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Floating Market in Hat Yai Thailand

There is a very unique floating market in Hat Yai, Thailand which is frequented by many people. Lesser known to the international tourist, this very interesting place is called the Khong Hae Floating Market or Klonghae Floating Market.

Most Malaysians who are heading to Hat Yai will most likely pay a visit to this unique floating food market for the incredible food experience. You can find many kinds of local Thai food, snacks and drinks, which are sold by local Thai hawkers on little boats that dock by the river here.

Floating Market in Hat Yai Thailand

Visitors buying  a bamboo drink from a vendor
The beauty about the Hat Yai floating market is that the hawkers line up side by side and number to about 100 boats at any one time. Each of them sell their own local unique food dish or drinks.

It is recommended that you visit this place at about 6.00 pm and you can witness these boats that paddle in to set up their floating shop. Once they finish selling their items, the simply row away with the days takings.

Food Market in Hatyai
Mobile Karaoke at the Floating Market in Hatyai

On arrival at the Floating Market here in Hat Yai, the first thing that greeted me was a mobile karaoke station where anyone could sing here for a price of 10 Baht. This was most definitely a hit with the locals here as the music kept going throughout my visit here.

Klonghae Floating Market

The Klonghae Floating Market is actually situated by a river and is divided into three sections. A general area where stalls are stationed on land with seating areas, the main boat hawkers which are stationed by the river and across the bridge on the ground.

While the tourists will flock to the riverside for the amazing experience of buying food from the floating food boats, the locals mostly hang out at the main bazaar area. There are places to sit and eat here.

I believe most visitors will easily spend a good 30 to 45 minutes by the riverside, walking from boat to boat. This is a must do as there is so many different types of food being sold here.

After buying your food and drinks, you can either stand and eat, or move to the seated area in the food bazaar area.

Hat Yai Floating Market
Customers dealing with boat traders

At the floating market of Hat Yai, almost everything sold here is priced from 20 to 30 Thai Baht per dish. Drinks, deserts, snacks and food are all local Thai delicacies and they are Halal (Pork Free). So Muslims can eat here as well. Most of the vendors are Thai Muslims too.

On my visit here, I noticed how the boat hawkers went about trading where the sellers would be sitting in their boats, you simply tell them what and how many you want and they will serve it with a long bamboo stick stretched out to you. Money is then placed at the end of the stick and a sale is done. 

As this was my first actual floating market visit, I have to admit it was such a great experience especially trying out the various Southern Thailand food here and funny enough, 95% of the traders were women here.

There must have been about 80-100 boats selling all sorts of foods while a couple of them sold souvenirs and that it was relatively cheap in terms of tourism standards.

Floating Food Market Hatyai
Fresh grilled prawns on stick

Thai noodles with chili and pickles

One unique features here was that some of the boat hawkers sell drinks in custom made bamboo cups or porcelain containers. I could not help but order one from one of the beautiful ladies here.

A long bamboo about 12 inches long was cleaned and had a rope secured at the top for you to hold. The choice of orange or lemon was served inside and you could carry it around the floating market.

Floating Market in Hat Yai Photos

Thai style dim sum

Floating Food Market in Thailand
Prawn cakes cut into calamari style

Various Thai noodles that are found here

Klonghae Floating Market Photos
Chicken Briyani Thai style, was very different and interesting

Selection of the Thai snacks and food bought there

Food in Hat Yai
Thai spicy seafood soup noodle in coconut

Klong Hae Market
Boat hawkers with signs

Thai fish cakes, my personal favourite here

Klong Hae Floating Market Hat Yai
Main food market at Klonghae Floating Market

On the main side of the floating market here, a variety of stalls are permanent fixtures selling all sorts of items from food, drinks, souvenirs and clothes. There are about 100 stalls here so you can take your time and browse these stalls.

Some of the items that are sold here are not found at the floating section of the market while prices here vary according to what you buy. Interesting souvenirs are mostly found in this area of the market, which could be great gifts.

If you venture across the bridge to the other side of the Floating Market, there are cultural shows and also some other stalls selling various items. It is also a great place to take photos of the Hat Yai floating market, like in the photo below. 

Klong Hae Floating Market
Floating Market in Hat Yai Thailand

Again I will stress, this was a totally unexpected surprise for me as I assumed that it was a simple floating market but I was very much impressed with the overall layout and selections here. If you have been to other floating markets in Bangkok, this is totally different.

This place is also something unspoiled by modernization where you actually see how the locals trade here. I have my thanks going out to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) for this trip and look forward to visiting this amazing place in future.

For those heading up to Hat Yai from the Malaysia Border, make sure you have some time to visit this place. Most tour packages to Hat Yai would have this package included in the itinerary too. 

How to go to the Floating Market in Hat Yai

To get to the the Khong Hae Floating Market or Klonghae Floating Market, you can ask any of the tour companies or taxis in town. You can event try usinng Grab or Uber.

This market is located about 4 kilometers from the town of Hat Yai (หาดใหญ่) at the Tambon Klonghae district and is only open from Friday to Sunday - 3.00 pm till 9.00 pm.

Remember the timings as I have heard many cases of tourist visiting the Floating Market on weekdays only to be turned away.

You can follow Malaysia Asia of Facebook as I have lots of pictures, links and information on travel around Malaysia, Southeast Asia and around Asia.

For those visiting this southern region, usually, you will spend at least three days and two nights here. I also wrote a list of where to go in Hat Yai for those who need more information. There is also no doubt that the most popular thing to do is to visit the Floating Market in Hat Yai, Thailand. 

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Malaysia Asia said…
hanks Location Espagne and Asia Market Girl. You have to try those Thai snacks and food. Simply amazing!

fufu said…
awwwww i miss thai food!!! DHL tomyam and green curry to brazil please! lol
Malaysia Asia said…
Fufu, I wish I could but the FDA will now let me :) Red, Green and Yellow Curries.. mmm..

gbeejipp said…
interesting how the use sticks to pass the food to you. I wonder if they use sticks to get the money from you too. Anywah, Thai food is always the best. Really wanna go there someday. Thanks for sharing.
Malaysia Asia said…
Hi Jipp, actually they do, pass food and then you put the money back on the stick. Interesting huh?

Someone in Kota Bharu just introduced me to your blog. Good stuff! I was just in Hat Yai during two days ago and had no idea about the market. I will definitely try to plan to go on a weekend on my way back to Malaysia.

Malaysia Asia said…
Hi there Jeff, thanks for stopping by and glad to be of help. I just posted another article on caves around Hat Yai. Do take a look and enjoy the weekend Floating Market in Hat Yai.

Malaysia Asia said…
Strauss - Thanks you. It is indeed a lovely place to visit. Lots of Eco-Tourism spots too.
Anonymous said…
Hi, is the floating market only held on weekend..??
Malaysia Asia said…
Yes, the Floating Market in Hat Yai is only open on weekends.
Anonymous said…
Hi, any idea how to get to Koh Phangan from Hatyai...any recommendation on the travel agency that may offer the return transfer Hatyai-Koh Phangan at budget cost...thanks :-)
Ken Wooi said…
it looks nice.. but what about the overall perception on going on a holiday in hat yai? is it worth going? :)
Malaysia Asia said…
Ken, if you are a nature person, then Hat Yai would be pretty decent to visit as they do have some caves and other places to visit. However, other than the floating market there's simply shopping to do in HY. I'd be happy to recommend Krabi for more things to do.

emi.samsudin said…
hey there.
looks like your very enjoy with holiday in Hatyai.
anyway, just wanna ask you about the floating market.
Where is the place actually and what time does this market operation hours ?
It will be a great journalism for my final assignment.
Malaysia Asia said…
Emi, the information is posted just above;
To get to the the Khong Hae Floating Market you can ask any of the tour companies or taxis in town. This market is located about 4 kilometers from the town of Hat Yai (หาดใหญ่) at the Tambon Klonghae district and is only open from Friday to Sunday - 3pm till 9pm.
Anonymous said…
I loved holidaying in Hatyai, the place & food, simply fascinating. Can I know when are they celebrating the Nine Emperor Gods Festival this year (the night procession)? I enjoyed watching, something which we don't see in Malaysia.
Nisha said…
Beautiful pictures and yes, a place not to be missed.
I have been to Hat Yai before but missed it since it was a weekday. Again going there but on a weekday. :(
Hairul said…

Just want to confirm, it is start from 3pm to 9pm Friday to Sunday?