Samut Songkhram is a province in the middle of Thailand. It is a small area of the country (about 416.7 square kilometers). Furthermore, this city is the second smallest population of the country. Otherwise, this province has an abundance of natural resources, and the coastal Gulf of Thailand about 23 kilometers long. Moreover, it has a mountain (Kao Yeesan) and does not have any island.
Samut Songkhram or Mae Klong or Suan Nok(outside garden) was a part of Mueang Ratchaburi in the past. The old name of Mae Klong is Bang Chang where was centered at Tambon Amphawa, Samut Songkhram (from the district at present). During the transition from the Ayutthaya to the Thon Buri periods, it was separated from Ratchaburi and named Mueang Mae Klong. Samut Songkhram was historically important during the establishment of Thon Buri as the kingdom’s capital by King Taksin the Great. When the Burmese led an army to Tambon Bang Kung, the king gathered the people to build a fort and prevent the city from the Burmese troops. This was an important act against the Burmese invaders at that time.
Mueang Mae Klong changed the name into Samut Songkhram in any years that did not appear explicitly. It was assumed that was estimated in 1752 to 1756 because the name of province was appeared in the evidence from first Thai enacted law: the decree of claim the forfeit. Later, we found in a decree issued from the reign of King Borom Urn Baromgoate on 1756 was identified as ordered to The Lord Rattanathibet, the Grand Marsal of the Court, took Kun Wisetvanish(Chean Ar Pan Teck), Kun Thip, and Meun Rukka Auksorn who were daring ask for establish casinos in Samut Songkhram, Ratchaburi and Samut Prakan.
Take Highway 35 (Thon Buri – Pak Tho or Rama II Road), past the Na Kluea – Maha Chai Intersection. At around Km 63, take the elevated way into the town of Samut Songkhram.
The Transport Company Limited offers a daily bus service between Bangkok and Samut Songkhram, leaving the Southern Bus Terminal on Borommaratchachonnani Road from 5.40 a.m. – 9.00 p.m. For an air-conditioned bus (Damnoen Tour), call Tel. 0 2435 5031, or visit http://www.transport.co.th.
From the Wongwian Yai Railway Station, there is a daily train from Wongwian Yai to Maha Chai. Take a boat from the Maha Chai Pier to the Tha Chalom Pier and get on a train from the Ban Laem Railway Station to the town of Samut Songkhram. Or take a bus from the Maha Chai Railway Station straight to the town. For a train schedule, contact the Wongwian Yai Railway Station, Tel. 0 2465 2017, 0 2890 6260, or visit http://www.railway.co.th.
Amphawa Floating Market
In the past, Amphawa is the center of water transport of province. There is a large floating market and a community center on commercial waterfront. But the impact of the land transport development makes Amphawa lost. So, floating market gradually decreased and eventually disappeared.
On August 11, 2004, Amphawa government cooperated with people in communities revived Amphawa again to preserve the well-beinf of the communities along the river. Currently, the floating market will find difficult. So, the floating market was established by the name is “Evening Floating Market”, which in the present, tourists will know as “Amphawa Floating Market”.
Amphawa Floating Market will open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays at 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Almost floating market are generally held in the daytime, but this market will be held the evening continues until twilight. It can be said that it is the first floating market that organize in a manner such as this. In the evening, the villagers will start rowing and bring the wide variety of products such as fruits, vegetables, snack foods, and consumer products to sold tourists or local people that commute to Amphawa Floating Market. We can get experience of the natural life on waterfront communities which are extremely impressive. Visitors can buy food and sit near Amphawa canal which has seats and venue. Thus it is even more comfortable.
Bang Kung Camp
Bang Kung Camp is a military ship camp with historical significance of Thailand. His majesty, Aekkatus orders his forces to encamp at Band Kung by built walls around Wat Bang Kung as an anchor for the soul and the worship of the military. After 2nd loss of Ayutthaya, this camp was abandoned. Until the King Taksin established Thonburi era, he ordered the Chinese from Rayong, Chonburi, Ratchaburi and Kanchanaburi gather people to guard the camp. It had other name is “Chinese Bang Kung Camp”.
In 1768, The Lord Aungwa moved the troops through Kanchanaburi to surround Bang Kung Camp. King Taksin ordered The Maha Montri (Boonma) was commander in chief to help the Chinese militaries to defeat the enemy. After that, the camp was repealed for 200 years until 1967; the ministry of education had set up camp (Now canceled) and was created as a memorial to the King Taksin. There are many important places in Bang Kung Camp, for example:
Prok Pho Chuech was original temple what built in the Ayutthaya era. This church will be covered by the roots of Sai, Krai, and Krang. When you see outside, you will think it is a large tree. These roots help the church for maintain it. It also provides a magical nonsense as well. Inside, there is Buddha statue, that people call “Luang Por Boad Noi” or “Luang Por Ninmanee” and the church: “Prok Pro Church”. Furthermore, there are murals in the late Ayutthaya what about Buddha.
Wat Bang Kung is the old temple since Ayutthaya era. It is opposite Bang Kung Camp by the road through. This temple has many interesting things, for instance: ancient texts which about ancient medicine. In front of the temple is adjacent to the Mae Klong River. There are many freshwater fish and the people call this place that “Macha Palace”.
Wat Bang Khae Noi Wat Bang Khae Noi is located along the Mae Klong River. Countess Shui (Noi) Wongsaroj built this temple in 1898. The first, the temple was built on a bamboo raft and tied to a Bodhi tree. After that, Pra Atikarn Rod, the second abbot, built the temple on the ground in 1905. Afterward, the original temple had disintegrated. Pra Atikarn Keaw(Green), the sixth abbot newly built temple in 1949. Until 1997, the original temple was damaged again because of lacking material and quanlity and it was built during World War 2. Pra Kru SamutNanthakun (Pear) had taken up the construction of the new temple again. In the church has much wood carving that very noticeable and rare, because it must use budget, time and skill to carve delicately by technicians who have the expertise. - Makae Mong Wood used as a cradle for principle Buddha image in temple is very large( 2.5 meters wide, 3 meters long and 4 inches thick). - Plaster base of Buddha image or “Chukkachee” was carved in “Song Jom Hae(Similar mesh was raised)” - The floor’s temple is covered by Takein Tong wood with 2 inches thick and 40-44 inches wide. - The wall is 3 inches thick wood carving. It was carved animals, trees and other. - The opposite wall of principle Buddha image is a wooden carved Buddha Pand Chana Marn. - The left and the right walls of principle Buddha image is the ten incarnations of Buddha. - The back wall of principle Buddha image is carved Nativity, Enlightenment, and Attain of Buddha.
Wat Charoen Sukharam Worawiharn
Wat Charoen Sukharam Worawiharn is located along Bang Nok Khwaek canal (Damnoen Saduak canal). The original temple was built since abandoned, do not know when, but it has been newly renovated in 1883, call “Wat Klang Klong” or “Wat Ton Chom Poo”. Then, local people created “Bang Nok Khwaek Sluice” in1908, people call the temple was “Wat Pratoo Nam Bang Nok Khwaek” before it was changed into “Wat Charoen Sukharam” and was promoted to be major temple in 1957 or call “Wat Charoen Sukharam Worawiharn”.
In the church, it has Luang Pho To is principle Buddha image. It is made of laterite, 1.79 meters base width, 2.09 meters high from base to top. Luang Pho To was enshrined at the temple that had been abandoned in the Ratchaburi before respectfully engaged to this temple.
In front of this temple is adjacent to Damnoen Saduak canal. There are many fish is more than ten thousand. Most are silver carp and this area also offers pedal boat for visitors to play along the canal.The local people call this area is Macha park.
Nativity of Our Lady Cathedral
In 1847, there are 200 Pentecost helped for build the temple in the land of Francis Vigo. This temple had called “Wat Sala Daeng” or “Wat Rang Yao” following the measurement location and paints. Until, this temple was moved to mouth of Bang Nok Khwaek canal what King Rama IV was ordered dug connection the Mae Klong River to the Tha Chin River and built a new temple there by the name of “Nativity of Our Lady”.
In 1890, Archbishop Paul Salmon or the locals call him "Luang Pho Pao" was created seriously by funded from his brethren in France, Board of Foreign Mission Club of Paris and Rome for financed the building completed. Then it was done magical ceremony and officially on February 11, 1896 and part of the old material was used to build at “Klong Kwang Lang” by the name “Holy mother Patrons” or the local called “Wat Nai”.
In 1994, Ratchaburi diocese was renovated again for celebrated 100 years in 1996. So this cathedral is the oldest and most beautiful in Thailand.
This cathedral was built over a century ago. It is Gothic art of France. Furthermore, it was built from burnt bricks, mortared with low sugar syrup from black cane. Interior was decorated with stained glass from France. It tells about a narrative of the Virgin Mary from the Bible and images of male and female saints, has statues and Figurines anecdotes what described in the Bible. It is a beautiful church and located on Mae Klong River.
King Rama 2 Memorial Park
This park is a project in honor of King Rama II of King Memorial Foundation of King Rama II Nationals to the grace that is given to the magnificent art; A heritage to the nation and has been recognized by Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) by the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn who presided over the park on opening day, March 31, 1979 and the park was opened to the public on June 1, 1987.
King Rama II Memorial park is divided into six sections.
-Part one: Front parking of park. There are currently selling local products and fruits and the Hermitage, which is houses the ancient.
-Part two: An outdoor theater with the rise for the show and planting various.
-Part three: 5 Thailand building.4 building are museums and pantomime building.
-Part four: Garden plants in various literature for the purpose of the study and conservation of the species. There are models in the literature about the Sang Thong and Krai Thong.
-Part five: Riverside location. There are multipurpose pavilion for relaxing, food store, beverages and products and boat trip to the park for people are increasingly viewed.
-Part six: Area of about 11 acres , which will conduct gardening and farming initiative in the President .
Rama II museum is 4 Thailand building which has 600 square meters. This museum is exhibited about Health Museum of Ethnology, art objects in the early Rattanakosin period for showed reflection of the cultural well-being and livelihood of the people of Thailand during the reign of King Rama II. Rama II museum is divided into six sections
Central tower is the invention statue of King Rama II, art and artifacts from the early Rattanakosin period such that the Emporium strike porcelain mask, which works as a literary device to show, celebrated of King Rama II: Shadow puppets literature, golden trumpet and Adonis.
Hong Chai (Man Room) is decorated the men who has the courage Thailand and protected the land by the social subjects on Thailand early Rattanakosin period.There are Buddhas, Thailand ‘s books, Thailand’s noble, ancient sword and lay altar which believed to be of King Rama II.
Hong Ying (Woman room) is furnished to the well-being of women in Thailand. There are ancient bed, scene, vanity, mirror, embroidery, and etc.
Terrace is classified according to ancient Thailand .There is decorated with potted dwarf ornamental lotus ponds.
Kitchen and bathroom are placed at the lower buildings on the left. Kitchens and bathrooms feature Thailand’s middle class. There are cooking bowl for food and so on.
Position headstone is the model that shows the foundation stone of the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presided ceremony.
The park is open for visitors every day. Monday - Friday is opened 08.30 a.m. - 5.00 p.m. and Saturday – Sunday is opened at 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m by Admission Adults $ 20 and Children $ 5. For more information call 034-751666 Fax: 034-751376
The Market-try and get there before mid afternoon after which it gets very crowded
Over the swampy surface on a night of a waning moon, there are tiny fireflies flashing out lights rhythmically on Lamphu trees, and thus becomes the origin of the firefly tale to lull toddlers to sweet dreams. I recalled a nostalgic memory from the time when my grandparents were still young. At a garden house by the river, some kids were dipping into the water while some were chasing one another along the ditch in a coconut plantation. At dusk, each household would light kerosene lamps that keep flickering and then sit down in a circle having dinner together. Getting full, everyone started to recline around the waterfront pavilion. The children likewise lay down listening to the myth of fireflies. It is believed that the fireflies are actually the spirit of a man carrying a lamp in search of his love named Lamphu. The images of houses lining up along the river are possible to be seen right here. Simple and humble Thai way of life fills the banks of Amphawa every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening. The floating market is always packed with vendors and their boats fully loaded with fresh fruit and veggies, drinks, sweets and savories. Food ranges from boat noodles, mussel sprout pancake, grilled squid, traditional coffee and a lot more. Once you finish with the food, take a walk to appreciate wooden houses, which remain in their original antique condition, together with some leftover signposts. When the darkness of the night begins, get on a small boat and slowly paddle in silence. Soon after you may witness little creatures gently producing twinkling beams throughout the thick Lamphu forest. Such an atmosphere with these tiny fireflies makes Amphawa River in a waning moon especially romantic.
In season fruit-preferably with a peel if you wish to eat immediatly-as well as the wide range of street food-helps keep the market going.