Recently my friend and her family came over to visit me and I took her Don Wai floating market in Nakhon Pathom. Unlike the other commercialised floating markets in Bangkok city and even Damoen Saduak, Don Wai floating market is frequented more by locals.
After having our lunch at the famous stew duck shop in Don Wai, we proceeded to the boat ride which is about 10 stores away from the shop (if you walk towards the direction that leads to the Thai temple). It cost 80 baht for an adult ticket which you would pay upfront at the entrance and given a ticket.
The above is not the size of the boat. The one we sat in is a bigger boat which there is narrow flight of stairs that lead to the top of the boat where you can go and take picture. Caution: If you are going on a hot afternoon, please remember to put on sunblock to avoid getting sunburn.
And a tip….bring some fish feed…..I will get to it later…
You are allowed to bring your own food to the boat. You can basically buy tidbits and drinks as you walk along the floating market and bring it up to the boat to eat. They may bring small tray of food like fried sausages or seafood that you pay for. Usually, they would wait for the boat to be full before they start like below:
We were given a spot at the front side of the boat. We climbed up to have some pictures taken:
When the boat starts to move, it basically went along the river to a certain distance till it reaches a temple, then it Uturn back. I am not sure about other boat rides but this particular one does not stop for passengers to visit the temples.
You would be able to see sceneries on both your left and right as the boat cruise along the river.
You would see an assorted of older wooden houses and newer buildings along the river. Then as the boat reaches a temple, a staff would come with bread and fish feed. If you love feeding fishes or if you have kids with you, it would a good idea to buy some bread from the staff.
Once the boat reaches a certain distance, people would start to feed the fishes at the river. These fishes are huge and follow the boat when there are food being fed. Kids would usually be the most excited group at feeding the fishes:
There was also a smaller boat rowing along that sells coconut ice cream where a number of customers from the boat ordered from.
After that, the boat makes it back to the same place and the passengers disembark.
I have taken the boat rides at Amphawa floating market both in the day time and night. Personally, I prefer the boat ride from Amphawa especially at night time when it is not hot and there is a chance to see the fireflies. For Amphawa boat ride, it would go one large circle and you would be able to see lots of things…. shops located by the riverside, a few temples, houses, riverside restaurants and some quieter places to see fireflies. If not mistaken, the ride cost about 60 baht.
For the Don Wai boat ride, I felt the distance was relatively short…. that is just alongside the same river before the boat made a u-turn back and we are seeing the same scenery again. Still, it was a novelty experience for my tourist friends.