stop at the first pier. I have the feeling that the taxi drivers are in cahoots with the longtail boat driver at the first pier.
Other than that, the Floating Market is a unique place to visit and experience