Surrounding Amphawa Market are also various interesting places to visit, and this trip might take you a few days. The first and very unique “Must See”, also known as an “Unseen Thailand place” is Wat Bang Kung: a temple hidden within the roots of a Banyan tree. This very iconic temple dates back to the Ayutthaya period and, aside from the golden Buddha image it houses, it is quite simple in design. The remarkably majestic banyan trees are the crowning glory of the site, dominating the temple and shading much of the landscape, a landscape that served as a battleground for Siamese and Burmese warriors in the 18th century. Today, the temple and nearby area are preserved as a memorial to those heroic warriors of the past.
The second temple not to be missed is Chulamanee Temple. This temple sits on the canal-side where the Amphawa canal converges with the Phi Lok canal, it houses many different buildings and can be reached both by car or by boat from Amphawa Market. Chulamanee temple was built in the Ayutthaya period during the late reign of King Prasatthong. The back of the temple once contained the residence of KhunNak (or Queen Ammarinthramat of King Rama I) and KhunBunrot (Queen Si Suriyenthramat of King Rama II). Today, this wooden building can be visited. It is a superb sample of traditional Thai architecture, and inside, showcases the finest wall paintings made with gold leaf, as well as ancient musical instruments and masks which were used during the Ayuthaya period. Another highlight of this temple is the marble octagonshaped chapel. The chapel is 40 meters wide and 80 meters high with green jade stone from Karachi Pakistan. Beautiful mural paintings, relating Buddhist history, are the work of painter Nittaya Sakcharoen which took him six years to complete.
King Rama II Memorial Park is another interesting place to visit: the colorful botanical garden features four unique traditional Thai architecture buildings and a museum dedicated to King Rama II period, showcasing ancient art objects dating back to Rattanakosin era.
Surprisingly, there is also one of Thailand’s most beautiful Gothic churches on the riverbank of Mae Khlong river, named The Nativity of Our Lady Cathedral. It was built in 1890, suffered some damage during World War II but was repaired shortly after.
Other places of interest around Amphawa Floating Market include the Mae Klong Railway Market (article coming up soon), a Thai desserts museum, a Siamese cat museum, and a museum dedicated to local musician Khru Eueh, famous throughout
Thailand for his violin music.
As you can see, a trip to Amphawa area can take from one day to one week. For those in search of tradition, culture and delicious cuisine, it is a region that is definitely worth getting to know.
AMPHAWA & SURROUNDING MAP :
Amphawa Floating Market
Wat Bang Kung
King Rama II Memorial Park
The Nativity of Our Lady Cathedral