Amphawa – A beautiful daytrip into the rural countryside

Written by SIAMPEDIA on November 24th, 2009

© Frank P. Schneidewind

 

 

 

Samut Songkram is one of the Provinces west of Bangkok and it has another lesser known touristic gem to offer. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, the Klongs around Amphere Amphawa are featuring the “Thalaad Nam Yan Jenn”, which is another option for tourists and visitors to view and witness a form of a “Floating Market”.

Parking is plenty available at the Wat Amphawan Chetiyara, they also have backup parking lots nearby.

This market should be explored on foot as the local crowds each weekend demonstrate. Locals are in fact all you get to see here, as this market existence hasn’t spead far yet. Unlike it’s famous sibling, the “Damnoen Saduak” Floating Market, this one lacks the Taiwan and Hong Kong or China made “original” souvenirs and is geared mainly for the Thaifood Gourmets. All kinds of food and drinks are offered from the wooden boats, which roam the klong and occasional moore to a pier with concrete steps up to to the walkways. The entire community is littered with handicraft stores and the friendy attitudes of the sales people are so common in the rural “Land of Smiles”.

Some foods are prepared on the walkways too, but the majority of the passersby do get their dish from anyone of the abundance of floating dealers.

Opening times here are from noon 12:00 A.M. to roughly 20:00 hours, so just covering the span from early lunches to dinnertime. Seafood seems to be high in demand as most vessels offer some sort of delicacy at this neat market. Some antique stores dot the walkways and sweets or ice-cream cones can be purchased anywhere. The whole community seems to flourish on this scenario. It can be crowded in the evenings on the relative small walkways, but there is always room to sit down and relax or grab a snack.

What I really liked here was the moderate pricing for merchandise and foods offered. Due to the fact that westerners are a rarity here, everything commanded throughout regular rural countryside street prices. This may change eventually after hordes of wealthy tourists swarm the grounds here and Thai folks resort to different locations. Presently it is very fair priced and a long shot away from the marked up tourist prices elsewhere.

The evenings bring a new wave of hungry people and most came to dine here. The spots near good and wide concrete steps are quickly occupied by the dealers, which seem to cling to their pole positions like a racecar driver to his in a race.

Photo opportunities are plentyful and it pays to select a sunny late afternoon, when glare is reduced and colors are much more vibrant.

In the evenings, one can charter a boat here to venture into a firefly habitat not far from here. Prices for such trips start around 250 Baht but are negotiable for families or groups.

Despite their small outboard engines, the dealers use mainly wooden oars to handle their vessels. Amphawa is truly a “laid-back” type of community, do not expect a lot of English signs or menus – It may be helpful tu have a Thai guide along with you, when you venture here with no Thai communicaton skills. Amphawa is within driving distance for a Bangkok Taxi, but you may want to negotiate a price for a return trip with a waiting period. Taxis Bangkok-bound may be hard to find after dark or overcharge heftily on their requested fares.

 

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