When you visit the Amphawa floating market you’ll quickly understand why Bangkok was once called the Venice of the East. There is water everywhere you look! Visitors to Thailand love the floating markets. This is one of the main draws in all of Thailand. Amphawa is considered to be one of the most authentic floating markets in the county.
Many years ago, Bangkok was crisscrossed by thousands of these canals – referred to as klongs in Thai. Back then it would have been more common to travel around the city by water than by the road. However, over the years the canals were filled in one by one. These days there are only a handful of canals left in the city. Many of the remaining floating markets have been pushed out to the city limits.
The Amphawa Floating Market is one of these markets on the outskirts of the city. While Samut Songkhram is not actually part of Bangkok, the urban sprawl may make it feel as though it sits just on the edge of the city.
The Amphawa floating market is located just 90 minutes southwest of Bangkok in Samut Songkhram on a series of small canals (klongs) branching off the Maeklong River. It is a great Bangkok day trip and an easy escape from the city.
The canals really come to life at the Amphawa Floating Market. Boats zip around offering all sorts of goods, old ladies yell about how tasty their fresh mangoes are, and you’ll probably even see people showering in the canal. It is a very local area, not overly developed for tourism so expect to see an authentic view of the Thai lifestyle.
The main draw to this floating market is certainly the food. The mix of food aromas will cause you to salivate with anticipation.
Seafood is very popular among tourists. Mostly eating seafood grilled on wooden boats moored around the Mae Klong river. From noon until late in the evening, the smell is simply irresistible and customers flock to each side of the river all day long. There are huge prawns, shellfish, scallops, oysters, crabs, fish and squids in the wooden boats.
If you want to eat in a restaurant, you can walk a bit further from the bridge to find restaurants. Even better, try to get a seat on the balcony of the restaurant next to the bridge.
Villagers in the town of Amphawa bring local ingredients for making desserts. When tourists walk into the Amphawa Floating Market, they can see a variety of desserts. For example, coconut custard squares, dumplings in coconut cream, Thai caramel, caramelized crisps, egg yolk fudge balls cooked in syrup, sweet shredded egg yolk, Mung bean dessert, coconut milk ice-cream, and others are popular desserts. Most ingredients are grown locally, like coconuts. Coconuts are used to make desserts such as coconut custard squares, coconut milk ice cream, and others.