Amphawa Floating Markets is an opportunity to experience a genuine floating market in Thailand that’s not just there for tourists. It operates every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 3 pm to 8 pm on the Amphawa Canal near Wat Amphawan Chetiyaram in Samut Songkram, about 90 minutes south-west of Bangkok.
What makes this floating market very special is the almost total absence of western tourists. It’s a floating market for the Thai people so everything is genuine and cheap! But it’s no less spectacular than the Damnoen Saduak or Taling Chan floating tourist markets. Hire a boat for about 200 Bt and get yourself amongst it!
When the market is running, the Amphawa Canal is packed from bank to bank with vendor boats full of delicious snacks, freshly cooked food and fresh fruit, while the canal banks themselves are lined with market stalls jam packed with Thai market goods, crafts, etc. Much of what you’ll find at Amphawa floating markets is local craft, unique to this area.
While you’re in Samut Songkram, take time out to visit some of the other local attractions like the Church of the Virgin Mary (Mu 7, Tambon Bang Nok Khwaek), a 19th century Christian church built by a French missionary in the gothic style and still used by the many Christians living in this part of Thailand.
While visiting Amphawa floating market, you can also stop off to see the swimming monkeys in Khlong Khon canal, a little further south from the markets. Buy a bag of peanuts and hire a row boat from the temple to feed the monkeys in the canal. Throw some peanuts in the water (yes, they float) and watch the monkeys swim to you for a feed.
There are some quaint local guest houses in Amphawa district where you can stay the weekend if you want to. The cost is about 1000 Bt per night on the weekends. One of the most popular is Amphawa Na No Hotel & Spa, located just 200m from the floating market with cosy rooms from US$70 per night. If you stay the night, make sure to head back to the canal after dark and hire a boat to take you on a firefly tour – costs about 60 Bt and it’s great! And get up early to catch the monks rowing past on the canal just after dawn collecting food and donations from the locals.
Compare this and other popular places to stay in Amphawa on TripAdvisor.
Check out this video for an idea of what you can see and do at Amphawa floating markets and nearby attractions on the river.
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