The market that shows the authentic Thai lifestyle

Amphawa Floating Market

Thailand is well known for its beauty, food, and markets. However, with numerous markets accessible at every end of the country, what makes all of them unique and enticing is their distinctive features. And ones that stand out the most are floating markets such as Amphawa floating market.

Before the popularization of other islands, Thailand was considered the go-to destination to the extent that it was labeled as the Venice of the east and rightfully. From markets to houses, you’ll find various things at the bank of the canals, and Amphawa floating market rightfully encompasses that claim, with water seen everywhere.

Despite the sheer beauty this floating market possesses and the items that it carries, it doesn’t operate seven days a week. Situated in the outskirts of Samut Songkhram, this market caters to visitors only on weekends (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) from 11 am till 10 pm, with it coming to life fully around 2 pm. Purely because of the distance and people tend to check off their shopping list through markets present within the city and hold head out to the outskirts on the weekend not only to shop but enjoy the fun floating experience Amphawa floating market has to offer.


Amphawa Floating Market


Does Amphawa floating market has a historical significance?

Thailand is a country filled with history, with a particular story attached to every monument and place; similarly, this floating market has one. The name Amphawa comes from a small community with the same name situated along the riverside was heavily involved with trade and agriculture and used the canal as a communication center for the province of Samut Songkhram. Though this place's history may not be as rich as other places and monuments in Thailand, but still holds a significant value in the local’s hearts. Especially because after years of operating and been popularized, this place still feels authentic and pays homage to the subtlety and pureness that the market and the community had in the initial years.

What makes Amphawa floating market a popular point?

Unlike many markets, Amphawa floating market still has that authentic natural feel that makes it so surreal and attractive. Its feature of being so local and down to earth makes it a perfect recreational spot to relax and chill from the regressive week-load.

The cities of Thailand are very developed, very modern, and amongst all of that, Amphawa floating market provides an escape. From natural wood houses, welcoming faces, floating boats, relishing the water, and the beauty of fireflies covering the night sky makes it an enticing tourist spot that not only shows the lifestyle of the locals but takes you back to the time of simplicity and nuance.

However, other than the sighting, this floating market has to offer so much more, as a market cum recreational space, from shopping to eating to fun activities, everything is accessible here.


Boats on Amphawa Floating Market


Recreational Activities


Since the market is literally floating, boating is a pretty expected activity. The boat tours familiarize tourists with every edge of the market and work as a transportation system to take them from one spot to another. The boat tours also allow you to shop while and eat too. You can either have a communal boat tour or a private one for one hour to cruise along the river, the temple, the market, and more than Mae Klong has to offer. For a more extended tour, more is expected to be paid.


This might seem out of place, Amphawa Floating Market offers a bicycling activity to its visitors. Visitors can rent bicycles from “The Thai Tib” station and a free map to explore the market and local area at the bay at their own pace. The bicycle ride offers so much more than just exercise, from the dessert museum to sling bridge to an overview of the floating market. It also showcases the lifestyle of the locals, which heavily depends on two modes of transportation; boating and cycling.


This floating market's beauty lies in its simplicity and the Nightlife, where the sky is filled with fireflies making the place look so dreamy. A lot of visitors specifically come to experience this particular moment by hiring a boat trip along the “Mae Klong” river and have a very relaxing and sweet time, just like Rapunzel and Flynn rider had in tangled. There is no better recreational activity than this. It is highly recommended for romantic dates.


Fireflies at Amphawa



This may not be the ideal recreational activity, but it’s a must to try, especially for tourists. Getting a boat and going to the Buddhist temples to see monks early in the morning has a different kind of vibe; people with the spiritual inclination and inquisitive nature will surely admire the pureness, welcomeness, and aura this place has to offer.


Though shopping comes under recreational activity but what The Amphawa floating market has to offer, Thailand is well known for having exclusive hand-made items, souvenirs, clothes, and more, and this market too. From standard to hand-made to custom items in every category, you cannot go wrong with this market. The well-curated item collection has something for everyone and that to an affordable price point. This market has a wide selection of perishable items as well that are locally grown and harvested, from delicious fruits to world-famous spices Amphawa Floating Market never fails to offer.


Souvenir shops on Amphawa Floating Market



Undoubtedly the real attraction of the Amphawa floating market is its “Food.” From having traditional shops to canoes restaurants to shop-house eateries, from mouthwatering savory dishes to salivating sweet desserts, there is everything that a foodie desires; following are the categories that are listed by their popularity;


Seafood is Thailand's specialty; being an island surrounded by water; Thailand has an abundance of various types of seafood. And this floating market provides the most traditional and delicious seafood options. Grilled on wooden boats, the BBQ seafood options such as prawns, shells, snails, fish, and squid, pulls you towards the shops and restaurants. The food is served on boats or at the dock; they can also be enjoyed o the balcony of restaurants, on the bridge, and on the steps. When the food is so delicious, where you sit doesn’t matter.


Seafood at Amphawa Floating Market



Desserts here are exclusive, made from locally grown ingredients; the sweets are exquisite and decimate. In Amphawa Floating Market, a wide variety of desserts grace your sighting with every passing stall, from coconut custard squares to Thai caramel, caramelized crisps, egg yolk fudge, and more. The desserts are tropical and mostly coconut-infused, giving it a rich feel while being healthy.


Desserts at Amphawa Floating Market



If you are not a massive sweet fan or a seafood lover, Amphawa floating market offers other items too; the Pad Thai noodles are going to, griddled chicken, hummus, steaks, and more. Fruits, especially mangoes and coconuts, are a very popular purchase; their too popular among drinks are their local refreshers, tropical juices, but the coffee is what steals everyone’s hearts.

How to Get to Amphawa Floating Market

This is a recurring question, especially for tourists, and a very valid one, how to reach Amphawa Floating Market. Though the boats are there to tour you through the market but reaching the market is a long journey, primarily because it is situated on the outskirts of the city.

So among many options, minivans are a popular option; a 90 minute trip to the market spends in comfort. They usually cost around 90–100 baht for one way but depending on two trips or the choice of vehicle (air-conditioned), the prices can be higher. Rental cars or personal cars are an option too, but it can get quite expensive and very inconvenient, especially when it come s to parking. Local buses are a good option; if you don’t mind a bit on foot walk and crowded busses, this is also the cheapest option amongst the lot.

The cars pick you directly from your current destination to the market, but for the other two, they pick you from Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tia Kai Pinklao), located a fair way out of the city (they arrive after every hour), and take you to the market in roughly 90 minutes depending on the traffic and choice of the route that is taken. But either way, it is advised to take use a transport rather than driving yourself because the journey can be quite tiring.

All in all, if you plan to visit Thailand or are in Thailand and want to enjoy your weekend to the fullest in a more subtle way, be sure to check Amphawa floating market, a recreational marketplace that offers all.