It is best either to drive to Damnoen Saduak floating market, about 5 km (3 mi.) from Ratchaburi, or to travel by local bus from Bangkok (Southern Bus Terminal). There are taxi boats and public transport boats which depart from Damnoen Saduak's landing stage.
Travel offices in Bangkok offer tours here. To experience the market at its best visit it as early as possible in the morning - this will necessitate leaving Bangkok at about 5am.
Use a rented car (preferably with a driver) or a local bus to arrive when the traders are by themselves. Private bus tours arrive from 9am at the latest. By noon the klong is empty of craft.
While the capital city Bangkok has barely retained one of the floating markets, which once gained it the nickname "Venice of the East", one remains in the province of Ratchaburi, with which the Thai tourist authorities are heavily involved. Damnoen Saduak market suggests the way of life found in Bangkok itself in the not too distant past. To be fair to the great crowds of tourists who visit it, the market, in existence since 1856, was moved in 1984 from its original site on Klong Ton Khem to Damnoen Saduak canal.
Floating markets were not only places to buy and sell everyday objects, they also fulfilled an important social function as a center of communication. Traders would come to them from near and far. The system of canals is confusing, there are a total of 200 Klongs linked by small side canals. Brisk trade - including some classic bartering - is carried out on the narrow canals. Women row skillfully past roaring motor boats, their wobbly craft filled to the brim with all manner of goods. All the produce of agricultural Thailand is available here: fruit and vegetables, fish and meat. Less attractive are the many souvenir shops which sell the usual trinkets but at a higher price than elsewhere in Thailand.