In the evening, we set out from the Tiger Temple and drove back to Bangkok for about two hours before arriving at Amphawa, a small town located in Samut Songkhram in western Bangkok. There is Bangkok’s famous weekend water market, with many wooden buildings and residential inns lined on both sides of the river bank. Different from the water market brought by travel agencies on a one-day tour, there are fewer foreign tourists here and it is a place for Bangkok people to relax on weekends. The day we came was not a weekend, so the town presented us with its quiet and serene beauty. Walking slowly by the riverside at night, the shops have been closed. I can’t imagine the scene of the crowds here on weekends and the endless flow of long-tailed boats selling various snacks.
The inn near the river is a must for Amphava’s trip. We stayed in a very Thai-style inn called Thanicha Healthy Resort. The inn was all made of wooden floors and was very clean. The guests were required to enter barefoot and it was very comfortable to step on the cool floor.
Because it was not a weekend, the whole town felt resting, the shops were closed, and no food stalls could be seen in the street. Turning east and west, it finally found two roadside stalls in an obscure alley.
I asked for Thailand’s traditional rice noodle soup, seafood fried rice and seafood soup similar to Dongyin Palace, but the taste was surprisingly delicious! In particular, the rice noodle soup looks clear and light, but it is sour and spicy, which makes me feel good.
Seafood soup is full and fresh. This is Thailand. Any snack stall can arouse all your taste buds.
When we go to Ampawa on weekends, our aim is to take part in the early morning water alms. As long as we tell the innkeeper in advance, we will prepare alms for the guests. In order not to miss the alms, everyone went to bed early.
Facing the morning light, we got up early. Ampawa is quiet and beautiful in the early morning. We stand by the river and wait quietly for the monks who beg for alms in the temple.
More than 95% of Thailand’s people believe in Mahayana Buddhism. The religious council requires temple monks not to eat after noon, so it has become a tradition for believers to give alms every morning.
Amphawa’s special feature is that there are temples near the river around the town. In the morning, monks row boats and come leisurely along the river. Believers wait quietly on the bank of the river. When the believers present alms, they will kneel down with their hands folded and listen to a prayer scripture from the monk. Note that women cannot have any physical contact with monks, so the charity items are packed in trays, just handed to the monks, and they will pick them up and put them on the boat in the same categories.
We also did as the Romans did. We presented a young monk with Buddha flowers, some rice, drinks and snacks. We listened to him recite the scripture. Although we did not understand it, I was still very devout. This is where the beautiful day begins!