Amphawa Floating Market

The Amphawa Floating market started off as a village that serviced the river traffic and other local villages via a boat trading service. The smaller boats would have specific wares or food, and would traverse the Mae Klong river plying wares and fresh prepared meals.

Fairly recently it became more of a tourist market and a lot of the boat services migrated to the shore into stands. The boats still cook you fresh food, but the days of trading off them seem to be gone.

The Arrival

My friend Kook, her good friend Noy, and I went on a day excursion to the market. It's supposedly an hour drive southwest of Bangkok, 52 miles, but it never ends up being that short with traffic. Kook was sharing what appeared to be her last month's experiences with Noy in Thai; I didn't understand a word, and I swear she didn't even take in a breath the entire drive.
Noy and Kook
We arrived in the morning, after 2 hours driving, and the heat was 92 degrees and climbing. We sat by the river a bit observing the flow.

The Market

We walked from the river to the market entrance. That sun was strong, and it was hot hot. As we got closer, the crowd around the entrance alley to this section was quite dense.
When we got closer to the canal the temp did go down quite a bit. Once you cross the main footbridge, you can see some of the enormity of the place.
Like Pepsi?

Market Areas

You can wander along the walkways that border the canal, seeing so much food and items for sale. A lot is touristy, locals don't shop here much anymore.

Lunch

We settled down at a Upladeak restaurant and had lunch. Sneaky people snapped a picture of me.
After lunch, we walked to board a tour of the river and surrounding area on a Klong boat. They all have car motors for engines, and the kids like to soup them up. Also the food boats are still roaming around the canals.
Delivered Food
Tooling along the canal and out to the river.
Then we came up upon a very large temple dedicated to the Bhuddist monk Kong. While Thailand was an ally of Japan during the war, the Japanese were a bit loose with honoring that, and the monk Kong saved the lives of many many people during the war. He is very revered, and is assumed to have joined with Bhudda upon his death. His temple is considered a very good place to pray, as his help to get your prayers aloft is expected by the locals.
After a while, we got back on and continued the tour along the Mae Klong river, which has direct access to the Indian Ocean and is a major waterway.
Then turning into the back entrance of the canal the market rests on.

Summary

Amphawa Floating market is a really different place, with many things to buy and more than you could ever eat.

A long, hard drive or bus ride from the city, the river tours are neat, very cheap (like $5), the water is... well, you can probably catch Cholera in it. Don't touch it. The "resorts" advertised like the stalls are the entrance? Not many are even there, you go through and they take you someplace else. Most are tourist traps.

It was relaxing, and fun, and the food. YUM. The drive back took 3 hours of insane Bangkok traffic. Kook was swearing at bad drivers in Thai. Bathroom facilities are a bit primitive. Worth the trouble to get here.


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