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A day trip to the Damnoen Saduak floating market and the bridge over River Kwai

River Kwai in Bangkok

As is the case during almost all our trips, we are always short on time and Bangkok was no less. We spent two nights and three days in Bangkok, and that obviously wasn’t enough. Anyway, we decided that we’ll do the Damnoen Saduak floating market near Bangkok and the bridge over River Kwai on the same day, knowing fully well that the day was going to be hectic. But then, we knew at the end of the day that InterContinental Bangkok would more than make up for it!

And before we get into the details, here is some quick info.

How we got there: By private car

How much did it cost: 4500 THB (that’s INR 9000) inclusive of the boat, cab fare and lunch

Time: About 10 hours. The entire distance is around 350 kilometres (round trip)

Day trip to Damnoen Saduak Floating Markets and the Bridge over River Kwai

We were ready at 7 am to hit the road and had organised for a private car for the day. The driver was on time, waiting for us in the lobby and we left immediately. It was a two-hour drive to the Damnoen Saduak floating market and we got there around 9 am, as planned.

Note: We realised much later that there are many entry points to the same market.

We got down from our car, crossed a few market stalls where a lot of artisans were working

Damnoen Saduak in Thailand

like the one below, who was just amazing…Damnoen Saduak also known as Floating Market

 

and in no time, we were inside one of those longboats to explore this popular market that is famous here, especially thanks to James Bond!

Damnoen Saduak

Damnoen Saduak

Towards the end of this short ride which lasted about half an hour, we were taken near the commercial markets, typically targeted at tourists.

Shopping in the Floating Market, Bangkok

We got down here and on climbing the stairs you see in the image above, we found even more shops selling souvenirs of different kinds.

Shopping in the Floating Market, Bangkok

Souvenir Shopping in the Floating Market, Bangkok

Preethika even found her favourite bag section. They all seemed quite over-priced, so we left the place quickly, after buying a nice colourful hat for Preethika, you’ll see her wearing that in the pics below.

Shopping in the Floating Market, Bangkok

Shopping in the Floating Market, Bangkok

We soon stepped out and walked around the shops checking out the different curios available.

Damnoen Saduak in Thailand

Everything is terribly overpriced around the Damnoen Saduak floating markets, so careful folks!

We then continued on our way to a place that holds a place in our history books. The bridge on the River Kwai.

Old photo of the Bridge in the Museum

Situated in the Kanchanaburi Province of Thailand, the Bridge over the River Kwai was built by the Japanese in 1942 by forcing allied prisoners of war the 258-mile Death Railway. The railway line was meant to transport cargo daily to India, to back up their planned attack on India.

About a hundred thousand conscripted Asian labourers and 16,000 prisoners of war died on the whole project.

View from restaurant of the Bridge on the River Kwai

This pic was one of our favourites from our trip to Thailand. We took this from the restaurant by the river, and perhaps the best view of the bridge as well.

Note: Lunch was a part of the package, but there was nothing vegetarian in this restaurant but for fruits. That definitely was a dampener.

There is a museum nearby with a lot of pieces of history from the Second World War. Lots of ancient cars and bikes used during the 2nd World War were a part of this museum. The museum also housed ship anchors of many sizes and equipment used in the torture of prisoners.

We’ll spare you those pics and leave you with just the one below. Visiting that museum was quite a sombre experience.

Bridge on the River Kwai

We then moved on to see the Kanchanaburi War Cemetry, which is a short drive away from the Bridge over the River Kwai.

The Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, also known as the Don-Rak War Cemetery is the prisoner of war (POW) cemetery for victims of Japanese imprisonment while building the Burma Railway. There are 6,982 POWs buried there, mostly Australian, British, and Dutch.

Felt proud to see this special plaque mentioning the services of the Indian Army.

Most of the activities that one can buy online suggest that these two be covered across two days, while we managed to do the same on the same day. We would highly recommend that you do the same, especially if you don’t have much time in Bangkok.

P.S: We were of the opinion that THB 4500 for this activity might have been on the higher side. Have you done this activity? Is there a more cost-effective way of doing the same thing?

16 thoughts on “A day trip to the Damnoen Saduak floating market and the bridge over River Kwai

  1. I can remember visiting a floating market, but not this one. The bridge on the river Kwai is really iconic, so very cool to see something in this post. Looks like a lovely place!

    1. We did not want to go as a big group, so we chose this. That’s the disadvantage and the price one needs to pay 😉 But I am still wondering if there is an alternate choice other than group tours!

  2. We missed out on the Damnoen Saduak market when we were in Thailand. Like you, we had too little time in Bangkok before we made our way to explore the north. I’d like to go back – and we would deffo get the private car as well. It’s much better to go at your own pace and enjoy what you want to enjoy. Happy Travels.

    1. Yupp we realised that there are so many nicer and better floating markets as the Damnoen Saduak is very commercial. We too hope to go back to see those 🙂

  3. Ive spend in Bangkok over a week and I wish I knew sooner about those day trips as I got a bit bored there after a few days. Ive always wanted to on floating market! It seems so interesting and fun! The Bridge over the River Kwai looks beautiful!

    1. Oh the only downside to visit these two places are that they are really far away from the city. The other floating markets are even more further so we just zeroed in on Damnoen. The River Kwai was beautiful and at the same time gave us a heavy feeling reading the history about that place.

  4. We just returned from Thailand a few weeks ago and while we did include a tour of several floating markets, we didn’t have time to go to the famous Bridge on the River Kwai. Great to see that piece of history!

  5. Floating markets are always so much fun and they are so colorful. I love the whole journey that you had, especially the artisans bit where that guy was carving such amazing stuff. Kanchanburi prison seems dank but a very interesting place. I sure would have loved it.

  6. We had 5 Days in Bangkok & decided to to do two day trips from Bangkok. Kanchanaburi & Ayutthaya.
    Both were organized tours in a minivan with a small group, which we booked locally through a travel agent. Kancahanaburi tour was 1000 THB/person & Ayutthaya with Royal Palace at Bang-pa was 1200THB/person.
    It was a well conducted tour with a local guide who was very informative and explained us about the history of Death Railway . The tour included pick up & drop-off from hotel, Lunch , Tickets to a train Ride on Death Railway (a certificate of the same was provided to us as a souvenir), Visit to the bridge over river Kwai, Jeath War museum, War Cemetery & a waterfall.
    Overall the trip was very satisfying & we got to meet a number of people from different parts of the world & had nice engaging conversation during our trip from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi and back.

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