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AMPHAWA FLOATING MARKET
The Amphawa Floating Market is a “fairly authentic” floating market near Bangkok. The Amphawa Market is very popular among the Thai population and of course the many tourists who come to visit Thailand every year. You have to be prepared for it, because it takes about an hour and a half to get there from the center of Bangkok. This of course depends on your location and the traffic.
Book an overnight stay at one of the hotels near the Amphawa Floating Market. This way you can be there on time in the early morning and get ahead of the hustle and bustle. This way you can discover this special market in peace and quiet. The early morning is also the best time to meet monks and give them something to eat.
Day out but go early!
If you don’t sleep in or near the village of Amphawa visit this market as early as possible. Make it a nice day out but if you think you can avoid the hustle and bustle like in Bangkok then you are wrong. This market is really crowded in the weekends.
Combine this floating market with another special market. We’re talking about the Maeklong Railway Market, a market where a train literally runs through. This is about fifteen minutes drive from the Amphawa Floating Market.
Fish dish enthusiast?
What lives frequently in the water except water fleas? Right, fish! Here you can eat a wide variety of fish dishes and seafood to your heart’s content. Think of a delicious fresh fish packed in a salt crust, steamed crab, shrimps from the wok and squid from the barbecue. The dishes are prepared on the small boats and you eat them high and dry on the waterfront while you enjoy all the bustle around you.
There is more to discover around the Amphawa Floating Market
Besides visiting the Amphawa market, it is also possible to take a longtail boat to various tourist attractions around the Amphawa Floating Market. The cost is 50 baht per person but you will have to wait for the boat to fill up before the tour can start. Keep in mind that this has to be done at every stop so relax and take your time. A visit to the Wat Bang Koong (temple) and the nearby King Rama II Memorial Park are both worthwhile and are included in this tour. There is also a small zoo to visit but personally we are not that fan of zoos (the choice is yours of course).
Consider the nocturnal firefly tour. With a longtail boat you will go on a firefly safari of which the costs will vary between 50 and 100 baht.
How to get to the Amphawa Floating Market?
In addition to a guided tour, there are a number of options you can take yourself to get to the Amphawa Floating Market.
The most difficult but fun route
It is impossible to reach Amphawa by train. However, the station Maeklong (Mae Khlong) in Samut Songkhram, from where the Amphawa market is easily accessible, can be reached by train via the local Mahachai line. The trains depart from Wongwian Yai station in the Thonburg area of Bangkok. So you first have to take a train to Samut Sakhon (Mahachai), then take a three-baht ferry across the nearby Tha Jeen River. Then take another train to Samut Songkhram from the station directly on the western bank of the river. In this case you would be on the train that crosses the legendary Maeklong Railway Market. Can you cross that off your list too!
Trains to Samut Sakhon depart every hour from Mahachai from station Wongwian Yai at the BTS station with the same name as in Bangkok. In Mahachai you have to walk west to the ferry pier and then find Ban Laem Station on the other side of the river in Tha Chaloem. From there a couple of trains leave for Samut Songkhram from 06:00 to 12:00. The whole trip takes a few hours and you can make a stop at the Mahachai Seafood Market along the road.
You can also take a train to Mahachai and then take a minibus to Samut Songkhram.
The reasonably easy route
Grab a minivan from the Victory Monument to Maeklong (known from the Maeklong Railway Market) for 70 baht and then a songthaew (red van where you can take a seat in the back) to Amphawa for 8 baht per person.
The easiest route
Rent a car with a driver or take a taxi.
Information Amphawa Floating Market
Open: Friday until Sunday from 12:00 – 20:00
Addres: Amphawa, Amphawa District, Changwat Samut Songkhram 75110, Thailandama IV Road