Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Amphawa: More From The Floating Market

BBQ shellfish and Chai tea for sale from boats along the steps in Amphawa
Yesterday you had an overview of the Amphawa Floating Market, and today you'll see some of the carts, stalls, boats and items for sale at this laid-back Thai tourist spot.  I say laid-back because it was unhurried, generally polite and less crowded by far than the behemouth that is Jatujak market.

With the exception of a few alleyways and other points of entrance and egress (like the alley to the left, where I wandered off from my friend while he was parking the car) it was easy to navigate, browse and people watch.

Again, you'll see very few farang and not much English in the signage, other than brand names and other related advertising, such as a restaurant sign or an ad for lodging.

There's enough English spoken that a Western visitor shouldn't feel uncomfortable being there taking pictures, trying to buy something or dining in one of dozens of restaurants, so don't let that keep you away from this satisfying experience of semi-immersion, unless you're clumsy on the stairs to the khlong and end up in the murky water, and that would be total immersion.

A good number of the items were "same same" as you'd see in most other open market areas, but there were subtle differences. For example, there was more packaging in Thai, and things like the sweets below (an uncommon item to begin with, as the Thai don't consume candy like we in the West do).

Packaged candies by the cartload

Above is another look at yesterday's BBQ muk, or squid (ika, to my Japanese readers) - and while it was good, I have a difficult time getting past the sometimes rubbery consistency of it. When it's dried and sold with other fish - as in the photo below - I have trouble getting past the strong fishy taste.  Not a favorite of mine, either way.  Many of my friends don't feel it's a meal without a muk dish, so I usually make a gracious effort to join them when it's offered, but more often than not I beg off with the "gosh, everything was so good I'm just too full!" ploy.

The  chompu/chompoo (Rose Apple) is a common fruit in Thailand; available almost everywhere, year 'round.  I think they're a good substitute for an apple, myself.  I like apples to be crisp, and I'm often disappointed by the ones brought in that I find in the stores and markets there.

A fruit vendor arranges red chompu on his boat, stopped at the Amphawa Floating Market

The Rose Apple has an inner center that's usually best scraped away, and can have a bit of a bitter aftertaste, but the fruit can be easily washed off, making it a safe thing for those of you wish sensitive systems to eat.  Plus, it gives your system a little fiber and some liquid.

A woman selects rose apples to purchase from a boat in Amphawa

Next time, more from the market.


Traveling in Thailand said...

I don't know if you had the opportunity to stay at night but Amphawa is by night is even nicer than by day.

khunbaobao said...

Yes, it is! If you hadn't seen them there are 24 posts labeled "Amphawa" in the column to the right, and one of them is the 7-21-11 post http://khunbaobao.blogspot.com/2011/07/amphawa-night-market-pictures-longer.html

I rarely post a commercial link left in the comments but your site looked useful, so I'm leaving it today. I'll explore it more myself when time allows. Thanks for the comment!