Floating Markets in Indonesia: Is It Worth Visiting?

Floating Markets in Indonesia: Is It Worth Visiting?

Floating Markets in Indonesia: Is It Worth Visiting?

A floating market is a market where goods are sold from boats. Originating in times and places where water transport played an important role in daily life, 

most floating markets operating today mainly serve as tourist attractions and are chiefly found in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and India.

What is Floating Markets?

Fishing is still the main activity in these markets, but that doesn’t stop farmers and others from selling produce on the same boats. 

Fruits and vegetables are also commonly sold, and several markets sell animals such as ducks, geese, and cows, as well as wildlife. 

Besides trading, many floating markets offer entertainment as well as some free amenities such as bathrooms, outlets for electrical appliances, and facilities for washing clothes, bathing, etc. 

Floating Markets on the Island of Bali In Java, Bali is one of the main islands where floating markets exist. 

But while floating markets in Indonesia are mostly concentrated on the island, there are also several floating markets in Bali, Banyuwangi, and Palembang.

How to Get to One of Them

While the costs of some of these markets can be quite high and are often sold out, it is still possible to get to some of them and take in a bit of culture and history on the water. 

Just don’t forget to visit a proper port for the most authentic experience, or you might miss out on some cheap bargains. 

For a more detailed look at the pros and cons of floating markets, check out my article on the subject, which I wrote for Bula Podo (Java) and Bula Tangkejaya (Bali). Bangkok: 

Bua Vihara Floating Market Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand, has several floating markets, including Bua Vihara Floating Market. 

Bua Vihara is located on the Chao Phraya River and is near Wat Mahathat. It is a modest but picturesque market. I went to this floating market a few times.

Tourists’ Reviews

Is it safe to visit a floating market in Indonesia? The number of people suffering from eye or skin irritation or skin burns or skin infections after visiting floating markets in Indonesia is also very high. 

The region where floating markets are most popular also receives much more tourism than the rest of the country and in many cases, the tourists do not have any protective gear or masks. 

However, you can protect yourself against infections by avoiding swimming in or near the water while visiting the floating market, and by applying a high-quality, antiseptic cream or ointment on your skin before you enter the water. 

If you are walking around the market on a stick made of bamboo, then you can also wear a face mask to protect your eyes and mouth.

What Can You Expect From A Visit?

Generally, floating markets are fun, colourful, and full of colourful shop signs and signs advertising items to buy. 

There may be entire families selling items they’ve made in their makeshift structures. 

There may be fishing boats and other boats offering rides, people selling fruits, or people offering to sell you a live fish if you want to eat it. 

If you visit a floating market, it’s important to keep in mind that the vendors may be very busy and might not speak any English. 

It’s also important to keep an eye out for crime. That said, floating markets are a great way to spend the day on the water, and these markets might actually be a cheaper and more authentic way to get you to your destination than taking a traditional train ride or bus.


It is not possible to talk about the economics of floating markets without mentioning the role that the fishery is having on them. 

Thus, a potential buyer and seller need to consider their role in the fishery before meeting to decide whether to buy or sell. 

In Southeast Asia, many of the largest floating markets are located near the coast. 

This makes them an important potential target for conservationists. It may be useful for buyers to consider staying in port longer to experience the market and understand the role that it plays in the local economy. 

Also, in the case of a buyer who cannot afford to buy but who still needs to sell, this is a good time to visit the market to negotiate a price.

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