Amphawa Floating Market
Amphawa is a canal-side village filled with teak wood homes, cafes and quaint canal traffic. At the weekend it hosts a floating market which has become very popular with Bangkok locals. It is the second most popular floating market near Bangkok, not as big as Damnoen Saduak but more authentic. Boats moor on the side of the canal with a woman offering to prepare food from her vessel; which also acts as her kitchen and pantry. The region is most famous for its grilled seafood and you will find lots on offer, whole crabs, huge prawns, fish, squid and shellfish. The smells wafting through the air are wonderful! You can buy the food direct from the boats on the steps down to the canal, and eat the food on tiny little tables on the steps. Alternatively, you can head to one of the restaurants with proper tables and chairs. A great spot is the balcony of the restaurant next to the bridge, as it’s the only one it’s also very popular so you may have to wait. Restaurants line the canal and also spill out onto the surrounding streets. A nice quiet spot is the restaurant at the very end of the boardwalk where the canal meets the Mae Khlong River. On each side of the canal you will find wooden shop-houses selling all sorts of souvenirs especially of the retro kind, and more shops selling Thai snacks and sweets. There are two types of boat tours available from the counters near the bridge; the temple tour and island tour (50B/person or 500B/boat). The temple tour comes recommended as it includes a visit to the amazing Wat Bang Kung, which has been almost completely encased in an ancient banyan tree. There is also a mini zoo beside the temple with a camel, ostrich, dear, boars and peacocks. There is an evening firefly tour available from various tour places which usually requires an overnight stay, but it isn’t worth hanging around for. Unlike most floating markets, Amphawa is an afternoon market starting at 3:00pm (Fri-Sun) . However the shops are open earlier so a good time to get here is around 10:00am to wander around the area while it’s quiet, as by noon it gets very busy. At which point you could head out on the boat temple tour which goes at a leisurely pace, so could take up to 3 hours (check with the operator). Open 3:00pm – 8:00pm, Fri - Sun Meaklong Railway Market, Amphawa Floating Market and Tha Kha Floating Market are each 10km apart from one another so you can do two or all three in one day. A possible itinerary would be to see the 9:50am train come in at Maeklong, then head to Tha Kha Market then Amphawa. See below for further transport info. Getting Here You could do this as part of an organised tour which might set you back around US$60. Alternatively, you can make your way here and back for under US$9 and work to your schedule rather than that of the organised tours. To get here make your way to Victory Monument in Bangkok on the BTS Skytrain and head out of exit 4. Use the footbridge to cross over the main roads and head down to street level. There will be minivans around the roundabout heading to various places once they fill up. The bus to Maeklong leaves from under the expressway (purple on this MAP). You may have to ask around or shout where you want to go (pronounced Meh-glong) to get the attention of somebody to put you on the right bus. This should cost around 70B one-way and takes 90 minutes. The minivan will drop you off just next to Maeklong Railway Market. Amphawa Floating Market is then just a 15 minute songthaews (8B) (local taxi-trucks) ride away, Tha Kha 25 minutes (20B). The trucks are parked up at the main junction, just walk over and ask for Amphawa/Tha Kha Floating Market. It is only 10km between Tha Kha and Amphawa so you can try to get private transport direct to save time, or just head back on a songthaew to Maeklong then to Amphawa.