Several places can be visited while in Pattaya when you want to skip a few hours of beach. The floating market is one of the top places on that list. The floating market got established in 2008. It looks mostly like a huge market for souvenirs and/or clothes and with restaurants, but there’s supposed to be some line in the whole place. At the ticket counter you pay 200 thb entry. That’s just for walking around, with or without shopping.
There are several activities to do at the floating market. You have the boat excursions, there is a daily show, bridge of love, bird displaying, silk weaving, massage, zipline and a monkey show.
When you start walking, it is all somewhat unclear which of the many ways to follow. You start with following for example a red arrow painted on the floor, but soon you will see that the arrows are in four different colors and point to all kinds of directions. Maybe you will be able to find out that the floating market has products to offer from four different regions of Thailand, north, south, central, northeast. There will be a white sign board at some place, but you can also just follow all colors of arrows and you’ll be sure too to have seen everything.
The floating market has products of those four regions. Products like clothes, handicrafts, handmade bags, silks, wooden sculptures, paintings, toys, clocks, and much more. It’s an endless shopping compound. It has to be said that most of the products and items sold, can be found on night markets and shopping places in Bangkok too.
There is an Amphibious boat at he floating market, which takes you around the compound and somewhat through it where it’s possible. More in number and in popularity are the rowing boats. The price is mentioned above.
You won’t paddle the boat by yourself, you get a paddler instead. He will paddle you through the small waterways, underpass nice small wooden bridges and get you to the sellers on boats too. Both boat tours have excursions to offer.
When you buy your ticket for the floating market, they tell you that the monkey show is included. When you have walked around for a long time and have seen all the regions and shopping possibilities, then you start to wonder where the monkey show actually is. After asking at the entrance, as no signs are to be seen, you get to know that you have to walk around the compound, from the main road to the parking area for cars. Get yourself over the parking area and at the end in the corner is the entrance to the monkey show.
About the monkey show there is not much to say. Maybe it’s better to sell tickets separately for the monkey show instead of including it with your floating market ticket. In that case people can decide if they really want to see a bad performed circus act. Or if they really want to see a monkey walking around on a leash, in clothes and jumping through a ring of fire. The monkeys didn’t seem to be happy at all to do all kinds of monkey unlike and unnatural acts.
Overall the floating market is absolutely a must see place, despite the monkey show. (UPDATE SEE BELOW: MONKEY SHOW REPLACED!)
Cultural Village replaced the Monkey show
The monkey show was definitely something for a lot of discussion. If it was the animal treatment or abuse or simply the lack of visitors is unknown to us, but we do know now that the monkey show at Pattaya floating market has been replaced by a cultural village experience combined with a muay Thai boxing match. This all at the same venue as where the monkey show used to be. The cultural village setup could have been done better. Now you just follow a path and see here and there some huts made of hay.
There is no guide who explains some things and neither are there any sign boards with explanations. You will see the ‘long neck’ people. The tribe where the people wear rings around their neck. Two of them are working on sewing and making shawls and table cloth with old wooden machines. The whole cultural village experience could have been made much more interesting but at least it’s an improvement compared to the monkey show.
The Muay Thai boxing fight is at the exact arena as the monkeys were earlier. A fight will take max 30 minutes. Of course it’s a show and not for any other purpose so don’t expect them to knock each other out. In case you don’t like to watch violence in any way, just skip the boxing match.
All in all is the main attraction the floating village. The cultural village and boxing are nothing more than an extra time pass on which you can put your own value.