The Perfect Day Trip: Amphawa
Everybody loves to have a good work-life balance. But in a city as busy as Bangkok, having a good job, enough rest, and healthy social life all at once seems like an impossible dream. We burn through 24 hours each day like it’s nothing, and the worst part is we often don’t have time to do what we would love to. Some of us love to read, play sports, or travel. Only if we had more time to spare.
But let’s take a different approach to that thought. Why not use Bangkok as your starting point for your travel plans and see where you can be within a few hours of a drive? You’ll be surprised at how much you can do and where you can be within a day.
On the way to our Hua Hin day trip last time, we passed by one of the top tourist attractions of Thailand as well. So we decided that it will be our destination for our second edition of The Perfect Day Trip. That place is Amphawa.
Just a little bit over an hour drive from Bangkok to the West lies Samut Songkram province, home to the village of Amphawa and the Mae Klong River. Due to the charm of old wooden houses and shopfronts and countless activities and sightseeing available along the canal-side, you will find the place packed with both tourists and locals looking for a good time with their friends and family.
We had a perfect day in Amphawa; now it’s your turn to see why this area of Mae Klong-Amphawa is one of the top destinations for foodies, shoppers, and adventurers from all around the world.
11.00 Daeng Seafood Restaurant
From Bangkok to Mae Klong will take you about maximum 2 hours by car assuming regular traffic conditions. We left at 09:00 and reached just in time for lunch exactly at 11:00. Daeng Seafood Restaurant is very popular and definitely can’t miss for fresh quality seafood in Mae Klong. The local delicacy in Samut Songkram province and one of the most popular dishes here is called “Pla Too Taa Tia”, which is a local mackerel boiled in a sweet and salty sauce. Be sure to get here before noon as the place gets extremely packed by then, and bring a lot of friends because they’re super generous with their portions!
13.00 Nativity of Our Lady Cathedral
Back on the road and just 30 minutes from Daeng Seafood, we entered Bang Nok Kwak district and caught a sight of this beauty. The Nativity of Our Lady Cathedral is a religious building of the Catholic Church, The Church of the Virgin Mary, where its origins can be dated back to over 130 years. It took Father Paolo Salmone, a French Missionary, over 6 years to construct. Inside, you’ll find French-Gothic architectural style, stained glass interiors, and beautiful statues, candelabra, and carvings. This church used to be the center of gathering for missionaries in the past and continues to be a holy place for Christian families living in the area today.
16.00 Amphawa Floating Market
15 minutes from Wat Bang Kung, we have finally made our way to the world-renowned Amphawa Floating Market. This canal that connects to the Mae Klong River used to be the communication center of the Samut Songkhram province where a small community of people prospered in trade and agriculture. After the trades died down due to constructions of roads, Amphawa was rebuilt as a 50 km long iconic floating market packed with countless vendors on both sides of the canal.
Traditional shop-houses and boat shops line the waterways where you’ll see that market is all about food. Enjoy a cascade of grilled fresh seafood, boat noodles, curries, old-fashioned coffee, traditional Thai desserts that will tingle your taste buds. Take home local delicacies such as mackerel and coconut sugar, as well local souvenirs like hand-made toys, clothes, and decors.
As you travel deeper into the canal you will find quite a number of nice home-stays and water-side resorts. If you have more than one day, don’t hesitate to take a snooze around here, because in the early morning you’ll get to see local monks come out on boats to receive their food offering from the people. You can also take part in making merit and it’s definitely one heart-warming sight to catch in Amphawa.
18.00 Fireflies Boat Trip
The banks of the Amphawa canal and Mae Klong River is home to beautiful Lampoon trees that houses fireflies as well. You can take boat rides from Amphawa to see the evening lifestyle of people along the canal, sunset views of Mae Klong River and catch sight of the beautiful fireflies at night. The boat ride usually takes around 1-2 hours and would cost around 60 Baht per person. There are many boat vendors at your service, so be sure to negotiate the price and routes to your liking.
Other than what we’ve listed, Samut Songkram Province still has a lot more to offer. If you decide to continue your trip beyond one day, we suggest you check out places like Wat Pechsamut Worawiharn, Rom Hoop Market, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market as well.