One of the must-visit Pattaya attractions on our list was Pattaya Floating Market (originally known as Four Regions Floating Market). I’ve read a few articles about it and although it was said to be unauthentic, I didn’t mind because it would be our only chance to see a floating market. Damnoen Saduak may be authentic but will require us to travel to another province for the sole purpose of visiting the famed destination.
Built in 2008, Pattaya Floating Market was really meant to be a tourist destination in the city. The 300 plus million baht project was successful in its goal—a thousand tourists visit the place each day to get a feel of what a floating market is and to score great souvenirs that they can bring home.
|The ever-visible seven-headed serpent|
Pattaya Floating Market is considered as one of the biggest floating markets in Thailand at present. At almost 27 acres, the noticeably classy market houses more than a hundred shops selling authentic Thai cuisine, souvenir items and other food products. Wooden structures stand proud on a manmade lagoon, each representing a particular architecture from the four regions of Thailand. There were only a few water vendors when we visited the place. It would have been better if there were many since my notion of a floating market is a waterway congested with boats selling a wide variety of items. This got me a bit disappointed. Good thing I had a great time shopping and forgot all about my frustration.
|Si Kokey nasa Thailand. This store sells sheets and sheets of flavored Nori.|
Among the interesting finds that caught my attention were Thai statement shirts, funky key chains, modern-designed coin purses, beautifully-handcrafted metal bookmarks, tote bags, elephant photo holders, intricate wall décor, crocodile meat barbecue, palm fruit juice, and other delicious food that I got to try.
|Crocodile barbecue, anyone?|
Originally, we planned to spend only an hour in the floating market. We even asked our driver to come back for us after 1 hour as we did not really intend to shop there. Just checking out the place, you know. We entered the market at 3:30 PM. We went out at 5:30 PM with each person carrying at least 1 big plastic bag. I told you, we didn’t shop. Haha. As a result, our driver charged us an additional fee for the extra waiting time. Haha.
|Voluptuous photo holders|
I am not sure if the product prices in Pattaya Floating Market are competitive as compared to the prices in Bangkok, but I found them affordable. I was able to get a cute ringer shirt for 199 baht, a pack of coin purses with an elephant design and elephant key chains for 210 baht with 5% discount, Thai delicacies for 20 baht a pack, and a few other stuff also at low prices. You can try your skills at haggling at some stores, while some shops sell items at fixed prices.
Entrance to the market is free of charge, but if you wish to experience a boat ride, prepare around 200 baht. Pattaya Floating Market is open from 9AM to 8PM daily. It is conveniently located at Moo 12, Sukhumvit Road.
|Religious items for sale|
|Pattaya tote bags|
|Water vendor selling grilled squid|
|Palm fruit drink seller|
|Bubbles took this shot|