I was conflicted at first on which floating market I needed to go to either Damnoen Saduak Floating Market or Amphawa, at the end, I chose Amphawa for its authenticity, a less touristy and lovely house near the river. Amphawa Floating Market is located in the Amphawa District of Samut Songkhram Province, about 90 km away from Bangkok (less than one hour and a half travel time). Here I want to share, a how-to guide to Amphawa.
Bangkok to Amphawa
There is no train directly to Amphawa so, the only option is either by car or bus/minibus.
A car (hire private van) would cost you more if you are solo travel, but it's very convenient. Therefore, the cheapest and the adventures are via bus. Bus or minibus departs from Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal which costs around THB100 (1 and half hours)
There are bus services from Mochit Van Terminal to Samut Songkhram town for THB90 and once you arrive there, you can take a local songthaew THB8 (passenger vehicle - pick-up or a larger truck- used as a shared taxi).
I took a minivan bus from Mochit New Van Terminal operated by Bangkok Damnoen 996. I booked it online which includes a return ticket. Little that I know, the Bangkok Damnoen 996 no longer operates the service to Amphawa. I only know this once I want to return from Amphawa and the bus never picked me up. Waited almost 3 hours and worse my phone was unable to make any calls due to the sim card package that I bought not include calls. It's getting dark and one old lady tries to scam us by offering a taxi to Bangkok for RM150 per person because she knows we are desperate. However, luckily, there are few seats left on the other minivan but we have to wait for our turn.
Tips: Please check and ask first at the counter where the bus going where they drop you off and where they will pick you up. Some info on the internet is not updated sometimes.
What to eat in Aphawa.
The main activities here probably eating all the good foods from the floating markets while enjoying authentic aspects of daily Thai life along the riverside. It's beautiful. With so many options to choose from, based on my experience, you can try it all but you must have this in your food to try ;
Coconut Ice Cream
Jumbo Grilled Squid
Variety of Fruity Ice Pop
Khanom Alua (Thai Jelly)
It's not Thailand if there is no Som Tum,
You can buy souvenirs like Amphawa T-shirts, trinkets, gifts, herbs, and dream-catchers, all mostly handmade!
Amphawa to Bangkok
You can take a minivan located just a few meters from Amphawa Floating Market entrance and it will take you to Bangkok Southern Bas Terminal (around THB70). I remember the last bus at 8.20 pm but I would suggest being there before 7.00 pm.
Amphawa Floating Market
Location: Amphawa, Samut Songkhram 75110, Thailand
Open: Friday–Sunday from 11 am to 9.30 pm (closed from Mondays to Thursdays)
Best time: 2.00 pm onwards
Amphawa is popular amongst locals & it's a weekend affair as most local Thai will go here during the weekend to unwind and chill out from the hustle of Bangkok. Amphawa still has that authentic feel of Thailand and truly love the canals, long tail boats, and warm smiles of vendors. Worth visiting!