Amphawa Floating Market in Thailand will surely meet all your water market expectations .
I think it is difficult to imagine scenes of Thailand without picturing floating markets. Narrow canals running through cities and villages. Long canoes crowded near the shore. Colourful assortments of foods and fabrics. Canopy hats covering the faces of vendors, keeping the blistering sun off their necks. If this is what you want to see, a visit to Amphawa Floating Market should be in order.
I’m sure there are other floating markets in Thailand and neighbouring countries. However, the one that I had the pleasure of visiting was Amphawa Floating Market near Bangkok.
Of course, it was 30+ degrees outside when we went in March. When we arrived, our guide kindly treated us to a fresh coconut. Already sweating, I perched myself onto a low bench and leisurely drank up the refreshing clear liquid. When I finished, I proceeded to scrape the coconut meat out with a plastic spoon and my own dirty fingernails. Delicious.
Finished with my snack, I stood up to do some exploring.
Apparently, Amphawa Floating Market is the second most popular market of its kind in Bangkok. However, it is said to be more authentic and mainly visited by Thai people rather than tourists. I have not been anywhere else, so I have nothing with which to compare it.
Essentially, the market is one main canal with shops on either side. The wooden and concrete walkways have an abundance of small shops and restaurants. This makes it a good place to fill up on goodies and also do a bit of souvenir shopping.
The water is a lovely brown colour, and it is crowded with umbrella-covered small boats.
Many of them serve as food stalls.
Although you cannot go onto the boats to sit and eat, you order it and they will cook it for you on the boat. You then find a spot to sit somewhere along the edge of the canal to enjoy your lunch.
If you are not feeling the laid-back setting of eating directly on the edge of the canal, there are restaurants on-hand. Some are more casual than others, and some have interesting displays and decor.
Away from the main canal are several side streets, also with shops and filled with people. It is very easy to lose track of the people you came with.
While I was in Thailand, I discovered so many different kinds of fruit that I didn’t even know existed.
Even looking at this photo, I still can’t name all of these fruits.
There is also a longboat tour. You pay the guide who then takes you up and down the market letting you see it from a different angle. I think it also takes you to a temple. Cheapy that I am, I didn’t do this. Though now I sort of wish I had done it.
Nevertheless, I did enjoy walking up and down the sidewalks exploring the food stalls and different shops. I lost the rest of my group several times and eventually gave up trying to keep track of them and headed off on my own.
I think this is the only time I had phad thai while I was in Thailand.
It was very good.
We didn’t stay until it was dark, although it gets very crowded and lively even into the night. However, we were all tired from walking all afternoon in the sun.
Amphawa Floating Market is a fun way to spend an afternoon or evening, so long as you don’t mind braving the crowds or the heat. It is also only 1.5 to 2 hours from Bangkok, so is an easy day trip.
It is a great place to experience an authentic Thai floating market. And find something yummy to eat.
Have you ever been to a floating market? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!