What: a place to see in Thailand where there are no tourists from abroad.
Where: an hour from Bangkok in a South West direction.
When: all year round
This is a short clip of Amphawa in Samut Songkhram, Thailand. Amphawa is famous for fireflies, you take a boat journey down the canal at night to see the fireflies in the bushes in the darker places along the canal. When I did this, there weren't many there! They told me farmers using pesticides have taken a toll on the fireflies, but it's still worth doing.
Amphawa is a famous tourist place for Thai people to visit, very few westerners visit it, and the hotels are few and far between. In Thailand the best way to stay is called 'HomeStay' which is like a Thai bed and breakfast type accommodation. There are a few agencies in the town that you can book them, and the B&B usually have their own cars to collect and drop you off.
Language will be a problem, most people will only speak Thai there.
The town at night lights up with bars and restaurants, live Thai music and hustle and bustle. The canal fills with boats selling food and goods, and along the canal you can book the boat tours to see the fireflies.
I bought 50 baht ($1.20/€1.10/£1) worth of chicken sate from a woman on a boat, it was a lot of chicken! There was also tiger prawns for 50-60 baht, again a very very large portion and very fresh. She grilled them on a small charcoal burner there and then on the boat. As you can understand these are Thai prices for Thai people.
There's also a large temple in the town center, which had a festival running when I visited.
The famous canal with the bars and places to eat is located here:
You are probably more familiar with the floating market in Samut Songkhram, but that is really a place for foreign tourists. It's a short journey from Amphawa to the floating market at Samut Songkran. The actual floating market is a tiny section in the middle of the town, but most people don't go straight there, instead they stop short of the town, and catch a boat from one of the piers further back in the canals. It's more interesting to take a short boat ride, and gives you the sense of a floating market. If you got straight off the bus in the center of town and walked down to the floating market selling tourist items, that wouldn't be as much fun.
Still, if you want to also see the tourist floating market, it is here:
View Larger Map
Things to buy here: Coconut sugar, it's made here and they're famous for it. Firefly fridge magnet, buy something to remind you of the fireflys, again the town is famous for them. You'll pay western tourist prices for things in this market, and the items sold are Thai fruits and tourist knick-knacks.