Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Asia (
-   -   Amphawa Floating Market (

crellston Sep 18th, 2014 01:47 AM

Amphawa Floating Market
People joining us in Bangkok have expressed a desire to visit a flowing market. Having been to Damnoen Saduak a few years ago I have been looking for alternatives. Amphawa, about two hours South seem to be pretty well regarded, less tourists than DS and a little more "autherntic".

Any recent experience of this place? Any alternatives? I was thinking of just getting a minivan from Victory Monument but with four of us, a your may provide better value and mean less hassle. Any tips for operators?

Also, for someone who has never visited Thailand, would you recommend a day trip like this or maybe a day to Ayuthaya/ Bang Pa In. Throwing to split 5 days in Bangkok before they return home.

Any help would be much appreciated.

LancasterLad Sep 18th, 2014 02:55 AM

I'm not a fan of day trips, and prefer to diy everything, and have at least one overnight. More satisfaction and usually more interesting. We try and avoid vans if there's an alternative.

Ayutthaya imo is underrated, and deserves at least one night (we stayed for two nights at Somjai Place, cheap but very clean). It's easy to reach by train from the main Bangkok train station (Hualamphong). A single ticket costs 15 baht, and the train takes about 2 hours. It's a fun ride, with most of the pax being locals. The first 25 minutes is an interesting crawl through BKK rail-side neighbourhoods, with folk living literally by the rail track, which is a side of Bangkok tourists rarely see. There's a big bus back to Bangkok every hour on the half hour.

We've done both Damnoen Saduak(DS) and Amphawa, on separate visits. DS is basically a tourist affair, with Amphawa being much more authentic. Memory tells me that Amphawa doesn't get going until the early afternoon. For Amphawa we stayed overnight in DS, having got there by bus/songthaew from Kanchanaburi. We stayed an interesting place in DS called Little Bird Hotel.

Curt1591 Sep 18th, 2014 03:10 AM

I went a few months back, on a Sunday evening.

I will premise this by saying that almost all "floating markets" are "touristy". The ones that aren't won't hold much appeal to tourists.

Amphawa's popularity seems to be killing it. IMO, it's no less crowded, or less touristy, than Damnoen Saduak. And, because of the crowding, and the lack of any railing, I'm amazed more people don't wind up taking a plunge.

It really doesn't have the "floating Market" look of Damnoen Saduak either. Most of the boats are heavy duty, high production, floating kitchens.

It is, however, a nice place to hang out, have some food, a few beers and do some people watching.

Of the many markets I have visited, Tha Kha, in the same area, is my favorite. Although it sees tourists, mostly Thai, it still holds onto a "local" vibe. There are many of vendors paddling small boats in a nice setting. It offers plenty of photo ops.

Tha Kha Map:

It is definitely worthwhile to consider doing an overnighter in the area. You can take in a couple of markets, a few other sights, and not be rushed. There are many great resorts and home stays in the area.

Hanuman Sep 18th, 2014 04:56 AM

All the floating markets in Thailand are basically for show and not a functional market of yesteryears. If you want a mixture of comfort and a peek into the past then Amphawa will do nicely although a lot of the shops and houses are modern built but made to look old or retro style to attract tourist.

If you want to visit a real old market with real old buildings then try Samchuk Market in Suphanburi. About 2 hours driving NW of Bangkok and you can add Ayudhaya and Bang Pa-In Palace into the trip as well.

Hanuman Sep 18th, 2014 05:01 AM

Here's a good list of markets, floating and "dry, in Thailand:

Prachuap Sep 18th, 2014 05:31 PM

I like Don Wai market. Far more locals than tourists.

But really Bkk has street food and mkts everywhere so unless you are in the area for other things I wouldnt spend 90 mins in traffic to visit a mkt.

crellston Sep 18th, 2014 08:44 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. Certainly a number of options to think about. Trying to get th balance right for someone else is always difficult. Whilst we have seen lots of thailand over the years, it is the first vist for my in laws. So even if Amphawa is a little touristy ( thanks for the recent perspective Curt) I guess it won't matter to them too much as they won't have any basis for comparison.

Ayuthaya is still on the list possibly by train, but I do like your suggestion Hanuman, of incorporating Samchuk along the way by car.thanks also for the link to other markets - may well visit a few of those before my in laws arrive! Thanks also for the link to the list of markets - may well visit a few of those before my in laws arrive.

Any suggestions on where else to take newbies to Bangkok would also be appreciated.

LancasterLad Sep 18th, 2014 10:47 PM

- Public ferry all the way to Nonthaburi
- Lumphini Park
- Siam Paragon restaurants
- Chatuchak weekend market
- Chinatown after dark
- Banglamphu/Khao San/Democracy Monument area

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:14 AM.