Bangkok is a lively city, which expends so much power with it’s numerous neon signs that it really is very easy to forget the more tranquil visuals of night life any place else. The city should be glad to find out that there is an incredible alternative just a few miles away, where they could swap neon for purely natural lighting. The Fireflies Boat Trip in Amphawa, some 65 kms south from Bangkok, houses colonies of fireflies flickering and sparkling along its riverbanks and canals. The session normally begins around 6 pm; still the easy going local people are quite flexible and can commence the trip later at night.

The perfect time to enjoy the Fireflies Boat Trip in Amphawa is pretty much after nightfall. Owners of any small, lovely lodging provide sightseeing and tour in the daytime, as well as the sparkling lights of fireflies at night-time. Boats get set for anyone who has planned the tour beforehand. Visitors often get there by 7 pm and indulge in local fare well before getting on the boat. A moonless night is an excellent time for firefly watching, when it is almost or completely dark, the innate flashing light of fireflies is most spectacular.

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Amphawa floating market
Floating markets are often a rightly a prominent fixture on the itineraries of visitors to Thailand. They offer a unique insight into the lifestyles of past generations of Thais – even if today they’re largely tourist attractions rather than bona fide local markets – and, perhaps more importantly, they’re fun, relaxing places to indulge in a spot of shopping and taste a variety of delicious Thai street food. And there are enough floating markets in and around Bangkok to make it easy to arrange a visit to one, whether for the day or overnight.

Many tourists choose to visit Damnoen Saduak floating market in Ratchaburi province – perhaps because it’s the one they have heard the most about. But while it’s certainly true that Damnoen Saduak does offer the postcard-worthy photo opportunities that everyone’s after – provided, at least, that you’re there at the crack of dawn – all too often it’s actually more like a traffic jam of little wooden boats carrying tourists around to shop for souvenirs.

As we said, few modern-day floating markets in Thailand are actually genuine shopping venues for the locals, but some remain slightly more authentic than others – and Damnoen Saduak, unfortunately, is probably the least authentic of the lot.

Amphawa floating market, on the other hand, offers a very different ambience. Located not far from Damnoen Saduak but in the neighbouring smaller, and much lower-key, Samut Songkhram province (also known as Mae Klong), Amphawa has long been known as a more chilled-out market with an artsy atmosphere.

Over the years, it’s grown enormously popular with Thais – especially those popping out for a day-long escape from Bangkok – and it’s crept onto the radar of more and more foreign visitors, too. Yet despite that, it retains a pleasant semi-local vibe.

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Eng : firefly
Thai : hing-hoi

Eng : Environment
Thai : sing-waet-lom