Though the floating markets of Bangkok were once a traditional part of daily living, modernization and tourism have transformed many of them into something of a novelty experience. Still, taking a day to experience the sights, smells and (more importantly) tastes of one or two of these cultural mainstays can be a deliciously revelatory experience. Just take a minute or two to get acquainted with a couple options that might intrigue you the most.
The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, far and away the most popular with tourists, is located about an hour and a half southwest of Bangkok in Ratchaburi Province. One of the few open daily, you'll have an easy time booking tours here from the capital, though this means hordes of other foreigners and plenty of opportunities to get ripped off. Pick your poison
Just south of here, the reinvigorated Amphawa Market is a bustling weekend destination popular with locals escaping from the big city. Packed with vendors stocked with local goodies and known for whipping up quick, delicious meals, it's a bit further away from the city but offers a more authentic-feeling culinary experience.
If you don't feel like traveling over an hour to get the floating market experience, no worries. South of the city center, the relatively recent Bang Nam Phueng Market (displayed on map) is a getaway without getting away, complete with all the exotic flavors you could ask for. Still mostly unexploited, a lack of tour groups offering visits to this market means you'll have to arrange transportation on your own. In the end, though, it's well worth the effort. Open Saturdays and Sundays.