Samut Sakhon, called 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- who travelled by ship and stopped at the port –Tha- for trading. Therefore, it was verbally well known as Tambon "Tha Chin". In 1548, during the reign of Phra Maha Chakkraphat, many new cities were established with the royal aims to gather power to fight with the Burmese. Ban Tha Chin, hence, was upgraded to Mueang "Sakhon Buri' to be an outpost city preventing the invasion of enemies arriving by sea. Until 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" (town) 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.
Traveling from Bangkok can be done by many routes as follows:
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
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 or cross the river by boat to Ban Laem Station and take a train to Mae Klong Station, Samut Songkhram. 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