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Ampawa Floating Market, Samut Songkram


Overview

Ampawa is a district in Samut Songkram province, which is only an hour and a half from Bangkok. Although it’s the smallest of the 76 provinces in Thailand, it has an amazing network of 330 canals running off the Mae Klong River which is extremely wide as it nears the sea.

Ampawa Floating Market is one of the best 9 destinations in Thailand by BangkokPost in 2009.

In Ampawa, the streets are really narrow and with all the houses opening onto the canal side there’s normally an access way just wide enough for a motorbike to pass you while you’re walking.

Ampawa Floating Market, Samut Songkram



The quality of the water in the canals is something which the residents of Ampawa pride themselves in and even though the canals are used daily for all types of commerce, they remain surprising clean.

There are many temples of sublime beauty & historical significance in this area, but two of the most interesting are Wat Bang Kung, famous for the small chapel that is completely enclosed within the roots of a banyan tree and Wat Bangkae Noi which has quite a breathtaking view because the interior walls and ceiling of the main chapel have intricate teakwood carvings depicting the life and teachings of the Lord Buddha.

The night-time boat trip on the Mae Klong River provides the opportunity to enter the enchanting world of the fireflies as they swarm in the Lampu trees along the river bank. It's an unbelievable sight, as entire trees are aglow with flashing, yellow lights. Thailand has over 100 species of firefly, and the fireflies on the Mae Klong blink in unison, just like a Christmas tree.

On every Friday, Saturday and Sunday during 12.00 – 20.00, the Amphawa Canal will be occupied by many small boats of local vendors selling food and drinks. Tourists are able to spend only 10-15 baht to enjoy fried sea mussel, noodles, coffee, O-liang (iced black coffee), sweets, etc. from the boats and from the wheelbarrows on the bank.

The Amphawa community received a 2008 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Award for Culture Heritage Conservation.

The restoration of the traditional Amphawa Canal Community has successfully achieved public-private cooperation in the safeguarding of heritage structures in Thailand. With co-funding from the local government and Denmark, the project has benefited from the active support of the local residents and homeowners and the guidance of Chulalongkorn University. The project has conserved numerous historic buildings of local significance and retained the traditional canal-side urban morphology, which is under threat around the country. The project demonstrates the recognition of the cultural significance of Amphawa and the appreciation of both the architectural and living heritage of the historic canal community.

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Location: Latitude=13.425, Longitude=99.9549

Saturday, September 20, 2014
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