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A Postcard from the Floating Market at Amphawa, Thailand

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I am sitting on my balcony at very early o’clock in Amphawa, Thailand. Very sleepy and watching the sun rise over banana and coconut trees and the most beautiful tiny shipyard, where they are building four gorgeous houseboats. It is already very hot. Jet lag is deep in my bones, but I will ignore it. I am here for the Thailand Academy food trip where I am exploring in and around Bangkok for a few days with some other food writers & bloggers.

Last night, steeped in sleepiness, we went to the Floating Market. Amphawa is a small town about an hour from Bangkok and it is famous for this market. Boats and stalls line a narrow canal. The boats function as mini restuarants, issuing divine smells and displaying seafood of such bright colours. Cooked to order over coals, I wasn’t long waking up in the beautiful hustle and bustle. People are singing, everyone is eating. What surprises me most is that most of the visitors are from Thailand.

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Everyone is tucking in. So, I do too.

Now, I need your help, people. For 4 days I am with the academy but then I have no plans. What do you suggest I do? It is my first trip to Thailand and I am open to suggestion. Would love your suggestions in the comments. Thanks!

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I like food. I like to make food. Eat food. Photograph food. Write about food. Mainly in London but when I am lucky or organised further afield.

19 Comments

  1. Wow – amazing photographs. I can almost smell the fragrance! It all looks so busy and colourful. Wish I had some advice about how to spend free time in Thailand but I’ve never been. I hear the beaches are great…!

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  2. Wow, I’m so envious! What a roller coaster ride to the senses is Bangkok. We visited an amazing market called Chatuchak which was selling everything from deep fried cockroaches to car-tyre sandals… this was over 10 years ago though so who knows what it’s like now!

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  3. Awesome photos! Was gutted I didn’t get a chance to visit the floating markets but is great i can check it out via you! Highly recommend eating at Namh in Bangkok, and Ayutthaya is a great day trip via train. Enjoy the heat, I looked like I’d had two buckets of water thrown at me by lunch time on my first day..

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    • Hey! Cheers, Pete. Top tips too. Namh was on my list although I have yet to book. The heat is insane, isn’t it?

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  4. Following the BBC’s recent excellent season on insects, it’d be fascinating to have your take on the various arthropods served up at the markets. The Beeb’s focus was on the entomological / agricultural elements, so the foodie’s side was a bit limited!

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  5. Depends how long you have to spend. If you’re in BKK at the weekend, the Weekend Market at Chatuchak is great. Get massage and eat backpacker food on the Khao San Road (where I first tasted banana bread). Make sure you try tod man pla (fish cakes) straight from the hot oil, puffy and fragrant. And pad Thai noodles with egg straight from a vendor for breakfast. If you want to go out of Bangkok you can fly down to Koh Samui where the Spa Beach Resort, one of the original detox spas in Thailand also had amazing food. I’ll stop here as I could go on all night. P.S. eat pomelo but not with sugar!

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  6. Head to Chiang Mai if you can, it’s the most amazing place. Very chilled but very cultured!

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  7. I would head north up to Pai, a small sleepy hippie town in the mountains surrounded by waterfalls and hot springs. It’s a very arty place packed with colourful eateries serving up interesting vegetarian plates and there’s a small food market which serves the best dish I had in Thailand, a yellow noodle yellow curry with chicken…take a look at this picture and see why! http://smallworldbigmouth.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/yellow-noodle-yellow-curry-smallworldbigmouth1.jpg

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  8. What gorgeous pics… highlight of my trip to Thailand was a day on the River Kwai (it was an organised tour booked via our hotel). We took a boat ride down the river, then visited the military museum and cemetery (fascinating and beautiful monuments), then walked across the bridge and explored the local town, followed by an amazing train ride, then a traditional lunch overlooking the river. I went 8 years ago and remembering that day, still makes me smile!
    Hope you have a lovely time – whatever you do.

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  9. I’m super jealous, looks like you’re having an amazing time and the photos are fab.

    Hope you enjoy the rest of your time :) xx

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  10. Beautiful photos. I never made it anywhere but BKK and Chiang Mai in Thailand, as I was only there for five days, but these really make me want to go back and explore more.

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  11. Pingback: Ruen Mai Restaurant In Krabi | Tantalising First Experience Of Thai Food In Thailand! |

  12. Well all I can say is that after reading this post, I am no longer sad that I missed out on the floating market in Bangkok. Somehow this was the end of the trip and I was so exhausted to get out. Bangkok’s calling for sure, so is the rest of Thailand:)

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