Fishing for River Monsters Near Bangkok
Amazon BKK Fishing Lake
Do you think a visitor with no experience could catch themselves a 150kg, 2 metre long river monster near Bangkok? It’s not such a ridiculous idea and even you could do it at Amazon BKK Fishing Lake in Nakhon Pathom Province. While it’s certainly not the only fishing spot in or around Bangkok, Amazon BKK artificial lake is teeming with the largest and strangest fish from Asia and the Amazon, such as Red Tailed Catfish, Alligator Gar and Arapaima. The biggest Arapaima measures over two and a half metres and weighs 150kg so everyone can catch a real monster here, even beginners.
In fact, it’s fairly certain that everyone fishing at Amazon BKK Lake will land at least one fish as big as a small child. Home to over 400 creatures, with many more speciality species being added all the time, the artificial fishing lake is purpose built at around 200 metres long and fills eight rai (a traditional Thai imperial measurement) of land in Nakhon Pathom Province. Amazon BKK is around one hour 30 minutes drive from Bangkok city centre but feels a world away, with bird song and palm trees replacing bright lights and road works.
As well as the experience of reeling in one of these enormous fish, fishermen can also get a couple of photos with their catch to impress everyone back home, but there is a policy here to return the fish to the water as soon as possible. Once the fish is scooped out of the water, staff get to work on removing the hook and settling the fish on a stretcher so it can be returned to the water after a couple of pictures of the proud fisherman with his (or her) catch. Every fish is examined and if one is deemed weak or in poor condition, it is transferred to a holding lake so it can regain its strength. Only non-barbed, artificial lures are allowed at BKK Amazon and feeding time varies so fish are accustomed to biting throughout the day.
It costs 2,000 baht for a full-day of fishing with a simple lunch included. To rent equipment is a further 500 baht (left and right-hand rods with spinning reels and bait casting reels are available). Transport can be provided but also comes with an additional cost: from central Bangkok it costs 2000 baht for up to three people or 4000 baht for a mini-van for up to ten people. The lake is open from 06:00 so to really get the most from your day it is advised to get a pick-up from central Bangkok at around 04:00. If that seems a bit too extreme for you, don’t worry, pick-ups can be arranged for any time. To drive there requires a GPS, but if you have one on your phone then just follow the co-ordinates below.
A day out at Amazon BKK fishing lake is the perfect escape from the congestion of the city and makes a great daytrip for families with children too. Children are welcome to fish at the lake, although it is preferable if they have some fishing experience. An English-speaking fishing guide is not usually present at the lake, meaning it might not be suitable for absolute beginners, but for anyone with the basics of how to cast and reel in, it is a great place to fish. Arapaimas are fish originally from the Amazon River in Brazil, but are now popular with fishermen for whom size matters. Ranging from 30kg to 150kg, and over 2.5 metres long, they are one of the star attractions that make Amazon BKK such a sought after fishing spot. Other fish of note include Tiger Fish, Pacu, and Black Sheatfish. Red Tail Catfish and Asian Red Tail Catfish, distinctive due to a streak of electric red or orange on the tip of the tail are also considered a trophy catch here and are known for their boisterous temper and usually take 30-plus minutes to reel in.
Other facilities include 13 shaded cabanas along one side of the lake, one walled cabin next to the central house and a kitchen onsite can cook simple Thai dishes like fried rice or fried pork and basil on rice, but don’t expect a full menu. If you do require something in particular, as always in Thailand, it can be arranged but this is really a place for keen fishermen who are here for what’s in the lake and are unconcerned about additional amenities. Other unique elements about Amazon BKK include a family of white buffalo lazing about and a deer that seems to love being the centre of attention and will happily pose for photos.
If you are interested in a day out fishing, be aware that the owner of the lake speaks little English so you should ask a receptionist at your hotel to call and make arrangements on your behalf. When you are pulling a 50kg Arapaima out of the lake, you’ll be glad you made the effort. It is more difficult than it looks on TV, but it’s also far more exhilarating.
Amazon BKK Fishing Lake
- Opening Hours: Fishing hours – 6am-7pm
- Address: Thung Khwang, Kamphaeng Saen, Nakhon Pathom 73140, Thailand
- Tel: 081-426-4203 Khun Ae
- Price Range: B2000 for a full day (not including transport or fishing gear)