What was supposed to be a quick eating stop between two destinations ended being a day at the wonderful Khlong Daen Floating Market.

I arrived at the market around 2 PM which is too early as vendors were not all set up, but the word spread quickly that a farang (foreigner) was wandering around and this is when Kook showed up to welcome me. Kook has been working in the hospitality industry in Phuket for a while and is now back home. Her English skills are a rare asset in this little village.

Khlong Daen Market is located right at the junction of three canals. Before roads were built, traders from Nakhon Si Thammarat and Songkhla provinces were meeting up at this natural border to trade goods.

The floating market is an initiative that started nearly ten years ago. Back then, there was only Mr. Sayan homestay in the village. Mr. Sayan is a proud man and showed me around his house turned into a homestay and a museum. These days, Khlong Daen has 14 homestays totaling a capacity of about 200 guests.

My plan was to stay an hour or so, to reach my destination for the night before sunset. But Kook insisted that I had to stay for the Manora performance at 6 PM. Manora (มโนราห์) is a traditional dance performance from the South of Thailand and North of Malaysia.

This meant that I had to wait a few hours. Eating is a great way to kill some time, isn’t? I sampled a few dishes from the shops that were starting to open. Like these colorful rice noodle (khanom jeen / ขนมจีน) served with curry and unlimited vegetables. I also tried a crispy pancake filled with grated coconut (Khanom dokdon / ขนมดอกโดน). And the surprising khao mak (ข้าวหมาก) which is fermented rice with a sweet and alcoholic taste.

We then moved to a goat farm near the market. The farm has over 100 goats and also grows organic dragon fruits. I got the luck to harvest the first ripe fruit of the season.
Back at the market, all the shops were open and the market was alive. Low tables are set up along the canal for visitors to enjoy the food and tranquility of the place. A few wooden bridges cross the three canals bringing beautiful photo opportunities as the sun begins to set over the market.

Then came the time for the Manora performance. The dance is done by five teenagers from the village dressed in traditional Manora attire. The five dancers executed gracious and elegant moves at the joy of the market visitors.

Once the performance was done, along these memories, I grabbed some more food and headed back on the road.

Klong Daen Market is open on Saturdays. The village has a full programme to keep you busy for two days if you stay overnight like doing a tractor ride in the nearby fields or cooking some local snacks and more.

For English speaking visitors, the easiest way to plan a stay in one of the homestays of the village is to contact Kook on Rabiengthai homestay ระเบียงไทย โฮมสเตย์ facebook page and she will get into the details.

Khlong Daen Floating Market is a great and unique experience worth the detour 

Check them their facebook :  ตลาดริมน้ำคลองแดน Klongdaen Floating Market

Klongdaen Floating Market

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