Bangkok To Amphawa
Amphawa Floating Market is located about an hour’s drive outside of Bangkok and can easily be reached direct by minibus. Out of all the many floating markets around the Bangkok area, Amphawa is perhaps one of the biggest and more popular markets among local and Thai tourists.
Amphawa Floating Market has a fantastic atmosphere: heaps of delicious food stalls and quirky clothes shops squeezed along the board walks, paddle boats parked along the sides of the canal with barbecues onboard brimming with fresh seafood, and visitors relaxing at small tables perched along the edges enjoying the cuisine… the whole environment of Amphawa is pretty relaxed and not at ally pushy or tourist trappy.
If you class yourself as a bit of a food connoisseur, or just plain love trying different regional foods and snacks, Amphawa is ideal for tasting and nibbling as you go. Whether you sample the steamed buns, roti pancakes and all the hundreds of other Thai desserts, or eat the freshly grilled choice of seafood, river prawns and Thai dishes; you will love the eating your way along the Thai canals!
Boat tours are available at various points along the river and typically sit between four and ten passengers. Khlong boat fares are a standard price of 60 baht per person or 400 baht per group for about an hour’s ride. The boat will stop whenever you ask so that you can have a taste of the freshly cooked Thai food along the way. Food and boats… who wouldn’t like these things?
Although the standard tours from Bangkok to Amphawa tend to take passengers to the floating market in the early hours or during the daytime, the market actually get’s at it’s most interesting during the evening time. A good time to get to Amphawa Floating market is around 3pm or 4pm, while the weather is a little more mild and the crowd a little less restless.
If you head to the market during the evening, you’ll find cosy fairy lights brightening the walkways and adding a charm and magic to the atmosphere. Live acoustic music will add to the chilled out atmosphere as it starts to sound from the hidden, laid back Thai bars. Amphawa floating market stays open until 10pm (the bars until later) so travellers can have fun cork shooting at random stalls for 10 baht; shop for hand made souvenirs, pretty clothing and quirky accessories; or relax with a beer in one of the canal-side bars and restaurants.
Amphawa, Samut Songkhran
The area of Amphawa is packed full of beautiful temples, markets* and parks and is definitely worthy of an overnight stay away from Bangkok. Transport around the town is rather lacking, however there are many boat tours available to take you to all the main sights and temples of Amphawa. Hotels can usually easily arrange these boat day tours for you.
Due to the lack of tuk tuks and songtaews, it’s best to stay close to the floating market and main hub of activity. A particularly good hotel in an ideal location right next to Amphawa floating market is Amphawa Nanon Hotel & Spa. Not only does staying overnight in a hotel Amphawa mean that you can relax in the bars along the floating market, but it also means that you can take a trip to watch the notorious fireflies of Samut Songkhran distict.
How To Get To Amphawa Floating Market
To get from Bangkok to Amphawa floating market, you can catch a mini bus from the Victory Monument station for around 100 baht one-way. The mini bus conveniently takes you directly to the market. It will drop you at a stop just next to a bridge which has steps down to the canal.
*My personal recommendation is to avoid Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. On the whole, the market is not as authentic or charming as many other floating markets and the canal is dirty, full of litter and lacking in atmosphere. In my experience, despite being quiet and less popular among tourists, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is a pretty bad tourist trap full of unfriendly and pushy people.