Amphawa Floating Market
If Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is always crowded and too expensive, why not choose the quieter but authentic Amphawa Floating Market?
Amphawa Floating Market, also known as Amphawa Evening Market, stands as one of Thailand’s largest and most ancient floating markets. Situated in the province of Samut Songkhram, a mere 70 kilometers southwest of bustling Bangkok, it takes approximately 1.5 hours to reach this vibrant destination from the Thai capital.
If you find yourself in Bangkok over the weekend, take the opportunity to venture beyond the city limits and spend an evening at Amphawa Floating Market, where you can immerse yourself in the tranquil ambiance and indulge in the unique offerings of Thai-style shopping.
History of Amphawa Floating Market
Amphawa Floating Market was once a local market where people living near Amphawa exchanged their goods by boat, as this was the most convenient means of transport.
The market was much smaller than the neighboring Damnoen Saduak floating market, and remained undiscovered for a long time by the majority of its visitors. Amphawa floating market has a more rustic atmosphere and you’ll get a better idea of how the people of Amphawa live.
Today, the Amphawa Floating Market has become an extremely popular day-trip destination for tourists, locals and Bangkokians alike. Although it’s called a floating market, the vast majority of its vendors are located on the mainland.
There are a few canoes selling food, but compared to the Damnoen Saduak floating market, it doesn’t really feel like a floating market. There are several boats that take you on a boat trip through the canals and rivers to give you a good idea of how and where the locals live.
Food to try
Amphawa Floating Market is renowned for its wide array of delectable culinary offerings. Along the vibrant market, numerous fresh vegetable and fruit shops, brimming with the bounty of Samut Songkhram province, eagerly await buyers.
Visitors to Amphawa Floating Market can anticipate an enticing selection of food and beverages available from vendors stationed on boats and along the riverside. From fried clams, grilled squids, and noodles to aromatic coffee and tantalizing Thai desserts, the market presents a tempting gastronomic adventure.
Although the number of boats floating on the river during the daytime is relatively modest, the riverside shops come alive with activity. Exploring the market, which spans approximately 800 meters on both sides of the canal, is a leisurely stroll that can easily occupy several hours of your time.
Shopping at Amphawa Floating Market
In addition to its culinary delights, Amphawa Floating Market also serves as a treasure trove of art and crafts. Visitors can browse through an assortment of offerings, including antique toys, household items, and screen-printed t-shirts. The market is a haven for souvenir hunters, with a diverse selection of mementos to choose from, such as exquisite postcards, eye-catching magnets, and charming keychains.
Whether you’re seeking unique keepsakes or distinctive gifts, Amphawa Floating Market provides a delightful shopping experience for those looking to bring a piece of Thai artistry and craftsmanship home with them.
Other things to do at Amphawa Floating Market
Take a boat tour
At Amphawa Floating Market, visitors have the opportunity to embark on an affordable boat ride, thanks to several operators offering their services at a nominal price of just 50 baht per person. By opting for a long-tail boat, you can traverse the picturesque canals of Amphawa, granting you access to explore five local temples and catch glimpses of the vibrant local life thriving along the Mae Klong River.
The entire journey typically spans around two hours, providing ample time to soak in the cultural and natural beauty of the area.
Take a fireflies tour in the evening
As dusk settles in, embarking on a boat excursion to witness the enchanting display of fireflies becomes an excellent choice at Amphawa Floating Market. Venture to the serene and dimly lit stretches of the Mae Klong River, where you can witness the mesmerizing glow of these captivating insects.
The tour, priced at 50 baht per person, typically lasts for approximately one hour, allowing ample time to immerse yourself in the magical ambiance created by the flickering fireflies.
Situated alongside the Mae Khlong River in the Samut Songkhram province, Amphawa Floating Market is conveniently located approximately 85 kilometers southeast of Bangkok. Its proximity to Damnoen Saduak makes it an ideal opportunity to combine these two renowned floating markets during your day trip.
How to get there
To reach Amphawa Floating Market with convenience and efficiency, the recommended options are booking a tour or opting for a metered taxi. Booking a tour allows for a hassle-free experience, ensuring a smooth journey to the market. Alternatively, hiring a metered taxi provides a direct and efficient means of transportation. The duration of the trip from downtown Bangkok typically ranges from 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the prevailing traffic conditions.
Amphawa Floating Market operates exclusively on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, making it a weekend destination for visitors.
In contrast to many other floating markets in Thailand, Amphawa Floating Market does not commence in the early morning. The market comes to life around noon, with only a few shops opening slightly earlier. To truly immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Amphawa Floating Market, it is advisable to plan your visit for the afternoon.
The market remains open until 8:00 pm, allowing ample time to explore and indulge in the bustling ambiance well into the evening hours.
Overall, Amphawa Floating Market offers a delightful blend of gastronomic delights, shopping opportunities, cultural experiences, and natural wonders, making it a popular and memorable destination for visitors seeking an authentic Thai floating market experience.
Find out what other travellers have said about Amphawa Floating Market on TripAdvisor:
Great Cultural Experience
Was a lovely place to visit and is a must do in Bangkok for anyone who wants to experience something different, unique, local and most of all, a great food experience.
EXCELLENT EXPERIENCE AT THE FLOATING MARKET
Aug 2022 • Family
Now that COVID has subsided, this market is booming again. You have the option of visiting vendors along the pathways around the canal, or taking a boat tour to visit vendors only reachable by boat. A fascinating part of the boat tour was the area where people still live on the canals. At previous times, the canals were the only way of transportation.
Along, the old main canal, we were shown the old business area, with banks and movie theatre, as well as many homes, some still in use, some abandoned.
Prices with the vendors are good, and there is a huge variety of items and food for sale.
Take a picture with a python.
Enjoy live music.