A Night At Amphawa Floating Market

Boat tour at Amphawa Floating Market

Weekend Getaways from Bangkok

By Sirimaya
Published: May 12, 2018

Discover a glimpse of days gone by at Amphawa’s bustling floating market with a unique night boat ride along its riverbanks illuminated by glittering fireflies

Bangkok residents and visitors alike enjoy the convenience of day trips to immerse themselves in Amphawa’s floating market. Most arrive on Saturday or Sunday to eat, shop, and if time permits, take a boat tour along the canals. For travellers looking to soak up Thai local experiences it is easy to spend at least a night to soak up its charming vibe. There’s that much to see.

Here are our top picks for a two-day break:

Amphawa Floating Market

At Amphawa’s floating market, it is easy to be mesmerised by the endless examples of outstanding Thai gastronomy featuring local desserts, snacks and dishes the area is famous for. Sold from majestic wooden shophouses that line the waterfront walkways, there are also stalls selling traditional handicrafts, freshly cooked noodles and grilled seafood plus fruits and vegetables from vendors floating in their wooden boats.

Do take a boat tour along the labyrinth of canals that branch out to the Mae Khlong river to visit nearby temples and take in the sights and lifestyles of people living on the river.

  • Boat tour costs 50 Baht (US$1.5) for communal trip and 600 Baht (US$18) for private charter.
  • Best time to visit is during weekends, from 3pm to 8pm. But for those who want to avoid the crowd, best to arrive when the market opens at 10am.
Old shop at Amphawa Floating Market

Glittering Fireflies Night Tour

Enjoy a night boat tour along the Mae Khlong river and its tributaries to see glittering fireflies light up the mangrove trees like Christmas decorations. The boatmen here know where the firefly colonies are and will turn off their engine at the perfect spot for guests to snap photos and take in the sight of twinkling natural illumination. All are very proud with of these natural assets and will keep taking visitors to the best trees where most firefly nests are located.

The night boat tour offers a different insight into the lives of the local Thai people living in their riverbank homes. It’s also cooler at night and so a night tour offers a unique chill-out experience.

  • Best time for the tour is after sundown.
  • Book a private charter (600 Baht) for an optimum experience with special river transfer for guests staying on the river.
Amphawa Floating Market

Temple Visits

For those who take a river tour during daytime it stops at several temples. At Wat Bangkhae Noi temple.

Visitors are invited to go inside the main building and discover its beautifully decorated interior boasting intricate woodcarvings depicting the life of the Buddha’s and incarnations. The carvings were done by artisans from Phetchaburi known for their ancient woodcarving techniques.

Another must-see temple is Bang Kung Camp or Wat Bang Kung, known for its stunning sight of its ordination hall encased in the roots of a Banyan Tree. It houses revered Buddha images dating back to the Ayutthaya period.

  • Dress appropriately when visiting temples. Never enter a temple topless, or in shorts, singlets, or other unsuitable attire.
Woodcarvings inside Wat Bangkhae Noi main building
The ordination hall of Wat Bang Kung

King Rama II Memorial Park

Enjoy a glimpse into the life of the Thai people during the reign of King Rama II. There’s a museum set in the main compound of traditional Thai houses, displaying artefacts from the early Rattanakosin era. A Thai dessert museum is in another traditional home at the entrance. The park’s botanical garden exhibits plants from Thai literature, reflecting King Rama II’s passion for culture and literature. During weekends, there are cultural performances and live music.

  • Rent traditional Thai costumes (100 Baht) to relive the glory of ancient Siam or rent a bike (40 Baht) to explore the park
  • Entrance fee is 20 Baht
King Rama II Memorial Park