Long before roads connected destinations, water used to be the main mode of transport. In Southeast and Southern Asia, the role of water was even more prominent and consequential. It was a way of life in Thailand, in Vietnam, in Bangladesh, and many other nations. Floating markets opened up in such countries where sellers would sell everyday commodities. Today, while relevant, they make for great travel destinations because of the mesmerising colours and unsual sights.
A center of economics, these floating markets became a major hub for many waterside communities. While they prospered till the early 18th century, in the latter half, many closed for business or were forced to move the business to land. With the construction of rail tracks and roads taking priority, the floating markets were sacrificed.
I know you really want to go but these markets are part of the cultural heritage of the country and you have to be respectful there. Also, make sure your alarm (or two) is set for an early wake up call. Most of these markets open by 4am.
While the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and the Amphawa Floating Market in Thailand make it to every travel bucket list, there are various others that deserve notable mentions. From Vietnam's Mekong Floating Market to the crowded Dal Lake in our very own Srinagar, each has its story in the pages of history.
The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Thailand
The Amphawa Floating Market, Thailand
The Nga Nam Floating Market, Vietnam
Dal Lake, India