Home > FAM (Familiarization) Tour, FAM Trip, General, Thailand, Thailand FAM > Amphawa Floating Market, Samut Songkhram, Thailand

Amphawa Floating Market, Samut Songkhram, Thailand

Amphawa Floating Market

Samut Songkhram, Thailand

Also see: FAM tour of Thailand

According to Wikipedia a floating market is a market where goods are sold from boats. Originating in times and places where water transport played an important role in daily life, most floating markets operating today mainly serve as tourist attractions, and are chiefly found in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India.

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Amphawa Floating Market along the Amphawa Canal, Samut Songkhram, Thailand

No visit to Thailand is complete without a visit to the floating markets. Thailand is literally dotted with floating markets. Bangkok alone host at least 5 floating markets in its vicinity and definitely Damnoen Saduak heads the list.

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Entrance Pier of Amphawa Floating Market, Mae Klong River

Sadly many of the floating markets around Bangkok have been commercialized badly. They have  become too touristic and have lost most of their local flavour. For those wanting a real deal and experience lesser touristic places Amphawa Floating Market is the great option.

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A boat at Amphawa Floating Market

In the Amphawa Floating Market don’t expect to sail through the canal past boats selling local delicacies.

That’s generally not the case at the most floating markets in Thailand. Except for the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, which is the reason why that market is an attraction among tourists and therefore completely overrun.

Yes there are a few vendors on small wooden boats that cook and sell their foods (especially a lot of delicious seafood) to visitors. But in most of the cases canal side restaurants serve food on tables placed along side the Amphawa Canal.

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Boats at Amphawa Floating Market

Amphawa Floating Market is located on the Amphawa Canal which connects a meander of the Mae Klong River.

It is located in the Amphawa District of the Samut Songkhram Province of Thailand.

It takes about 1.5 – 2 hours (depending on traffic) for the one way journey and a day trip is very much possible. But for tourist on a leisurely pace a over night tour is strongly recommended.

The tour can be clubbed with visit to another unique Thai market the Maeklong Railway Market. (see Twitter Post, blog post coming up shortly). A over night tour can also provide the opportunity of experiencing the Khon Mask making at Bhutesavara and the community based tourism at Ban Bang Phalp.

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Boats make their way below a bridge in Amphawa Floating Market

We decide to spent a night in Amphawa and were housed at the Kanokart Resort. The resort is located on the banks of the Amphawa Canal. It is surrounded by mangrove forest, with trees having breathing roots.

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Boats at Amphawa Floating Market

The market only operates on weekends (Friday – Sunday). It starts at about 12 noon and goes on till 8 pm, but the actual activities start only after 3 pm.

It was Saturday and we took a a long tail boat from the resort for the floating market. Initially the long tail boat were operated manually by oars.

Now a days they are motor operated with a long propeller shaft extending into the water.

The operator operates from be back of the boat and passengers sit in narrow benches. Life jackets is compulsory and the boat operators are extremely strict about it.

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Boats at Amphawa Floating Market

We boarded the boat from Kanokart Resort pier. It was a short but adventurous ride and there were several boats on the canal.

Our boat sailed through the narrow Amphawa Cannel past several resorts, each with their private piers.

It is to be noted that each of the resorts offer private boat trips to the Amphawa Floating Market for their guests.

It was about 4 pm and we were soon selling past food stalls by the canal side. The stalls were getting ready with their delicious stock of sea food. On both sides of the canals are narrow walkways and beyond them are stores selling not only food but also garments, shoes and souvenirs.

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Amphawa Floating Market food stall

We sailed beneath several bridges, a few of which are concrete bridges supporting vehicular traffic, but most of the other bridges were old wooden bridges carrying pedestrians. There are frequent piers for getting on and off the boats but we didn’t stop at any.

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Amazing assortment of food at Amphawa Floating Market

We sailed through the Amphawa Canal and finally made it to the Mae Klong River. It was a welcome change as we were transferred from the narrow water way to a wide open river but the boat ride was  soon over.

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A walkway along the Amphawa Canal

We soon docked at a beautiful pier, designed like a Thai temple, on the Mae Klong River.

From there we took a short walk towards the Amphawa Canal. The narrow walkway was lined with shops selling mainly Thai food.

Sadly the stalls had nothing floating about it and were on hard ground and even quiet far from the water.

Sea food like octopus, skuids and prawns dominated the menu but chicken and pork items were not far behind. T-shirts, wrap around skirts and other garments were integral part of the market. Small stall made brisk business by selling artifacts and souvenirs.

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A concrete and pedestrian bridge span across the canal at Amphawa Floating Market

Walking past the stalls we made it to the Amphawa Canal and crossed it via a wooden pedestrian bridge. After which we took the narrow walkway along the river. The walk way followed the canal and we often climbed up bridges to get birds eye view of the floating market with the boats sailing beneath us.

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Fellow FAM mates enjoy a dinner at Amphawa Floating Market, Samut Songkhram, Thailand

Dinner is served early and we settled for a grand dinner right at the edge of the Amphawa Canal. It was grand dinner and it was complimented with live music. The return journey followed the same route and it was absolutely dark but a bunch of fireflies broke through the pitch darkness of Amphawa Canal.

Note: I visited Thailand as part of a FAM trip organized by Tourism authority of Thailand (TAT) and Thai Airways.

Special Thanks:

  • Aso Lori (TAT, New Delhi) and Sajid Khan (Thai Airways, Kolkata)
  • My fellow FAM participants Amit Sachdev (Unique Air Travels), Sanjay Kr Kothari (Just Holidays), Vandana Arya (Gainwell Leisure Holidays), Piyush Banerjee (Discovery Holidays), Asif Alim (Neptune Holidays) and Nandini Gangully (T2, The Telegraph)
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