It's a few years since I've been to Amphawa, and boy has it gotten busy! This tiny little town, sited on a canal two hours west of Bangkok has really grown in popularity and its well deserved. This is the floating market that Thai people come to, but now I see a lot of foreign faces too. The tourists have really wised-up to this place.
One of the best things to do here is to eat along the river, small benches line the sides, you can order up dinner from the boats and freshly grilled seafood is lifted up onto your table. You can marvel at how they work in such small boats to serve meals up so quickly.
All the western tourist haven't affected the prices though, I found the same chicken satay as my last visit, and its the same price! 50 Baht!
This time around I was determined to find a home-stay on the water, last time I was away from the town center, a short car journey away. To get one in town I would have to be quick, a walk down the path revealed plenty of home-stays but none had rooms available. Lucky for me, I spotted a small sign, rang and found a room.
Shopping as ever is a delight in Amphawa, inexpensive, varied, handicrafts and some traditional hand produced products. For some reason these donut keyrings caught my eye. The traditional shape might not fire cute memories in foreigners, but it does in Thais! Donut shaped means different things in Thailand.
An old woman carefully weaved reed hats, 50 baht a hat, 60 baht for bigger heads. I just had to get me one of these hats! I know I'll never wear it, and, like my Vietnamese farmers hat, it will spend its time on top of my wardrobe, forgotten, but a few baht for a bit of fun.
With so many people and signs and food stalls, actually getting glimpses of the river and the boats is quite hard. On the bridges that cross the water, tourists take selfies blocking the view. Along the river signs obscure views of the river. Can I get a single boat nicely placed in the middle for my photograph? No!
The hustle and bustle of Amphawa continues into the night with the firefly boat trips taking tourists from the bright lights of Amphawa to the barely visible twinkle of fireflies. The stars look bright compared to these flies.
You can sort of find Amphawa floating market on the map below, its actually on the canal, and is open 7 days a week.
Indo Thai Tours have a four day three night, tour package covering Bangkok and Kanchanaburi available here. Visit their site for details.