taling-chan floating market (the eating), bangkok

fantastic eating – gratifyingly inexpensive, as well – by the semi-floating market at taling chan. if you had thoughts of eating on a boat while streaming past vendors on their tiny vessels – well, this isn’t it.

here, you plop down on a rather securely fastened floating platform that bobs gently atop the water and wait for your food to be brought to you from the boat-parked kitchen (so to speak). I like this better: great food, no fear of being splattered by dubious river water, and no bulky life-vest constricting the appetite – precisely my jazz.


I tend to the cynical when it comes to so-called ‘local’ eating experiences, which usually sell themselves with uncomfortable squatting down on rather low tables and dubious hygiene – all in the name of developing-nation eating – when it’s likely that many of the country’s residents are likely eating at home in great comfort, or eating with great content in more comfortable environs.

much the way bear grylls bites the head off a snake raw as a matter of point, instead of cooking it first (which he was going to do anyway).

so while some fishermen do their eating aboard during out-on-the-sea trips – most of the floating-on-a-boat eating in this country is probably done by tourists done in by the romantic ideal of it all; if you’re after this, hitching a day tour from a cruise operator is likely your best bet.

here at taling chan, there’s one platform on which tables are cramped together (almost like communal eating) and where there’s good eating to be done: you could order from the photo-filled menu or just point out whatever looks tastiest on the boat docked alongside. we saw a selection of squid, prawns, various shellfish and salt-encrusted fish continually grilled on makeshift barbies.

I wish we’d had the appetite to tackle a whole fish – they were steaming away at the other tables: salt-crusted skin open up to moist flakey flesh and lots of lovely smells – but we’d already done a fair bit of snacking through the market.

that narrowed our choices down to a basket of king prawns: large meaty specimens with a lick of salt and the fantastic smell of having been grilled over charcoal,

as well as some ridiculously thick and bouncy squid. how amazing does that look?! it was sweet in the best seafoody way, chewy but not rubbery, and such a counter to those skinny rings of squid we get at home.

I still dream of these cephalopods – especially with the spicy fish-sauce dip served alongside. crazy good.

there are a couple stalls alongside where you can get your share of thai salads and noodles – all of which looked good – but we were too stuffed to try more. I really recommend coming here – it’s incredibly good eating, and rounded off an already-great floating market trip.

Taling Chan Floating Market
Bangkok, Thailand
open Saturday and Sunday, 0800-1700h
directions: get on the BTS to Wongwian Yai Station, then ride a taxi for 20 minutes to the market

p.s. phew, that was long! next post: proper market eating.

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