Samut Sakhon, known by the locals as "Maha Chai", is a small province located on the mouth of the Tha Chin River, only 2 kilometres from the sea and 36 kilometres from Bangkok. It is a historic city recorded in the Ayutthaya Chronicle. This was during the period that Phrachao Suea travelled by the royal barge procession creating the story of the loyal Phanthai Norasing.
This province was originally called as "Tha Chin" because it was a large district on the Gulf of Thailand, where there were a lot of foreigners, especially the Chinese -(Chin,actually pronounced Jean (จีน) in Thai) - who travelled by ship and stopped at the port –Tha (ท่า) means "port" in Thai- for trading. Therefore, it was verbally well known as Tambon "Tha Chin" (Chinese Port District). In 1548, during the reign of Phra Maha Chakkraphat, many new cities were established with the royal aims to gather power to fight against the Burmese. Ban Tha Chin (Chinese Port Town) was then upgraded to Mueang(City) "Sakhon Buri"to be an outpost city preventing the invasion of enemies arriving by sea. During the reign of King Rama IV, the city's name was changed into Mueang Samut Sakhon.
During the reign of King Rama V, he conducted governance reform by organizing the regional bureaucratic system in the form of a circle called "Monthon Thesaphiban" and announced the establishment of Thailand’s first sanitary district in Tambon Tha Chalom in 1906.
Then, in 1913, King Rama VI announced a royal command for the government to transform the word "Mueang" (city) to "Changwat" (province) throughout the country. Mueang Samut Sakhon was changed to "Changwat Samut Sakhon" as it is still known at the present time. The word "Maha Chai" that people usually used is the name of a canal dug across the crooked Khlong Khok Kham which is the symbol of the loyalty of Phanthai Norasing.
Travelling from Bangkok can be done by many routes as follows:
From Bang Pakaeo Intersection. Go along Highway No. 35 Thon Buri – Pak Tho Road (Rama II Road), passing the Bang Khun Thian District Administration Office, Ekkachai Weighing Station to the Maha Chai Intersection at Km. 28. Then, turn left to Samut Sakhon city. A total distance of 29 kilometres.
From Dao Khanong Department Store. Go along Ekkachai Road, pass Bang Khun Thian Bridge, Wat Sing, Bang Bon Intersection, Sueksanari School, Wat Pho Chae, Tambon Khok Krabue, Ekkachai Weighing Station, Maha Chai Community Housing, to the centre of Samut Sakhon. A total distance of 30 kilometres.
From Tha-Phra Intersection. Go along Highway No. 4, Phetchakasem Road to Nong Khaem and turn left into Soi Phetchakasem 81 to the Ekkachai Intersection. Then, turn right and go along Ekkachai Road, passing Sueksanari School and the Ekkachai Weighing Station to the centre of Samut Sakhon. A total distance of 30 kilometres.
You can also take Phetchakasem Road, pass Bang Khae and turn left into the outer ring road, crossing with Ekkachai Road. Then, turn back to Ekkachai Road or go straight on into Thon Buri – Pak Tho Road or from Phetchakasem Road, pass Om Noi to Setthakit 1 Road at Km. 25, passing Amphoe Krathum Baen.
From Phra Pinklao Bridge. Take Borommaratchachonnani Road and take any one of 3 routes into Phetchakasem Road which are Phutthamonthon Sai 2, 4 or 5 Roads. Then, 2 ways can be chosen to enter the centre of Samut Sakhon. Either from Phutthamonthon Sai 2 Road to Ekkachai Road. Turn right and pass Sueksanari School; a total distance of 35 kilometres, or take Phutthamonthon Sai 4 and 5 Roads to Setthakit 1 Road and pass Amphoe Krathum Baen; a total distance of approximately 50 kilometres. Besides, you can take the outer ring road, passing Ekkachai and Thon Buri – Pak Tho Roads.
The Transport Company Limited. provides buses to Samut Sakhon everyday from 4.20 a.m. to 9.00 p.m. For more details, please contact the Southern Bus Terminal, Borommaratchachonnani Road at Tel. 0 2435 1199, 0 2435 5605 (air-conditioned bus) or www.transport.co.th
There are any number of buses and minibuses heading south, on the main road in that direction (Rama 2 Road)), which can drop you off at the Settakit Road intersection ( road 3091), which leads to the main part of town.
A minibus from Samut Songkhram, an adjacent Province can be taken from the in town bus terminal for B30. It comes along Settakit Road and terminates at the end of the road, where is the river(and the pier to cross it).
The State Railway of Thailand provides trains leaving Wongwian Yai Station many times a day from 5.30 a.m. to 8.10 p.m. to Maha Chai Station. For more details, please contact Wongwian Yai Railway Station at Tel. 0 2465 2017, 0 2890 6260 and Maha Chai Railway Station at Tel. 0 3441 1003 or www.railway.co.th
If you are at the pier looking back up Settakit Road. You will come to a set of traffic lights after about 400 metres. To the left of these is the bus station some distance along. To the right some 200 metres is the P A Serviced Apartments Hotel. Another few hundred metres along Settakit Road is Rama 2 Road, the main north-south coastal road from Bangkok.
Also from the pier, the first road to the right goes through a street market, and after a couple of hundred metres, up a road to your left, you will find the railway station.
If you arrive at the railway station coming from Bangkok, leave the station towards your left and go ahead a couple of hundred metres and you are in the main road (Settakit Road). A couple of hundred metres along Settakit Road to the left is the pier, and if you are going to Maekhlong, you will need to take the ferry across the river then a tuktuk to the railway station on this side of the river.
To get across the river, at the pier in Settakit Road there are ferries which leave every few minutes. There are pedestrians and motorcycles boarding. Cost is 3 Baht, and the ferries operate 24 hours every day. There are tuktuks on the other side.
In the centre of the city, there are tuktuks, motorcycle taxis, the occasional Samlor (pedal tricycle), and metered taxis.
Bodhisattva Kuan Statue (Jao Mae Guan Im). This is a large Buddhist statue opposite the Wat Chong Lom Temple. It is of Chinese origin, and is known as the Goddess of Mercy. It is located close to the mouth of the Mahachai River, and to get to there, take the ferry from the end of Settagit Road across the river, and hire a tuktuk on the other side to take you the 2 Km to the Temple. The statue is about 10 metres high, and acts as a fountain. edit
Shellfish Farming. This popular shellfish, in Thai Hoi Kreng (หอยแครง) and also known as scallop, is farmed near the river entrance This place has an area of 1,752 acres, with scallop farming since about 1970 and now has developed into a tourist attraction. To get to here, drive highway 35 (Rama 2) to Samut Songkhram turn left at Km 35 into Sutiradvitree Bangyapraek road to the farm approximately 7 km distant. edit
Damnoen Saduak Canal. This canal links the Tha Chin and Mae Khlong rivers and is about 35Km in length. King Mongkul ordered it to be built, and it was completed in 1868. It starts just north of the 4011 Road and continues across into Ratchaburi in the north of that Province. Once there, it goes past the Floating Market and on to the Maekhlong River close to the Samut Songkhram border. The canal is extensively used as a means of transport, with Monks collecting alms, and also schoolchildren using it to get to and from school.edit
Luang Pho To Temple, T Yokkrabat, Amphoe Ban Phaeo.. This Temple is in the north of the Province adjacent to the Damnoen Saduak canal. It is the largest Buddha statue in the canal area. The Temple is open on all four sides.edit
Phanthai Norasing Shrine. Phantai Norasing was the King's boatman in 1704. While guiding the Royal barge along the winding khlong (canal), he hit a large tree branch which had fallen into the khlong. The result was that the front was broken off the barge. By the law of the time, this was punishable by death. The King did not want to have him executed, but there was no choice, and Phanthai Norasing himself insisted that the execution take place, even though there was no way he could have avoided the tree branch. The King called upon the people to construct a monument to him after the execution, which could be looked into from eye level. With a suitable religious ceremony, they put his head, and the broken part of the boat inside. It is located off Rama 2 Road, to the left of the 17 Km marker from the tollway before coming into Mahachai.edit
Wichian Chodok Fortress. This was constructed in 1828 during the reign of King Rama 111 because during that period, there was a conflict with the Vietnamese on Chao Anuwong of Vientiane. The fortress was made of bricks and cement with no guarding station, but fighting ones, while at the opening in the wall were laid the cannons to prevent the enemies coming through the mouth of the river. It is located near the river to the right of Mahachai Pier, roughly 2km. It is about 200 metres from the city hall.edit
Wat Nang Sao Temple. The important ancient monument of the temple is a brick ordination hall on a curved base similar to a junk with one entrance which is called "Bot Maha Ut". It has an ancient style terracotta tiled roof, whose beams are made of logs. It also has twin sandstone boundary markers. Is in Tambon (area) Taa Mai and close to the river. Is close to Phetkasem Road (road 3091) in the north of the Province.edit
Samut Sakhon is a province in the center part of Thailand. Samut Sakhon has many people who are Chinese lineage, it also has many Chinese culture which are different from Thai cultures. From this reason, the traditions of Thai people are mixed Chinese cultures, so it makes many old traditions in the province. There are two main traditions which are a parade of guardian spirits or gods of a city and vegetarian festival.
First tradition is a parade of guardian spirits or gods of a city. It is made for prosperity of people in the city. This tradition has made on 13 April every year. In ceremony, people will invoke the guardian spirits of this city from paradise, then people will make a beautiful parade for moving the gods around the city. The last step of this ceremony is moving the parade to boats, then boats are moving from Mahachai harbor to Tha-Charom harbor.
Last tradition is a vegetarian festival. It is about refraining from meats and spices, and this festival is focused on vegetables, fruits, and cereals. Therefore, it will make good health. The vegetarian festival is prepared in many province in Thailand, but this tradition is different from other provinces. In Samut Sakhon, the vegetarian festival will give a passport festival for each person, which is map of nine shrines of nine gods or guardian spirits of the city. If you walk to all nine shrines for worship, you will get a Juibuaynia goddess’ coin for fortune.
Ma Prang Steak House (มะปรางสเต๊กเฮาส์). This is actually more of a street eats type stall, and is located on Ekkachai Road to the immediate left of the lane leading to the PA Serviced Apartment Hotel. The food is incredibly good and quite cheap. Two meals, of pork steak (with salad), and spaghetti with prawns was B203. This included a large bottle of beer.edit
Also along Ekkachai Road, to the left of the above hotel (PA Serviced) is a restaurant where a good breakfast can be obtained cheaply. Rice soup, fried rice and many other options. Menu is in Thai but there are pictures on the wall. And 10 metres to the right of this restaurant is a street stall which does very good takeaway coffee and tea. The tea is Thai style, and worth drinking.
Baimon Resort and Spa, 210 Moo 6 74110, ☎ 024313166/7, . This hotel is in the northern part of the Province closer to Highway 4 than to Rama 2 Road. It is approximately 20Km from Bangkok, in Amphoe (District) Kratumban and not far from Phetkasem Road (an online check in both English and Thai have provided little information about this place). It is not far from Wat (Temple) Nong Sao. Costs B1280 to B2500 per night.edit
P A Serviced Apartment (พีเออพาร์ทเม้นท์), 923/14 Ekkachai Road, ☎ 034836880, . This hotel is in the road about 400 metres up from the Pier, at the first set of traffic lights, and some 200 metres to the right, on the left hand side. A motorcycle taxi will cost B20. Decent hotel, with a lift. Rooms have hot water, aircon, barfridge, and TV.In the lobby they sell beer, snacks etc at 711 prices. There are good restaurants nearby to the left on Ekkachai Road. B550. edit
On weekends, Amphawa has a floating market that is very popular among the locals. The Floating Market is in Samut Songkhram Province, and is covered under a separate article by that name.
Ratchaburi. A minibus from here will cost B100 and stops at the in town market there. The minibus stop is one or two streets back from Ekkachai Road towards the pier on the right hand side of Settakit Road looking towards the pier.
Samut Songkhram - usually known as Maekhlong. There are two ways you can do this - by road or by rail.
By road you can take a minibus from the City centre for B30 and it stops in the city centre close to the market.
By rail you take the ferry across the river (see above)and then a tuktuk the couple of Km to the railway station, which is close to the Bodhisattva Kuan Statue (see above).
The city bus station is in Ekkachai Road, and to the left as you come from the pier.