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Bangkok Travelbug Sep 2017 Red Lotus Floating Market Bang Len
August 30, 2017

Red Lotus Floating Market, Bang Len

Hello friends and readers, welcome back to the Bangkok Travelbug as we explore a relatively new place just 60 km north-west of Bangkok. The Red Lotus Floating Market in Bang Len, Nakhon Pathom was opened barely three months ago.

The main attraction of this place is a 24 rai (3.84 hectares or 9.48 acres) pond filled with red lotus plants floating on the water’s surface. Shops selling mostly food line two sides of the pond.

Red lotus pond

There’s a boat service for visitors to take a boat ride for a close up of these water plants and some of the visiting birds. Let’s take a closer look at this market.

Entrance to the Red Lotus Floating Market

Contents (click on the link to go directly to the topic)

Layout of the market

The Red Lotus Floating Market is organised into the following areas.
  • The red lotus pond which is the main attraction

  • The Red Lotus Café near the entrance

  • A row of food vendors along the east bank of the pond

  • Another row of shops along the south bank of the pond, these shops are built on piers in the pond

  • A pond for children’s paddle boats and for visitors to feed the fish

  • A pier with boats for hire to take a boat ride in the pond

Please see the map for the layout of the market.

Layout of the Red Lotus Floating Market

If the map doesn’t appear, click on this link


Water Lotus

The water lotus, bua luang in Thai, (Nelumbo nucifera or Indian lotus) is considered a sacred flower in Hinduism and Buddhism. It is used as offerings during temple visits as the flower is durable and stays fresh for a several days. Deities in Asian religions are frequently depicted standing or seated on a lotus flower. The flower, stem and roots of this plant are edible.

Bua Luang

However, the flowers in the pond at the Red Lotus Floating Market are not lotus. These are bua phan or tropical water lilies of the Nymphaea family. The flowers have smaller, pointed petals and are not used for worship as they wilt shortly after been picked.

Bua Phan

The confusion arises because they are also called bua in Thai. These flowers are not edible and the reason why I’m pointing this out will be apparent in the next section.


The Red Lotus Cafe

We arrived at the Red Lotus Floating Market in the late morning and were famished. Our first stop was the Red Lotus Café prominently located near the entrance to the market. It’s a cosy little café with a dining terrace just by the lotus pond.

Red Lotus Cafe

The speciality of the house is a dish called "Miang Kham Bua". This is a variation of the Thai dish Miang Kham in which cha phlu leaves are used to wrap the various condiments like ginger, onions, peanuts, fried garlic, lime, chilly.

Cha phlu leaf used in Miang Kham

In "Miang Kham Bua", red lotus petals are used to wrap these condiments.

Miang Kham Bua

Please note that the petals used in this dish are the bua luang variety, the edible species which we reviewed in the previous section, not the ones floating in the pond next to the dining area on the terrace.

It’s something very different and delicious. Definitely something to write home about.


The Market

Next, we toured the shops along the banks of the lotus pond, to the left of the entrance. These shops sell a wide variety of cooked and dried food stuffs. The first shop was a Vietnamese restaurant, followed by a shop selling various dried pork products, things which you would buy for friends back home or in the office.

Some of the goodies available

Fresh orchids are sold here, so are salted fish.

Fresh orchids

Salted fish, pla salid

There’s a separate pond for the kids to take joy rides in special boats and you can feed the fish here.

Paddle boat for kids

Feed the fish

The second section of the market consists of shops built on a long pier lining the south bank of the lotus pond. Visitors can sit by the terrace overlooking the lotus pond and enjoy the scenery while they have their meals.

View of the market from the pond

View from the seating area

There’s a wide variety of Thai delicacies and snacks available here, satay (barbecued pork in skewers), grilled fish, chicken, you can even pick up a bottle of wine! Here are samples of some of the delicacies.

Nam prik, various sauces served with vegetables and mackerel

Crispy crackers

Variations of som tam with deep fried papayas, fruits or corn

Deep fried poh piah, dumplings and pork

Some colourful snacks to take home

This is my favourite drink, palm juice* or nam ton tan served in a bamboo container which you get to keep as a souvenir.

Nam ton tan

*Borassus flabellifer or Asian Palmyra palm, Sugar palm, Toddy palm, ton tan in Thai. Besides producing a sweet juice, the fruit of the Palmyra is also used to make Thai delicacies.

The sap from the young shoots of the Palmyra is collected in earthen pots left to hang there and fermented to make toddy or arrack, a popular alcoholic drink in Southern India. The Palmyra palm is the official tree of Tamil Nadu and icon of neighbouring Kerala state. It is also the national tree of Cambodia.


Boat ride

The boat ride came next, with four to a boat, along special lanes through the lotus flowers. It’s going to be hot, for those can’t take the heat, umbrellas are provided.

Taking a boat ride in the lotus pond

From close range, we noticed some variety of in the colours of the lotus flowers. Though they are mostly red, we saw the rare white and purple ones too. We got to be close not only of the flowers but with some of the birds standing on the leaves.

Close up views

The visit to the Red Lotus Floating Market in Bang Len, Nakhon Pathom is a very pleasant way to spend a morning out of Bangkok. It’s not too far away and the entire trip can be very relaxing.

Parting shot of the pond


Map to the Red Lotus Floating Market

If the map doesn’t appear, click on this link

How to get there

By car

Taksin Bridge - Ratchaphruek Road – Boromaratchachonani Road (highway 338) – highway 3310 – Salaya – highway 3004 – highway 346 – Bang Len – Red Lotus Floating Market

You can trace the route on the map from the sequence of markers along the route.


Red Lotus Floating Market
Amphur Bang Len
Nakhon Pathom

Tel no: 08 9258 9264

Opening hours and admission fees

Opening hours every day from 0800 – 1800 hours
More shops will be open during the weekends.

Admission to the market is free

The boat ride costs 100 baht for Thais and 200 baht for foreigners. If you don’t find this acceptable, you can skip the boat ride. The scenery from the café terrace and the tables by the pond will do just as well.


Next month

Rangkratoom Market, Bang Phasi

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Till next month then.

Eric Lim
Tour Bangkok Legacies
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