Samut Songkhram is the province of fertile land, of plants and food grains, the production source of vegetables and fruits, as well as a vast variety of seafood products. It is also an interesting historical source for the early Rattanakosin period.
Samut Songkhram is an ancient province with a long history. Originally, it is believed that this province was once a part of Ratchaburi province, and called Suan Nork at that time. Then, towards the end of the Ayutthaya period going on to the Thonburi period, it was separated from Ratchaburi province and was called Mueang Mae Klong.
Samut Songkhram is located 72 Kilometres from Bangkok, occupies an area of 416 square kilometres and is administratively divided into 3 districts: Amphoe Muang, Amphoe Amphawa, and Amphoe Bang Khonthi
How To Get There
By Car: From Bangpakaew T-intersection onto the Thonburi - Paktho Road, take Highway No. 35, through Mahachai - Nakluea intersection, at Km. 64, turn right into Muang Samut Songkhram.
By Bus The Transport Co., Ltd. services Bangkok - Samut Songkhram buses daily from the Southern Bus Terminal on Baromrajajonnani Road. Call at 0-2435-5031 for air-conditioned buses and at 0-2434-5557-8 for non-air conditioned buses.
By Rail : From Wongwianyai Railway Station, there are daily Bangkok - Samut Songkhram trains. Get off at Samut Sakon Province Railway Station, take a boat to Ban Laem Railway Station and get on the train to Samut Songkhram. You can also take a train from Wongwianyai Railway Station, and get off at Mahachai Railway Station and take a bus to Samut Songkhram. Call Wongwianyai Railway Station at 0-2465-2017 for more information.
Annual Longboat Racing
Annual Longboat Racing is held during the Loy Krathong Festival in November at Wat Rat Peng, Amphoe Mueang Samut Songkhram.
King Rama II Memorial Festival
King Rama II Memorial Festival is held in early February each year at King Rama II Memorial Park, Amphoe Amphawa. There are shows, demonstrations of traditional Thai dessert making, folk entertainment, out-door Khon performance, handicrafts and a variety of local products.
Large White Pomelo Fair
Large White Pomelo Fair is held yearly in late August.
Lychee Day Fair
Lychee Day Fair is held in early April at Amphoe Amphawa (takes place in some years, depending on the quantity of lychees).
Songnam Luang Pho Wat Ban Laem and Worship Fair
Songnam Luang Pho Wat Ban Laem and Worship Fair is held in April 13th 19th at Wat Phet Samut Worawihan, Amphoe Muang Samut Songkhram. During the fair, the general public gets to bathe (by sprinkling scented water) Luang Pho Wat Ban Laem Buddha image as a way of merit making.
Tawanron at Don Hoi Lot Fair and Kradan Len Racing Contest
The fair and contest are held during the month of May every year, at Chu Chee Village, Moo 4 Tambon Bangjakreng, Amphoe Muang Samut Songkhram.
Coconut Palm Sugar
Along both sides of Mae Klong Bang Pae route, the profession of making home-made palm sugar is quite important. At present, visitors often stop to see the stoves that are used in making palm sugar. There are many kinds of stoves (or Tao) that are used in making palm sugar, such as Tao Waan, Tao Tan Dee, and Tao Thai Derm. In the morning, villagers climb a coconut tree to retrieve coconut nectar collected in containers made from cut-bamboo sections that were hung overnight from the coconut trees. The nectar is boiled in a large pan until it turns brown and dry. The boiling time is between 08.30. 14.00. Some parts of the sugar palm could be made into a fresh palm juice, which is also a famous beverage.
Fertile soil and Fruits
Samut Songkram has many local products and souvenirs to offer visitors. It is a province of fertile soil where various kind of fruits are grown, such as lychees, oranges, grapes, and guavas. Big White pomelos are widely grown in Amphoe Bang Khon Thi.
Klong Kone Shrimp Paste
Offers the most famous shrimp paste of Samut Songkhram. It could be bought anywhere in the province.
Seafood, Khanom Jaak, Rock Salt, Groud Salt
There are also many kinds of seafood products sold at Don Hoi Lot as well as other products such as Khanom Jaak, rock Salt, and ground salt available.
Tha Kha Floating Market
The Tha Kha floating market takes place on the 2nd, 7th, 12th days of both the waxing and waning moon of the lunar calendar, and also operates on every Saturday and Sunday from 6.00 a.m. to noon. This is a rendezvous of vendor boats that carry local food, vegetable, and fruit for selling. Boat rental services are on offer for travelling to the villages and fruit orchards around Tha Kha Floating Market. Visitors wishing to go the Tha Kha Floating Market can go by car, taking the Highway No. 325 (Samut Songkhram - Bang Pae), take a right turn at Km. 32 and proceed for another 5 Kilometres You can also take the local buses servicing the Mae Klong Damnoen Saduak Route and the Tha Kha - Don Sam Route from the market in town in front of the Thai Military Bank.
Wat Khao Yee San
Wat Khao Yee San is an old temple. It is believed to have been constructed in late Ayutthaya period. The interesting attraction is a boat shaped building (Wihan) situated on top of the mountain. There, enshrined, are the 4 traces of Lord Buddhas Footprints. The Mondop and wooden doors are of a supreme craftsmanship. There also is Luang Pho Poo Pu Sriracha Shrine, which is highly revered by all. The worship fair of Luang Pho Poo Pu Sriracha is held annually in the middle of November.
The Amphawa district is an important place and is much involved with Thai history from the Ayutthaya period to the early Rattanakosin period. In the past, it was called Khwaeng Bang Chang, the small community prospered in both agriculture and commerce. There are credible evidences that suggest that during King Prasatthong era, Kwaeng Bang Chang had a market called Bang Chang Market. Ms. Noi was the head of the market who had a title of Thao Kaeo Phaluek. She was a member of the Bang Chang family a very rich family. Later, the family was granted the surname of Na Bang Chang by the King.
In the year 2303 B.E. (1760), during the reign of King Ekkathat in the late of Ayutthaya era, he promoted Nai Thong Duang (later to become King Rama I) to the position of Luang Yok Krabat governing Muang Ratchaburi, the fourth-grade city under Ayutthaya. Later, Luang Yokkrabat married Khun Nak, a daughter of the rich Bang Chang family, they settled behind Wat Chulamani. Some time later, the house was gutted from a fire, so they relocated to a new house behind Wat Amphawan Chetiyaram, where they stayed for 3 years.
In 2310 B.E. (1767), the Burmese conquered Ayutthaya, Luang Yokkrabat and his family escaped to the deep of the jungles. At that time, Than Kaeo (Somdet Krom Phra Srisudarak) an elder sister of Luang Yokkrabat gave birth to a daughter named Boon Rod (who later became Princess Srisuriyenthara Borommarachinee, the queen to King Rama II). When Phraya Wachiraphrakarn gathered an army and was able to repel the Burmese, he was crowned as King Taksin. So Luang Yokkrabat and his family moved back to their hometown.
At that time, Khun Nak gave birth to their fourth son, Chim (who later became King Rama II). After that Luang Yokkrabat served King Taksin. He received the title of Phrarajawarin Chao Krom Phra Tamruajnokkwa, then was promoted to Prince Phrayamahakasatsuek and later on was crowned as King Rama I, the founder of Chakri Dynasty. Khun Nak, his wife, was promoted to Queen (Somdej Amarintharamat). Khun San, Khun Nak's mother, was promoted to Princess Phrarubsirisopharkmahanaknari.
But because Queen Amarintharamat was a native of Bang Chang, she had many close relatives who owned fruit orchards at Bang Chang. When promoted to Queen Amarintharamat, she became a noble Bang Chang. Therefore her relatives are related to the noble Bang Chang Family. Somdet Phra Amarintharamat always visited her relatives, so it was called Suan Nok which means the suburb that belonged to members of the queen's family. Bangkok, the region of the royal family was called Suan Nai. The catchphrase of Bang Chang Suan Nork, Bangkok Suan Nai was used until the reign of King Rama IV.
The Bencharong House is located on Samut Songkhram - Bang Phae Road. This is where beautiful Bencharong crockery that represents the exquisite craftsmanship and the beauty of Thai Art, are produced. The Bancharong crockery is suitable for household use as well as for house decoration. Visitors could see the Bencharong crockery production process.
King Rama II Memorial Park
This park was built under the project to honour King Rama II, run by the King Rama II Phraboromrachanusorn Foundation under royal patronage. It is built to commemorate his great patron to the arts and culture, which become a national heritage. Phra Rajsamutmatee, the abbot of Wat Amphawan Chetiyaram, offered the area of 11 Rais (4.4 acres) for the construction of the park. This area was very important because it was a royal birthplace King Rama II.
In the park, there are many places of interest including King Rama II Museum - 4 buildings built in traditional Thai architectural style. The museum displays the ancient art objects dating back to early Rattanakosin era, the lifestyle of the Thais during King Rama II period. Other attractions are: Ho Klang (main hall) houses the statue of King Rama II and artefacts. Ho Non Chai depicts the Thai men lifestyle. Ho Non Ying depicts the Thai women lifestyle. Chan Ruean (corridor) depicts the traditional Thai style house. Kitchen and Bathroom depicts the traditional Thai kitchen style and bathroom of the middle class. Furthermore, there is an out-door theatre, a botanical garden containing various species of trees found in Thai literature, shops selling local goods and various kinds of fruit.
Getting there: take Highway No. 35 (Thonburi - Pak Tho route), at Km. 63 marker, turn right to Highway No. 325 for another 6 Kilometres (pass through the Samu Songkram town), drive on another 1 kilometre on a left side to the park. From Samut Songkhram town, there is Bang Mun Nak Line bus, catch it at the Muang Municipality Market. The park and museum are open daily from 09.00-18.00. The Admission is 5 baht for children, and 10 Baht for adults. Contact tel: 0-3475-1367, 0-3475-1666 for more information.
This Orchid Farm is located on Samut Songkhram - Bang Phae Road. It is a tourist stopping point with a beautiful orchid farm and butterfly farms. It is open from 08.00.-11.00.
Wat Amphawan Chetiyaram
Wat Amphawan Chetiyaram is located near King Rama II Memorial Park. This temple belongs to the Bang Chang family. It was constructed by Princess Phrarubsirisopharkmahanaknari, the mother of Queen Amarintharamat. The area behind this temple was the residence of Luang Yokkrabat and Khun Nak. It is believed that area about the position of the chedi at present of Wat Amphawan is the place where Khun Nak gave birth to a son (Khun Chim) who later became King Rama II.
Later, Wat Amphawan was renovated by King Rama III, IV, and V. At present it is a second class royal monastery. The beautiful main building and precious antiques inside the temple are of an early Rattanakosin period architectural and arts style.
Wat Phummarin Kudi Thong
This temple is located on the bank of Mae Klong River, on the west side of the end of Phrachachuen canals mouth. It is accessible by boat from Wat Amphawan pier or King Rama II Memorial Park pier. An interesting attraction in the temple is the Kudee Thong (golden hermitage). According to a legend, Khun Nak's millionaire father asked the abbot of Wat Bang Li to foretell Khun Nak's fortune. The abbot predicted that Khun Nak would become a Queen. Khun Nak's father then vowed that he will build the golden hermitage for Wat Bang Li if the prediction came true, hence the reason for the name of Wat Ban Li Kudi Thong. Later, Wat Bang Li was flooded and part of the land was gouged out by water, so the Kudi Thong was taken down and reconstructed at this temple.
From Amphoe Mueang Samut Songkhram town, visitors could travel by boat to see scenic views of Mae Klong riverside. Along the banks of the Mae Klong, there are coconut groves and ancient style Thai houses, which are rare nowadays, in the areas of Tambon Kwae Om and Tambon Muang Mai. The adjacent areas of Amphoe Amphawa and Amphoe Bang Khonthi features lychee orchards. The lychee contest is held yearly from April to May.
Khai Bang Kung
Khai Bang Kung is located at Mu 4, Tambon Bang Kung. It is a famous old Naval Forces Camp that is etched into Thai history. It was a location of great strategic importance to and great heroism of the Mae Klong people over invaders during late Ayutthaya going on to the Thonburi periods. Both Thai and Chinese soldiers, under the leadership of King Taksin The Great, annihilated and repelled the invading Burmese army. This powerful camp was indeed feared by the Burmese.
Khai Bang Kung (Bang Kung Camp) was left deserted for almost 200 years. Then, in 1967, the Ministry of Education established a Boy Scout camp here in honour of King Taksin The Great. King Taksin's Shrine was also built to commemorate his historic deeds. The Shrine erecting ceremony was held on June 20, 1968. The old Wat Bot and Wat Bang Kung are also located in this Camp area. Within the main building is a large stucco Buddha image that locals called Luang Pho Bot Noi. There are also murals of late Ayutthaya period depicting the story of Lord Buddha's life. Getting there: take the route of Samut Songkhram - Bang Nok Khwaek (the same route to King Rama II Memorial Park). Before reaching the Church of the Virgin Mary, take a left turn to cross the Somdet Phra Ammarin Bridge, and then turn left again and continue for another 10 Kilometres
The Church of the Virgin Mary or Asanawihan Maephrabangkerd
This church is located at Mu 7, Tambon Bang Nok Khwaek. The church is a holy worshipping place for Christian families living around the area. It was constructed in 1890 A.D. by Father Paolo Salmone, a French Missionary. The construction of the church took 6 years. Built in French Gothic architectural style. The windows are decorated with stained glass. Within the church, there is a Statue, a pulpit, a holy water basin, various kinds of candelabra, and carvings depicting various historical points in the Bible.
It is located about 100 metres further from Somdet Phra Ammarin Bridge. You can also get there by renting a long-tailed boat from the pier at Amphoe Sam Phran District Office.
Wat Charoen Sukharam Worawihan and Fish Sanctuary
This temple is located at Bang Nok Khwaek and about 4 Kilometres from Amphoe Muang. Luang Pho Toa Buddha image, which is highly revered by people, is enshrined in the main building (Ubosot). The body of the Buddha image is made of laterite and cast in the attitude of Subduing Mara of Sukhothai period style. Measuring 178 cms. wide at the lap and 208 cms. high from the base to the tip of the tonsure. In front of the temple, there are various kinds of fish in the stream, especially silver and red-tail tinfoil barbs. To get there, take the Samut Songkhram - Bang Nok Khwaek Route, passing the Church of the Virgin Mary, cross the Bang Nok Khwaek Bridge and then turn right onto an access road for 500 metres.
Don Hoi Lot
Don Hoi Lot It is a bar at the mouth of the Mae Klong River, created by sedimentation of sandy soil or Khee Ped Sand as called by the locals. It occupies a vast area 3 Kilometres wide and 5 Kilometres long. There are two places: Don Nok, located at the mouth of Mae Klong Gulf which can be accessed by boat. The second is Don Nai, located at Chu Chi villages beach, Tambon Bang Cha Kreng and at Bang Bo Villages' Beach, Tambon Bang Kaeo; which can be reached by car. This bar contains various species of mollusc such as Hoi Lai, Hoi Puk (Ridged Venus clam), Hoi Pak Ped, Hoi Khraeng (scallop), and most abundant is the of Hoi Lot (worm shells).
Worm Shells have 2 shells which resemble a straw and a muddy white meat. It lives in the muddy sand. Catching the worm shell is best done at low tide. The way to catch a worm shell is by using a little wooden stick dipped in lime and plaster mixture and sticking it into the worm shells hole. The worm shell will be agitated by the mixture and will come to the surface and caught. It is not advisable to dump the lime and plaster mixture onto the ground as will likely kill all kinds of molluscs living there. The best time of the year to catch the worm shells are during the months of March to May, when they are in season.
A very important site within the Chu Chi Village area at Don Hoi Lot is the Shrine of Prince Chumphon Khet-udomsak which is highly revered by all Thais. There are also restaurants and stalls selling a vast variety of local products such as fresh-dried worm shell, fresh-dried seafood, fish sauce, Khlong Khon shrimp paste, palm sugar, and palm juice, and many others.
HOW TO GET THERE
Travelling to Chu Chi Villages Beach at Tambon Bang Chakreng by-passing the access road to Samut Songkhram and going on for another 3 kilometres. Before you reach the Phutthaloetlanaphalai bridge, at the foot of the bridge, there is a 5 Kilometres access road to Don Hoi Lot.;
Travelling to Bang Bo Villages Beach at Tambon Bang Kaew. Starting from the opposite side of the road from the Highway Weighing Station on Thonburi-Paktho Roadside. Just one Kilometre before you reach the access road to Samut Songkhram, on your left, there will be a sign pointing to Don Hoi Lot. Take this road - a laterite road 4 Kilometres long to Don Hoi Lot. The road is not convenient for large vehicles;
By boat to Don Nok. There are many kinds of boat that will take you there, they are available at the Mae Klong river pier. For groups, please contact (Sun Huad Heng Wood Mill) at 711-466 or call the Boat Ticket Counter at Mae Klong River, Samut Songkhram in advance;
Taking a Song-Thaeo (local truck) from the market in Mueang Samut Songkram to Ban Chu Chi. The Song-Thaeo runs all day.
Wat Ban Laem or Wat Phet Samut Worawihan
This temple is located in Samut Songkhram town. The former name is Wat Sri Champa. It is the most important temple of the province. According to history, in B.E. 2307 (1764) the Burmese invaded Muang Phetburi but Ayutthaya's troops protected the city. Ban Laem people in Phetburi migrated to escape from the Burmese and settled down at Amphoe Mae Klong, further up from Wat Sri Champa, and called this village Ban Laem, the same name as their former village in Muang Phetburi.
The people all ptiched in to renovate Wat Sri Champa and gave it the new name of Wat Ban Laem. Most of the Ban Laem people were fishermen. One day, they went to catch fish as usual using a net in the Mae Klong Gulf, two Buddha images were caught in the net: one was a seated image, another was a standing image. The sitting image of the Buddha was enshrined at Wat Khao Ta Krau, Phetburi province. For the second standing image of the Buddha, the image was 1.67 metres high and holding an alms-bowl, unfortunately, the bowl could not be recovered. This Buddha image was enshrined at Wat Ban Laem and was called Luang Pho Ban Laem. This is a very sacred Buddha and many miracles have been associated with this Buddha image amking the image highly revered by all.
Wat Ban Laem which once was a small and disregarded temple, prospered and was enlarged mainly from the donations made by the people out of their faith and from their merit making and worshiping Luang Pho Ban Laem. Later, this temple was promoted to the status of royal temple of the class Worawihan and was granted the name of Wat Phet Samut Worawihan by the King. To replace the lost alms-bowl of Luang Pho Ban Laem, Prince Phanuphanwongworadej presented a blue glass-bowl which can still be seen today.
In the temple compound, there is a monk museum, exhibiting Buddha images, amulets from various periods, artifacts, antiques, and a pulpit from the Ayutthaya period.
In front of Wat Ban Laem, boat trips are available for a trip along the Mae Klong River to King Rama II Memorial Park and Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Contact Mae Klong Travel Company (under the care of the Chairman of Samut Songkhram Chamber of Commerce) at 0-3471-3053, 0-1916-3494.
Wat Sathatham is located at Tambon Bang Cha Kreng. The temple is made from golden teak wood and the inner walls are set with pearl-inlay. It was built in the year 2535 B.E. (1982) by Phra Khru Samutvisutthiwong, the former abbot. Inside the main building, Ubosot, there are paintings depicting Buddha's life, paintings about the Ramayana epic, painting of famous monks. The temple is highly revered by the people of Samut Songkhram and people of neighbouring provinces.