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One of Pattaya’s most popular things to do (23k Google reviews and counting as of 2023), Pattaya Floating Market is certainly a Thailand tourist hot-spot.
Indeed, when we first visited Pattaya Floating Market, the first sight that greeted us was dozens of huge coaches parked outside with a steady stream of visitors being ushered in.
Thailand is renowned for its colourful floating markets but how does Pattaya Floating Market compare? This is our guide to visiting this Pattaya attraction (an honest review) in 2023:
Table of Contents
Arriving at Pattaya Floating Market
Opened in 2008, Pattaya Floating Market is located away from the main Pattaya central beach area so you either need to visit it as part of a tour, or get a Grab taxi or moped.
When you first arrive, you’ll easily see the floating market entrance as it is shaped like a huge wicker boat – seriously, you can’t miss it as you approach on the high-way; talk about a cool sign-post.
Out the front of Pattaya Floating Market, as well as a nice entrance sign to pose in front of, there are a couple of ‘interesting’ attractions like a ‘feed the baby goats for 25 Thai Baht’; hmmmm (we ‘kid’ you not). There is a Cafe Amazon too (not floating though).
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As at February 2023, the ticket price to the market is 200 Baht per adult when purchased on the door. A package deal is available for 500 Baht which includes admission and a 20 minute rowing boat tour of the ‘village’.
If you book tickets in advance with Klook, it will cost just 120 THB, a saving of 80 Thai Baht (65 Thai Baht per child).
Pattaya Floating Market admission and a boat tour can be purchased from Klook in advance for 290 Thai Baht, a saving of 210 Baht compared to the walk-up price.
All prices are correct as at February 2023. Note the free admission promotion to encourage tourism post COVID has since ended.
Pattaya Floating Market First Impressions
As you go through the entrance hall to Pattaya Floating Market, the first thing you notice as you emerge into the daylight is the team of (over)enthusiastic photographers.
They pounce on you paparazzi style to take your pics as you stroll on through – like, surely it’d be best to ask you if you want to pose for a photo? Because most of the resulting pics (printed out for you to peruse when you leave) look blurry and rushed.
As you walk across the first bridge over the rickety boardwalks, you might notice that whilst it is definitely a floating market of sorts, what greets you is nothing like the promotional images Pattaya Floating Market uses online.
For instance, there aren’t sailing boats full of fresh produce floating around. There are a few boats which are permanently moored up but it is nothing like the pictures.
Also, around a third of the site at the Floating Market is now either boarded up or derelict. Towards the back of the site, huge vast warehouses with boardwalks are sealed off. These likely used to house the railway or live elephant shows (thankfully now gone although all the old directional signs are still up).
Floating Market Restaurants
As well as being able to buy food from several moored boats (like pork skewers, coconut pancakes or freshly carved pineapple), there were lots of food kiosks plus 10 or so permanent restaurants.
At these restaurants you could order food from extensive menus and eat alfresco under shaded waterside areas. Some of the views from these Pattaya Floating Market restaurants were stunning as you could enjoy waterside vistas or glimpses of the paddy fields.
Understandable given the location, we thought some of the restaurants and food stalls here looked a little grubby with lots of food left uncovered, so flies and insects could crawl on them (some of, but not all restaurants).
Floating Market food prices
We found the stalls and restaurants at Pattaya Floating Market to be pretty reasonable in price, especially when compared to some of the Pattaya Beach restaurants.
Example food prices as at February 2023 were:
Pork boat noodles – 60 Thai Baht (THB)
Chicken noodles – 50 THB
Pad Thai with shrimp – 50 THB
Spicy minced pork with rice – 80 THB
Buttered corn – 35 THB
Pork skewers – 35 THB
Fried insects – 50 THB
Shops and Spas
Like the restaurants, the shops at Pattaya Floating Market were very reasonable in price. Printed floral shirts for men could be purchased for around 200 THB and printed t-shirts for around 80 THB.
Low price souvenirs like magnets and keyrings could be bought for 20 to 40 THB. We also noticed a very popular fish pedicure spa that charged 100 THB per session with ‘no time limit’.
We read on countless websites about ‘traditional Thai crafts’ and handmade items here but to our unexpert eyes, it mainly looked like the usual tourist night market tat like elephant pants and Muay Thai boxing shorts. The hand carved soap stall did look exquisite though.
The vast majority of non food stores at Pattaya Floating Market were clothes and shoes – and also 95% of the shops here aren’t really ‘floating’ (they are permanent shops on boardwalks).
There were also a few ‘museum’ huts that had mannequins showing how certain trades were done but these were quite few and far between.
Traditional Thai Dance Shows
As part of your admission price at Pattaya Floating Market, there are regular traditional Thai dance shows that you can watch. The Thai dance schedule as at 2023 is as follows:
Mae Sai: 11am to 11.30am
E-Sarn: 12.30am to 1pm
Larn-terd-teng: 2pm to 2.30pm
Traditional Thai dance on the raft: 4pm to 4.30pm
Closing dance show” 4.30pm to 5pm.
We enjoyed the dance we saw (larn-terd-teng) but not many others stopped to watch so we felt a little for the performers.
Pattaya Floating Market – Review / Final Thoughts
Overall, we thought our trip to Pattaya Floating Market was OK, especially given we only paid 120 THB admission when booking in advance online.
We spent about an hour in total at the market, walking around the boardwalks, browsing the shops and taking pictures.
Compared to other floating markets we’ve been to near Bangkok, Pattaya Floating Market doesn’t really compare and feels quite forced and inauthentic. It looks a bit ramshackle like it badly needs repair work (we stumbled on the rickety boardwalks a few times).
Given a third of the site is boarded up or inaccessible, we hope they can now concentrate on the bits that are open to make this Pattaya attraction an enjoyable and unforgettable experience.
The food however is really good value so this does make for an inexpensive morning or afternoon activity if you have several days in Pattaya. That said, if you are only here for a short period, maybe give Pattaya Floating Market a miss.
Pattaya Floating Market Opening Hours and Address
Pattaya Floating Market is open 7 days a week from 9am to 6pm (public holidays times may vary). Opening times are correct as at February 2023.
ADDRESS: 451 304 หมู่ที่ 12 Sukhumvit Road, Muang Pattaya, Bang Lamung District, Chon Buri 20150
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