Ask any tourists what image they have of Pattaya and you’ll be met with something along the line of cheap beers and girls. And the city knows it. That’s why over the recent years Chonburi City (which Pattaya is a part of) has come up with a variety of attractions that you don’t need neon lights to enjoy. However, the newly built mega-malls, wax museum, ocean-view movie theater and theme park hotels are no match to what Pattaya’s Floating Market
has to offer.
Floating markets are common in Thailand. Think Venice, but instead of the canals full of leisure gondolas, the Thai version is filled with wooden boats that double as floating shophouses, selling everything from a bowl of noodles to Thai desserts and souvenirs.
But what makes Pattaya’s one so special is that, despite being very commercialized where vendors are paid tenants and not your neighborhood cooking mamas, it does make a refreshing sight in this party beach town with its traditional Thai-style architecture, old-school waterside coffee shops, Thailand’s famous spicy boat noodles and rows of shacks offering snacks and gifts for locals and curious tourists.
The full name is Four Region Floating Market, which reflects the concept of bringing things from all corners of Thailand to one spot. Here you can try Northern spicy sausage from Chiang Mai, favorite som tum papaya salad from Northeast Isaan, arrays of curries from the South, and Central’s signature wicker handicrafts and funky hippie fashions.
Besides the goodies, there are also elephant shows, traditional performances, boat rides along its makeshift canals, and even a little extreme adventure on its rope obstacle course over the water.
The place is huge, you can easily waste away your afternoon, and money, here. And unlike other tourist attractions in Pattaya that aim to drain your wallet even before you set foot inside, the entrance to the floating market is absolutely free.
Pattaya Four Region Floating Market
451/304 Moo 12, Sukhumvit-Pattaya Road
Tel: (+66) 3870 6340