If you're headed to Damnoen Saduak you're on the way to the same-named floating market -- a tourist trap of epic proportions. Believe us when we say, it is not worth visiting -- especially if you're doing it as a trip out of Bangkok. Stay in bed, buy a postcard of the market and have another day in Bangkok -- really.
Still going? Ok, here's some more details. If you really Must See the market, don't do it on a tour. Catch the bus to Damnoen Saduak the night before, catch a few winks at the cute and comfortable Little Bird Hotel, and head out to the market before the crack of dawn. That way, you'll be there well before the tourist buses disgorge their loads and you'll most likely have the market all to yourself. While the floating market is a pretty contrived affair, it is still actively used by locals, but far earlier in the morning than when the tourist buses out of Bangkok arrive.
If we've successfully put you off, there are other floating markets around Bangkok, including ones at Tha Kha, Taling Chan, Ban Khu Wiang and Wat Chanthakharm -- all are more worthwhile attractions in our opinion.
This is just our opinion of course, and if your idea of a fun day out is four-plus hours in a bus, interrupted by an hour floating around in a canal heaving with likeminded souls while being badgered by merchants trying to sell you everything from Nescafe and Coca Cola to Michael Jackson-emblazoned socks, then by all means visit Damnoen Saduak on a day tour from Bangkok.
Aside from the market, Damnoen Saduak has nothing to recommend it unless you're a particular fan of eating at a food stall watching the traffic go by.
The town is situated just over 100 km to the southwest of Bangkok. There are ATMs and the 3G internet signal is fine.
By Stuart McDonald.