How can you possibly have a floating market on the 75th floor? Despite how unusual it sounds, the Baiyoke Floating Market is actually a novel idea, combining the fun of browsing at a market with the enjoyment of a Thai food buffet. The themed buffet style feels fresh and original and the food is as good as any you will find along the many waterways of Thailand – minus the mosquitoes! Getting there is easy as Baiyoke Sky Hotel is the tallest building in Bangkok and visible from all over the city. The nearest BTS stations are Ratchatewi and Chit Lom but both require further transport or a 20 minute walk.
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- Ayutthaya Ancient Capital Tour with River Cruise
- Shangri-La Hotel's Buffet Dinner Cruise
- Bridge on the River Kwai & Historic Railway Tour
- Siam Niramit Dinner Show
- Calypso Bangkok Cabaret Show
- Chao Phraya River Dinner Cruise
- Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha Half-Day Tour
On arrival you are greeted by traditionally dressed waiting staff with long tail boats lined up behind them and a small shop selling postcards and T-shirts typical of a genuine floating market. They will lead you through to the seating area and point out all the different Thai dishes available, but you won’t get confused as everything is clearly labelled in English. The food on offer runs in a circle around the majority of the 75th floor so there is certainly something for everyone and it covers all of the most famous and popular regional Thai dishes. There is an excellent mix of simple snacks and more gourmet delicacies to enjoy, with the star attractions being the huge river shrimp and cracked crabs, steamed in front of you and offered with a choice of spicy seafood dipping sauces. They may be a little awkward to eat (as you need to get your hands messy), but one bite of a delicious, firm shrimp and you will know why people make the effort.
Once you have chosen your seat – we recommend seats as close to a window as possible – you are free to browse the many cooking boats, many of which have serving staff dressed in the authentic attire of market traders from yesteryear. Photographs are welcomed here, so you can happily capture some action shots of pad Thai being stir-fried in a long tail boat or ice being shaved over your dessert. Included in the price are three fruit juice options as well as iced water, with a fully-stocked bar on site serving reasonably priced beers and cocktails.
To enhance the floating market theme even further there are several posters of market scenes lining the walls and typical market items (kid’s toys and candy jars) hanging from posts to give you that authentic vibe, and although the theme is contrived, it is a lot of fun. At dinner time there is a musician who plays an array of Thai instruments, including stringed and woodwind instruments which provide an unmistakably Thai ambiance in which to enjoy the curries, noodle soups and skewered meats that have made Thai cuisine so revered around the world.
With so many options available it is easy to go overboard (no pun intended), but be sure to save room for dessert because it is perhaps the best place in Bangkok to try all the traditional sweets without having to know their names or in some cases how to prepare them; the friendly staff will help you every step of the way. The most typical of Thai desserts is ‘nam keng sai’ (shaved ice) which is a healthy concoction of colourful ingredients, including sweet potato, red bean, herb jelly, lotus root, pandanus flower and many other options. First, you choose your fillings then it is topped off with a mountain of shaved ice and covered in coconut cream. Other options include bananas boiled in sugar syrup, and my personal favourite, banana leaves folded into swan-like shapes with steamed coconut, banana and sugar inside.
Baiyoke Floating Market combines an amazing array of Thai food, a fun theme for all the family to enjoy and an unbeatable 75th floor view from the centre of the city. If it is your first visit to Bangkok, this is the one of the best places to sample all the famous Thai dishes you will go home raving about.
Along with the delicious buffet, all diners at the Baiyoke Floating Market receive free entry to the Revolving View Point on the 84th floor of the hotel (usually valued at 400 baht).
Baiyoke Floating Market
- BTS: Ratchathewi, plus taxi (not walking distance)
- Address: 75th Floor, Baiyoke Sky Hotel, 222 Ratchaprarop Road, Ratchathewi, Bangkok
- Tel: +66 (0) 2656 3000