This is a post by Ning, our lovely Intern.
Kwan-Riam Floating market is my favorite floating market in Bangkok. It is a part of the Wat Bampen-nua and Wat Bampen-Tai temple complex. There is a big and beautiful bridge connecting these two temples and you can get to the floating market via either of the temples. Last weekend the Expique team went to visit the market and it was great as there is everything you would expect at a local market as well as many things we didn’t.
Kwan and Riam (sometimes spelt Kwan Riem) are very famous in Thailand, and if you say these words anywhere in Thailand everyone will know what you talking about.
Would you like to know what is it about?
Here is the story for you. “Kwan and Riam” are the names of characters in a novel that was adapted to a film (Plae Kao) and the story is based on Thai folklore written by Mai Muengderm. Also known as Romeo and Juliet of Thailand because it’s a love story full of challenges for the couple; family arguments, they cannot be together, they misunderstood each other and the girl named Riam killed herself after Kwan gets shot!
More information about the story: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plae_Kao
Now, we get back to my story about this amazing floating market the one that makes me feel like I am standing in so many places as the same time. It makes me feel like I am in temple, zoo, night market, fresh market, food market, amusement park etc.
Kwan-Riam is actually a new floating market (only a few years old) and for some people it may lack authenticity. However, there is enough here to please most people.
One of the highlight is in the early morning in Kwan-Riam floating market when the people from around the area will come here to give food to the monks. Everyone will be waiting for the monks by the canal early before 7:30am and after a few minutes later the monks will come by boat and everyone will make merit together along the canal. Another highlight here is that during the day there are special performances by the student around the area to show traditional Thai dancing and Thai songs.
During the day if you would like to stop for lunch there are so many places that you can chose from. As mentioned the market is at both side of the canal and on both sides of the canal there are so many foods to try. For example Thai food from every area in Thailand, tradition food, western food, Spanish snack, Indian food, sea food and Chinese food. There are also many restaurants that are actually on beautiful wooden boats moored to the bank of the canal. Kwan-Riam floating market it is a great place for foodies with such as selection of places to eat at reasonable prices and great variety food.
Here are some of my favourite foods in the market
Most of the food is in north side of the temple in this side there is two floors. The second floor they sell clothes, shoes, handmade bags etc.
On the south side there is also food but they also sell things like handmade crafts and household items. Scattered around are also a selection of animals including ponies that kids can ride, and also a cage with Prairie Dogs! Normally a floating market can be explored the in a few hours or a day but Kwan Riam provides something different that will make you want to go back again and again and keep exploring, eating, walking, praying, relaxing….. I could spend all my weekends here from the morning to the evening without getting bored.
How to get there?
Taxi is an easy way but for the more adventurous you can try public bus No.27, 113, 58 and air bus Po-Oar 113, 502, 514. If you prefer to take your own car to the market, they have lots of free parking spaces.
Location: Soi Ramkhamheng 187 Bangkok 10510 / Soi Seri-Thai 60 in Bampen-Nua temple.
Open: Saturday-Sunday and Public Holidays 6am-6pm