Samut Sakhon was formerly called Tha Chin probably because, in the old days, it had been a trading port dealing with a vast number of Chinese junks. In 1548, a town named Sakhon Buri was established at the mouth of the Tha Chin River. It was a centre for recruiting troops from various seaside towns. The name of the town was changed into "Mahachai" when Khlong (canal) Mahachai was dug in 1704 to join the Tha Chin River at the town. Later, the town was renamed Samut Sakhon by King Rama IV but it is still popularly called "Mahachai" by the villagers.
Samut Sakhon is located 30 kms. from Bangkok. The province occupies a total area of 872 square kilometres and is administratively divided into 3 districts: Muang Samut Sakhon, Krathum Baen, and Ban Phaeo. It is a major fishing port and also the biggest producer of brine salt.
How To Get There Car
a) From Bangkok, take Highway No. 35 (Thon Buri-Pak Tho) to Samut Sakhon via Bang Khunthian District Office and Mahachai Intersection.v
b) From Bangkok, take Highway No. 3 (Phetkasem Road) to Bang Khae, then turn into the outer ring road before proceeding along Ekkachai Road to Samut Sakhon.
Regular buses leave Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal daily between 4.30 a.m. and 9.30 p.m. Call 0 2435 1199-200 for more information.
Visitors can take a regular train which departs from Wongwian Yai Railway Station to Mahachai Railway Station daily, and then connect a ferry from Mahachai to Samut Sakhon Town. Call 0 2465 2017 for more information.
This craft is a form of exquisitely patterned pottery, which was used at the tables of the aristocracy. Its name means "five colours" - usually red, black, blue, yellow, green - and only these five may be used to decorate it, although sometimes gold is added. The glaze is applied by hand, and the patterns are small and intricate. Very few artists, like those at Krathum Baen, follow the craft today, so examples of Bencharong are rare and much sought after.
The people of Amphoe Krathum Baen and Ban Phaeo earn their living by growing fruit trees, vegetables, and orchids. Tasty fruit produced in Samut Songkhram include coconuts with aromatic juice, sweet pomelos, grapes, and guavas.
Seafood includes fresh and dry fish, shrimp, shells and squid.
Attractions Ao Mahachai Mangrove Forest Study Centre
The Ao Mahachai Mangrove Forest Study Centre offers a nature trail along a mangrove forest around the Tha Chin Estuary. From the town, take Sutthiwawithi Road for 2.5 kilometres, then turn left and proceed for 6.5 kilometres to the centre.
This is one of Thailand's largest traditional fresh seafood markets, but visitors can find much more than seafood, especially if there is time to spare. Handicrafts such as wicker furniture, pottery and local sarongs are among the colourful offerings in the market. Crossing the river from Mahachai to the west bank, visitors will arrive at Tha Chalom, a large fishing village and industrial land for marine products.
Phan Thai Norasing Shrine
This is regarded as the symbol of honesty. It was erected to be a memorial to Phanthai Norasing, a man of integrity of the Ayutthaya period. The historic event occurred in 1704 when Phra Chao Sua, a king of Ayutthaya, made a royal visit by the Ekkachai royal barge via the curved Khok Kham Canal. Phanthai Norasing, who was the coxswain, could not operate the steering, thus causing the prow to be broken by hitting the limb of a tree. To foster the palace law, the coxswain then begged the king to slaughter him although he was forgiven. After his death, the king built a shrine in Khlong Khok Kham and commanded to have a new canal, later named Khlong Mahachai, dug to eliminate the sharp curves of Khok Kham Canal. A cruise along the canal via mangrove forests and fishery villages is organised by Khun Narin Bunruam Tel: 0-3441-2490.
This fortress is located near the city pillar shrine in the town. It was constructed in 1827 during the reign of King Rama III to prevent sea invasion by an enemy. It can be seen as ruins nowadays. The cannons, which used to be housed in the fortress, are now displayed at the city pillar shrine and the city hall.
Samut Sakhon is the biggest producer of brine salt. Its picturesque salt farms, which sprawl across the border with Samut Songkhram and along the Thon Buri-Pak Tho Highway, have provided a back drop for many holiday snapshots.
Wat Chong Lom
This temple fronting the river mouth is located at Tambon Tha Chalom on the western side of the Tha Chin River. It was constructed during the Ayutthaya period. Religious buildings in the temple have been beautifully renovated. The windy area by the sea is used as a rest area for the locals.
Wat Yai Chom Prasat
Located on Highway No.35 with a left turn after crossing the Tha Chin River, this is an ancient temple presumed to have been built during the Ayutthaya era. The doors and windows of both the old and new chapels were neatly and beautifully carved in various floral designs. It is believed the craftsmen were Chinese, as the carvings include some Chinese trees.