Amphawa District, Thailand · 52 hotels available
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Amphawa is 63km from Bangkok which makes it a common day trip for travelers looking to get a different view into Thailand than the crazy metropolitan world that is Bangkok. Amphawa is a welcome bit of relaxation and old school Thai living compared to Bangkok and its madness. A beautiful, picturesque and above all, delicious way to spend a day or two exploring a different side of Thailand.
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Amphawa is 63km from Bangkok which makes it a common day trip for travelers looking to get a different view into Thailand than the crazy metropolitan world that is Bangkok. It’s most well known for the floating markets that happen here on a daily basis, often an unfamiliar and exotic sight for those from Western countries. The floating market is exactly as it sounds, a market located on a khlong (canal) that contains everything you would expect from a community: vintage cafes, restaurants, shop houses with charm and of course, tons of food. Boats with vendors on them sell their wares here, day in and day on, always ready to whip up any number of Thai, Burmese and other fusion type street food. The variety of souvenirs, trinkets and foods at the floating market can be a bit overwhelming, and it’s often a good idea to do a little bit of research prior to visiting just so you know what you’re in for, and not to be afraid to try a few things that look a bit suspicious. Long-tail boats are waiting nearby the market, ready to take tourists on a scenic tour of the Mae Klong, lined with houses on stilts, fruit orchards and of course, temples. For many, Amphawa is a welcome bit of relaxation and old school Thai living compared to Bangkok and its madness. A beautiful, picturesque and above all, delicious way to spend a day or two exploring a different side of Thailand.
Historically, Amphawa was mostly a prosperous but small commercial and agricultural community. It’s thought to have existed since the early 160ss as part of the Prasat Thong Period. However, during this time it was known as Khwaeng Bang Chang, and its claim to fame came in 1766. Rama II was born here in 1766 to his father, who was the governor of modern day Ratchaburi. Even today, you can get a glimpse of old Thailand, one whose life rises and falls with the sun.
An international destination that most travelers have to pass through whether they want to or not, Bangkok is filled with malls, shopping, fine dining, traffic, but also a fabulous nightlife and something for absolutely everyone. Coffee shops, high end spas, ice rinks, waterfalls inside of malls, Bangkok has it all.
Located off the Chao Phraya river, Samut Sakhon has a major industry in salt production, and thus is a great place to visit for those interested in purchasing and learning more about various kinds of salt that are produced in this region of Thailand. It also used to be a Chinese trading port, so there are some influences of the culture left behind in this region.
Known as Mae Klong to locals, this region by the water, this town is known for wood carvings, a Siamese cat house, along with stunning scenery.
Known from the movie On the River Kwai, Kanchanaburi is a dense, green jungle region home to a few national parks as well as Erawan Falls, a seven tiered waterfall that has a concrete slide as well as few swimming pools that have fish that eat the dead skin cells from your feet, a popular spa treatment in Thailand.
Very old, traditional Thai style accommodations. The space is ample, and the beds are hard. Many of the beds are mats on the floor with a little padding, again in the traditional Thai style. This is a great place to stay for those on a budget or are looking to get away from Western style accommodations and truly experience what it’s like to be in central Thailand. The location is central to many shopping centers and food stalls, so you definitely have plenty to do.
An absolutely beautiful and simple place to stay, and close to the center of town but still located in a quiet location. Most rooms include a free breakfast, as well as a coffee shop, easy parking, access to meeting facilities, as well as a friendly staff ready to answer any and all of your questions. This is a wonderful place to stay during your exploration of the floating markets, or at least a place to sleep off the food coma until you’re ready for another round for amazing Thai food.
An old style Thai building but with modern amenities, Ardea Resort Pool Villa has quick WiFi, wide screen TVs with cable, a coffee maker, air conditioning, bathrobes and a fully stocked mini bar. The King sized beds are quite comfortable and soft, unlike more traditional Thai beds that tend to be much harder. The pool is gorgeous with sun loungers for you to relax on, as well as a garden to enjoy the sun in.
Conveniently located near shopping, sightseeing and restaurants, this offers a relaxing and ideal location. The hotel offers a wide variety of recreational facilities, including boats when guests want access to them. Some of the amenities that you can look forward to are daily housekeeping, fast WiFi, a car park, and a family room. This is a bit of a luxury type hotel in Thailand, as rooms run at least 3,000 THB per night, so you know that this is going to be a bit of a special experience.
Known for its scrumptious menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this homestay truly does make you feel at home. Amenities such as laundry service, free coffee and tea in the lobby, a terrace, happy and friendly staff ready to answer all of your questions and even give some suggestions on their favorite things to do in the area, you’ll want for nothing as you stay at Baanrak Amphawa Homestay.
The nearest airport is Don Mueang International Airport, about 60km from Amphawa. The other major airport in Bangkok is Suvarnabhumi on the eastern side of the city.
You can’t reach Amphawa directly by train. However, the Mae Khlong station in Samut Songkhram is the closest station, and Amphawa is easily reachable from that train station. You’ll catch the train to Samut Sakhon, then take the ferry across the Tha Chin river and catch a second train to Samut Songkhram from the station on the western bank of the river. Through this method, you’ll be on the train as it passes through one of the legendary “train” markets of Thailand, in this case the Mae Khlong train market. Trains to Samut Sakhon depart once an hour from Wongwian Yai BTS station and takes about 2.5 hours. Beware that this train is a local train, which means there is no air conditioning.
Buses going to Amphawa are mostly commonly found at Victory Monument BTS, leaving every hour from 6:00 to 18:00 (20:00 on weekends), costing 80 THB a person. When you exit the BTS, take exit 4 and ask one of the people at the booths for which minivan/bus to take. To come back to Bangkok, minibuses to Victory Monument depart from a roadside stand on Phrachaset Road just east of the town’s center. These run from 5:15 to 18:00 (20:00 on the weekends)
If you’re in a group or taking public transportation is too stressful for you, a taxi or an Uber can be taken as well. The advantage of taking Uber is that there is no negotiating, but you may also be in for a higher fare than a negotiated taxi rate. If you speak a little Thai or know someone that does, they can often help you negotiate a flat fare for a taxi. Depending on your negotiation skills, a taxi will cost about 1,500 THB.
Unlike many towns in Thailand, there are no motorbike rentals in Amphawa, perhaps due to its khlong centric nature. However, it’s a relatively small town and you can get around mostly on foot. Most hotels and guesthouses also offer bicycles that can be rented or borrowed for the day to explore. There are some songtaews (modified trucks that are used for public transportation), some run in a loop and others have specific destinations. Drivers usually speak very basic English, otherwise passengers will often times try to help. Don’t try to show the drivers a picture of Google maps, they won’t know how to use it. A handful of tuk tuks and motorbike taxis can also be found near the minibus pickup point near Prachaset Road. Samut Songkhram, the province that Amphawa is in, is mostly connected by waterways. Think Venice, Italy but in Thailand. Prices for boat trips are often negotiable, especially if you want to stop off for a few hours somewhere and have the boat wait for you.
A peek into the history of Thailand, this is a memorial to honor the birthplace of King Rama II, who was awarded a Person of the World by UNESCO for his contributions to the world of arts and culture in Thailand. The museum also contains items from King Rama II’s household as well as items from those times.
Opening hours: 830am to 5pm daily, and may be open a little later on the weekends as it can get quite busy at those times.
Entrance fee: 20 baht for adults and 5 baht for children.
The man who runs this center did not intend for it to be a tourist attraction, but open its doors for visitors due a request from the government. The cats are in cages, which can be difficult for those from the West who are not accustomed to these types of conditions for their animals. The purpose of the center is to preserve some of the original genetics of cats who are from Thailand. Some of the species include Korat, Konja, Wichianmas and Supalak. It’s about a two hour drive from where the floating market is, so is only worth a trip if you’re already in the area.
Opening hours: hours may vary, but generally weekdays from 10am to 4pm
Entrance fee: free
A temple made entire of wood, no trip to Amphawa would be complete without visiting this temple. The head monk at this temple is known to be incredibly friendly and welcoming to visitors questions and being open to speaking to them. Some of the carvings that are here are absolutely spectacular, and definitely worth a visit. Females, please be aware that monks cannot touch anyone female, and thus must stay a respectable distance from monks. Temple appropriate clothing is needed to be here, meaning shoulders and knees are covered.
Opening hours: sunrise to sunset
Entrance fee: free
This is of course the main attraction in this area. There’s another nearby floating market that’s much bigger than this one called Damnoen Saduak, which makes this one a bit less busy since Damnoen is the one that most tourists go to. In addition, this market is active in the afternoon for those who don’t like waking up early. It’s best to visit Amphawa market after 3pm, as there will be more vendors and it’ll also start to get less hot as sunset nears.
Opening hours: 1pm to about 10 or 11pm, depending on how busy it is and weather conditions
Entrance fee: free, but be sure to bring plenty of cash to spend at the market
There are a plethora of tours to be done in this region, and finding a good one may be well worth your while, as there are some things that you just won’t be able to see or experience without the help of a guide in this area. Especially if you’re planning or hoping to do both markets in one day, having someone there to arrange transportation may make your trip run much more smoothly.
Opening hours: flexible, especially if you’re doing a tour with your own group
Entrance fee: tours are usually at least 600THB for a day. This sometimes will include transport to and from your hotel