If you are visiting Bangkok, don’t miss Amphawa, which is not only globally popular for its quaint floating market, but for the many things you can see here that will surely mesmerize you. This small village is just located 50 km (31.1 miles) away from Bangkok and it won’t take more than an hour to get here. It is said that this small village has been in existence since the mid 17th century.
Amphawa is a place where you will always have to keep your camera ready to capture the beautiful moments. Here, you will get to see a community of vintage restaurants and cafés, as well as wooden shops selling books, Thai sweets, and souvenirs. Waterfront boutique guesthouses, pleasing riverside scenery, and the beauty of the fireflies at night will make you feel like you have gone back in time.
A trip to Amphawa is a great plan for those traveling in a group or for couples. Read on to learn about the eight best things to do in this scenic area and start planning your trip!
1. Unique market experience at the Amphawa Floating Market
Amphawa Floating Market is the major attraction in Amphawa and it is a very popular destination in Thailand. Thais flock to the Amphawa Floating Market every weekend and big queues can be observed along the canal’s bridges and walkways. The scenery is very beautiful here, with wooden houses lining the banks of the Mae Klong River. As well, the farmers in their traditional outfits, selling their produce, is also a beautiful picture.
This popular floating market simply goes beyond the edges of the town and it is quite tough to find out where it begins and where it ends. Apart from purchasing a diverse array of products, eating is also a major activity at the Amphawa Floating Market. You will get to see several merchants in boats making delicious food, right in front of you, especially seafood dishes that include squid, fish and clams.
Amphawa Floating Market
Address: Prachatai Amphawa Road, Samut Songkhram, 75110, Thailand
Opening Hours: 8 am to 9 pm, every weekend
2. Take in the awe inspiring, natural beauty of the Tha Kha Floating Market
The opening of the Tha Kha Floating Market depends on the phase of the moon, however, it is open for six to seven days, every month. Trade takes place on Friday and through the weekend on these days. The Tha Kha Floating Market attracts comparatively fewer visitors than the Amphawa Floating Market and is still filled with natural beauty and not yet affected by commercialism.
Located 10 km (6.2 miles) from Amphawa, Tha Kha is where you can see elderly Thais selling fruit, local food, vegetables, and delicious sweets from their rowboats. Buyers will also be in rowboats and you’ll get to see numerous sellers who are involved in displaying a diverse array of merchandise.
Tha Kha Floating Market
Address: Tha Kha, Amphawa District, Samut Songkhram, 75110, Thailand
3. Maeklong Train Market is an exceptional place for everyone
The Maeklong Train Market is an amazing sight and features a full-size locomotive that cruises slowly, passing through a tightly packed market. The market is also popularly known as Umbrella Pulldown Market, simply because whenever a train approaches, the displays and shopfronts have to be moved by the vendors very quickly. Everything returns back to its place once the train passes by.
Maeklong Train Market
Location: Train runs for nearly 67 kilometers (41.6 miles) between Wongwian Yai, Bangkok, and Samut Songkhram, in central Thailand.
4. Take a boat trip on the Maeklong River
This river originates at the confluence of the Khwae Sai Yok (or Khwae Noi) and the Khwae Yai River, in Kanchanaburi. It passes through the province of Ratchaburi and at the end empties into the Gulf of Thailand in Samut Songkhram. You can hire a private boat for the tour in Samut Songkhram.
Once you start sailing along the Maeklong River, you will get to see the traditional life of the locals on both the sides of the river. You can stop along the way and visit various temples and capture the Thai art, culture and architecture.
Boat trip on the Maeklong River
Direction: From Umphang district, take the road (Umphang-Ban Pal La Ta) for about 26 km (16.2 miles).
Contact: Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary - +66 5551 1142 / TAT Tak Office - +66 5551 4341
Facilities and Services Available: Inflatable boat, local guide, safety gear, accommodation, food and parking.
5. Try some mouthwatering Thai cuisine at the Thai Dessert Museum
After roaming around the popular Amphawa Floating Market, the Tha Kha Floating Market and the Maeklong Train Market, we are sure that you will have tasted a wide array of delicious Thai cuisine. But, if your gastronomical urges are not yet satiated, the Thai Dessert Museum is the perfect destination for you.
The purpose of the Thai Dessert Museum is to exhibit offer traditional Thai desserts. The Thai Confection Industry Company (TCIC) conceptualized it the museum in September 2008, with an initial investment of 2.2 million THB (66,519.18 USD) from the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion.
Thai Dessert Museum
Address: Amphawa, Amphawa District, Samut Songkhram 75110, Thailand
Opening Hours: 10 am to 6 pm
Contact: +66 34-750350-1, 88-8658661
Website: Thai Dessert Museum
6. Check out the Khai Bang Kung Fort and the Banyan Tree Temple
Thailand is filled with Buddhist temples and the Banyan Tree Temple is one of the most remarkable, a d should be visited if you are in Amphawa. Khai Bang Kung is today both a Buddhist temple and, simultaneously, a memorial to warrior heroism. At one glance you will see the concrete structure built into the tree, for the purpose of housing the temple. The temple’s thick stone-walled ordination hall is not big but looks larger than it actually is, because of the banyan tree that has risen up around it.
Banyan Tree Temple
Address: Soi Thetsaban Tambun Kradang Nga 1, Bang Khonthi, Bang Khonthi District, Samut Songkhram 75120, Thailand
7. Visit the completely wooden temple, Wat Bang Khae Noi
Wat Bang Khae Noi is another beautiful temple in Amphawa. It was built by Khunying Chui (Noi) Wongsarot, in 1868. Initially, the ordination hall was constructed on a bamboo raft and was tightly fixed to a Bodhi tree on the Maeklong riverbank. However, now the temple is wonderfully restored and you can see the handmade craftmanship that narrates the Buddha’s complete history, including his ten incarnations. Everything here, from the ceiling, floor, doors, and windows, is made of wood.
Wat Bang Khae Noi
Location: Khrongkan Mu 8, Wat Langka-liap Khlong Khok Mu 9-wat Chula Rd, Tambon Khaeo Om, Amphoe Amphawa, Chang Wat Samut Songkhram 75110, Thailand
8. Visit King Rama II Memorial Park to experience traditional Thai culture
King Rama II Memorial Park is a must visit for the tourist who intends to spend a few days in Amphawa. Sprawling across an average area of 4.4 acres (1.8 hectares) of land, this park honors King Rama II’s great patronage of Thai arts and culture. It will surely fill your heart with traditional Thai culture and its beautiful art and traditions.
King Rama II Memorial Park
Address: Bang Chang, Amphawa, Samutsongkhram 75110 Thailand
Opening Hours: 8:30 am to 5 pm
Contact: +66 34 751 666
Website: King Rama II Memorial Park
How to reach Amphawa?
It is better to take a bus from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai Bus Station), where there is service every 40 minutes, from 6 am to 8 pm. The journey is expected to take 90-100 minutes. You will reach Maeklong Station in Samut Songkhram, from where Amphawa will be reached without any difficulty via the local Mahachai line.
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