The peaceful atmosphere and shady surroundings of Khlong Lad Mayom market detach the waterside location from the bustle of city life

Writer: Patsinee Kranlert
Bangkok Post

For the past five years the spacious grounds along the banks of Khlong Lad Mayom have served as a weekend getaway for numerous day-trippers looking for the taste and feel of old Thailand.

Every Saturday and Sunday at Khlong Lad Mayom, locals gather in small boats and canalside stalls with a wide variety of fresh homegrown produces and mouth-watering delicacies to pamper visitors' taste buds. These include herbal beverages, sweets and an endless array of traditional Thai dishes whose recipes have been handed down from generation to generation.

Credit for this weekend success story must be given to the determined initiative of the Khlong Lad Mayom community leader, Chuan Chuchan, a senior resident whose desire to preserve the canalside community led him to establish the floating market as a way to maintain the neighbourhood's unpretentious natural features and traditional way of life.

Mr Chuan saw that the peaceful atmosphere and shady surroundings serve to detach the waterside location from the regular bustle of city life, and envisioned Khlong Lad Mayom as a magnet to draw all breeds of travellers away from the stark urban landscape into an idyllic bygone era.
The development of cultural tourism was implemented as a conservation strategy as well as an economic initiative. In turning the waterway into a secondary source of income for locals, Mr Chuan believed that the floating market would also create a focal point to strengthen community harmony as well as contribute significantly to a sense of ownership and homeland pride.

His notion has ultimately proved to be beneficial to a growing number of locals. The once modest floating market has been gradually enlarged and expanded to cover a wide stretch of land on both sides of Bang Ramad Road, and witnesses a continual flow of tourists.

Apart from the local culinary delights, rental boats are available to access an extensive network of navigable waterways. Winding through orchards and farms dotted with houses and sites of historical importance, visitors are provided with a glimpse into the charming old way of life along the canal. There are tours of the attractions adjacent to the market lasting an hour or two, or a half-day passage can be booked to view popular sightseeing spots further out which are connected to the Khlong Lad Mayom community via the canal system.

The Khlong Lad Mayom market might still be overshadowed by some of the more famous floating tourist hubs in the city, but its relaxing ambience definitely holds the promise of a great and enjoyable escape.

How to get there:
Situated on Bang Ramad Road in Bangkok's Taling Chan district, Khlong Lad Mayom market operates only during weekends from about 8am to 4pm. For further details, contact 089-215-2659 or 02-422-4270.