Enjoy a stroll or boat ride around this traditional water-based market, where you’ll find delicacies and handicrafts from every region of Thailand.
Choose between a delicious pad thai, a sweet kanom krok (coconut pancake) or a number of other regional favorites sizzling on the hot plates of the canal-side food stalls, or browse for souvenirs like traditional sculptures, silverware and paintings. Over 100 stalls line the sides of the canals of this recently revamped 27-acre (11 hectare) market, making it one of the largest in Thailand.
Officially known as The Four Regions Floating Market, the market opened in 2008 to showcase the crafts, cuisines and produce of the Northern, Southern, Central and Northeastern regions of Thailand. Notice the shift in architectural styles, from the peaked-roofed houses of the north to the more sculptural buildings of the south as you make your way around. Seek out the scents and colors of the different regional spices used at the various food stalls.
Produce is literally ‘shipped’ into the market, and sometimes sold from the small boats that navigate the network of narrow canals. If you feel like seeing the market from the water, rent a boat taxi for a small charge that will shuttle you around the canals at a leisurely pace, stopping and waiting whenever you wish to explore a stall. Alternatively, you can walk the wooden boardwalks, and make your way between the different regions by way of the many footbridges.
Once you’ve toured the shops, head to one of the markets many other attractions. The woodcarving museum displays a superb range of hand-carved sculptures from around the country, and the sunflower field makes for a stunning photograph. Don’t miss the free cultural performances in the afternoons, when costumed dancers perform traditional Thai routines.
The Pattaya Floating Market is open daily and there is a small fee for entry. It is located just south of Pattaya on Sukhumwit Road, and buses run from all the main beaches around five times each day. Note that the market does get very busy at weekends.