A brief history of Amphawa
Amphawa is one of the districts in Samut Songkhram province. This small district is located in plains in central Thailand, where the Mae Klong River flows through the city. Amphawa is known as a canal city, as there are many canals cut across the city, tributaries of the Mae Khlong River.
Additionally, Amphawa is the city of history where Thai people believe King Rama II was born in. His possible birthplace is now the King Rama II Memorial Park. Amphawa has been the city that flourished in agriculture and trade. In the Ayutthaya Period, Amphawa once was called Bang Chang. Bang Chang was a small community of agriculture and trade. A record had been confirmed that there was a market in Bang Chang back to the mid-seventeenth century in King Prasat Thong’s reign.
Furthermore, The efforts to preserve the local culture and architecture and Many development projects of the Amphawa community are a big success. Since, In 2008, UNESCO gave the Khlong Amphawa community an Honorable Mention Award from the UNESCO Asia–Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation.
Nowadays, the communities on both sides of the canal in Amphawa still conserve the canal side old buildings and the traditional way of life. Therefore, Amphawa is one of the most interesting cultural tourism attractions in Thailand that visitors should pay a visit.
Places to visit in Amphawa
Amphawa Floating Market
To begin with, Amphawa Floating Market is the oldest floating market in Thailand. The charm of this floating market is the canal that is full of long-tail boats selling many kinds of authentic Thai foods and desserts. The visitor can enjoy the various choices of food and experience the river-based way of life of the Thai people in those old days. So, while you enjoy seeing beautiful canal side views, you can enjoy eating tasty food such as seafood, local food, and local Thai desserts.
The building on both sides of the canal has been preserved its authenticity, bringing visitors back to the old days of the Amphawa canal community. Besides, the visitors can buy souvenirs and handicrafts for friends and family from the local shops on both sides of the canal area.
Shopping and snacking at Amphawa Floating Market.
Foods and desserts you must try when visiting Amphawa Floating Market
Mae Klong Mackerel
- Opening Hours: Fri-Sun (10:00–21:30)
- Entrance fees: Non-fee
Amphawa Chaipattana Nurak
The Amphawa Chaipattana Nurak is a royal conservation project. The intention of creating this project is to conserve Thai folk wisdom and preserve the ways of life of the Amphawa people. This project has been promoted as a destination for ecotourism for both Thai and foreign visitors. The project area is divided into five sections:
Agricultural Demonstration Farm
As Fruit farming is considered to be a part of people’s life in Amphawa. So, this orchard demonstrates fruit farming based on local wisdom to visitors. This farm area is also a center for agricultural practitioners and experts to share some information.
Nakhawarang Cultural Playground
Nakhawarang Cultural Playground is a multi-purpose area for promoting local culture, and traditional ways of life of people in Mae Klong River. Moreover, this area hosting performances and activities will be rotated monthly. There are many interesting activities and performances as following:
- Thai traditional musical band
- Demonstration of coconut leaf weaving
- Traditional cooking
- Traditional Thai puppet show
- Demonstration of leather shadow play carving.
Community Shops is a place offered for rent to local traders to sell their local Thai crafts and souvenirs. Besides, the visitors can have local food, desserts, and fruits there.
Chaan Chala Coffee & Tea House
The Chaan Chala Coffee & Tea House is situated by the Amphawa canal. This is where visitors can order hot and cold beverages, ice creame, and Thai desserts. Also, in the shop, visitors can buy the project’s souvenirs and gifts.
Amphawa Community Exhibition
The Amphawa Community Exhibition is close to Chaan Chala Coffee & Tea House. So, it is the area where visitors can see the exhibition of items and information about local culture and traditions in Amphawa.
- Opening Hours: Sat and Sun (08:30 – 21:00) Close on Holiday
- Website: http://www.amphawanurak.com/index-en.php
Thai cats center
Thai cats center is a center that intends to conserve authentic breeds of the Thai cat. The cat center exhibits the five varieties of Thai cats: the Wichienmas cats, Korat cats, Supaluk cats, Khawmanee cats, and Gon Jaa cats. In addition, This center also provides the knowledge and history of extinct Thai cat breeds.
Inside the center, there is a coffee shop for the visitors. After you take a walk around the center, you can enjoy good drinks here. Besides, you can have some nice desserts with your drinks.
- Opening Hours: Every day (08.00-18.00)
- Entrance fees: Non-fee
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/Tha iCatsCenter
King Rama II Memorial Park
King Rama II Memorial Park is the probable birthplace of King Rama II of Thailand. In the park, there are four buildings built in traditional Thai architectural style. The museum displays the antique from the early Rattanakosin era and King Rama II’s household furniture. In the garden zone, there are various kinds of trees mentioned in Thai literature.
Additionally, The exhibition rooms showcase the ways of life of the Thais in the King Rama II period. First, A man room depicts the Thai man’s lifestyle. Second, woman’s room depicts the Thai woman’s lifestyle, including Thai style bed, dressing table, mirror, and scene. Third, The terrace zone displays the bonzi pot, garden tree, and lotus basin, a traditional ancient style of decoration of Thai houses. lastly, The kitchen & Bathroom zone displays cooking appliances, dishes, bowls, and tableware of middle-class people.
Moreover, Inside the King Rama II Memorial Park, there are restaurants and souvenir shops in the riverside area of the park. The visitors can enjoy shopping the various kinds of local products from Amphawa.
- Entrance fees:
- Children 10 Baht (Not higher than 135 cm.), Adults 30 Baht
- Opening Hours: Fri-Mon (8:30–16:30)
Wat Bang Kung
Wat Bang Kung is another iconic tourist attraction because the chapel in the temple is one of unseen Thailand. The uniqueness of this place is the chapel covered by the roots of a banyan tree and a bodhi tree.
- Opening Hours: Every day (8:30–16:30)
- Entrance fees: Non-fee
What are other interesting activities to do ?
Nighttime: Watching fireflies
Watching fireflies is another highlight activity for the travelers. Because, the travelers can take nighttime boat trips to see the fireflies swarming around the lamphu trees along both sides of the river bank.
Boat trip prices:
- Blue line: 60-80 Baht/person
- Red line: 150 Baht/person
Recommendation: The best time to see fireflies is from May to October. During this time, there are abundant of fireflies.
- Take a long-tail boat to experience the lifestyle of people in Amphawa.