If you’re looking for a unique experience in Thailand, the Amphawa Floating Market is a must-visit destination. Located in the Samut Songkhram province, this market is a feast for the senses, with an array of mouth-watering street food, local crafts, and souvenirs, all set against the picturesque backdrop of the Mae Klong River.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the Amphawa Floating Market, its history, what to expect, how to get there, and some tips to make the most out of your visit.
1. What is Amphawa Floating Market?
Amphawa Floating Market is a traditional Thai market that takes place on the Mae Klong River every weekend. As the name suggests, the market is held on boats that are lined up along the riverbank, selling everything from fresh seafood and local fruits to handmade crafts and souvenirs.
The market is known for its lively atmosphere and the wide variety of local delicacies on offer, making it a popular destination among both locals and tourists.
2. A Brief History of Amphawa Floating Market
Amphawa Floating Market dates back to the early 20th century, when it was primarily used by locals to trade goods and produce. Over time, it evolved into the bustling market that it is today, attracting visitors from all over the world.
Despite its growing popularity, Amphawa Floating Market has managed to maintain its traditional charm and authenticity, with many vendors still using traditional techniques to prepare and sell their goods.
3. When to Visit Amphawa Floating Market
The market is open on weekends from Friday to Sunday, from around 12 pm to 8 pm. It’s best to arrive early in the day to avoid the crowds, and to give yourself plenty of time to explore all that the market has to offer.
4. What to Expect at Amphawa Floating Market
A Foodie’s Paradise
One of the main draws of Amphawa Floating Market is its incredible selection of street food. From grilled seafood and fresh fruits to sticky rice and Thai sweets, there’s something to suit every taste.
Some must-try dishes include:
- Grilled squid
- Pad Thai
- Tom Yum soup
- Mango sticky rice
- Kanom Krok (coconut-rice pancakes)
Shopping for Local Crafts and Souvenirs
In addition to its food offerings, Amphawa Floating Market is also a great place to shop for local crafts and souvenirs. From handmade pottery and silk scarves to wooden carvings and jewelry, there’s no shortage of unique gifts to take home.
Boat Tours and Activities
For a different perspective on the market, consider taking a boat tour along the river. You can hire a private boat or join a group tour, which typically includes a visit to a local temple and a chance to see the famous fireflies that light up the river at night.
Watching the Fireflies
One of the highlights of visiting Amphawa Floating Market is seeing the fireflies that come out at night. You can take a boat tour to see them up close, or simply walk along the riverbank to catch a glimpse of these magical creatures. The fireflies typically come out after sunset, so plan to stick around until it gets dark to see them in all their glory.
5. How to Get to Amphawa Floating Market
Amphawa Floating Market is located in the Samut Songkhram province, about 90 kilometers southwest of Bangkok. The easiest way to get there is by car or taxi, which takes around 1.5 to 2 hours depending on traffic.
If you’re traveling from Bangkok, you can also take a bus from the Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai) to Samut Songkhram, then transfer to a local minibus or tuk-tuk to get to the market.
6. Tips for Visiting Amphawa Floating Market
- Arrive early to beat the crowds and avoid the midday heat.
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothing, as the market can get crowded and hot.
- Bring cash, as many vendors don’t accept credit cards.
- Try to haggle with vendors for a better price, but be respectful and polite.
- Don’t forget to sample some of the local delicacies, but be cautious of food hygiene and cleanliness.
7. Where to Stay Near Amphawa Floating Market
If you’re planning to visit Amphawa Floating Market, there are several accommodation options nearby to choose from. Some popular choices include:
- Baan Amphawa Resort & Spa
- Amphawa Na Non Hotel & Spa
- The Legend Maeklong
Amphawa Floating Market is a must-visit destination in Thailand, offering a unique and authentic experience that’s not to be missed. Whether you’re a foodie, a shopper, or simply looking to soak up the local culture, this market has something for everyone.
From its delicious street food and local crafts to its stunning firefly displays and boat tours, Amphawa Floating Market is sure to leave a lasting impression on any traveler.
Book your Thailand transport Online
- What is the best time to visit Amphawa Floating Market? The market is open on weekends from Friday to Sunday, from around 12 pm to 8 pm. It’s best to arrive early in the day to avoid the crowds.
- How do I get to Amphawa Floating Market from Bangkok? The easiest way to get to Amphawa Floating Market is by car or taxi, which takes around 1.5 to 2 hours depending on traffic. You can also take a bus from the Southern Bus Terminal to Samut Songkhram, then transfer to a local minibus or tuk-tuk.
- What are some must-try dishes at Amphawa Floating Market? Some must-try dishes include grilled squid, pad Thai, tom yum soup, mango sticky rice, and coconut-rice pancakes (kanom krok).
- Is it safe to eat street food at Amphawa Floating Market? While street food is generally safe to eat at the market, it’s important to be cautious of food hygiene and cleanliness. Look for vendors with clean and tidy stalls, and avoid eating raw or undercooked food.
- What else is there to do in Samut Songkhram besides Amphawa Floating Market? Other popular attractions in Samut Songkhram include the Maeklong Railway Market, Wat Bang Kung temple, and the Don Hoi Lot salt fields.