Samut Sakhon, ThailandKirsty Turner
Commonly known as Mahachai, Samut Sakhon is a breezy port with a lively local market selling a wide range of products. Samut Sakhon is located very close to Bangkok at the mouth of the Tha Chin Klong River, which is a tributary of the mighty Chao Phraya River. The area is famous for its production of Samut fish, which is produced in large fish farms throughout the area.
The city of Bangkok can be reached from Samut Sakhon in less than an hour, and this is a good place for people who want to be close to the city and all that it has to offer, but need to stay somewhere a little bit quieter and slow paced. Unlike the metropolis, Samut Sakhon offers a real feel of Thai lifestyle and culture.
A great way to explore this region is by bicycle, while the many waterways and canal networks make boat trips a good option.
The area was once a major trading town and the Chinese ships would often sail to the Tha Jin – which is the Thai name for the Chinese Pier. Next to the pier you will see the large Wichien Chodok Fort.
There are many pretty temples to explore in Samut Sakhon. Particularly of interest is the large Wat Yai Chom Prasat, which is the biggest temple in the area and hails from the Ayutthaya period. This is a great place to get an idea of the Ayutthaya period’s architectural styles before taking a trip to the mighty historical city.
The market is a great place to make friends, shop for local produce and buy deliciously sweet fruit at extremely cheap prices. The market becomes particularly vibrant in the evening, and this is a great place to eat your evening meal.
But above all, Samut Sakhon is a good place to be if you have no real goal in mind but simply want to soak up the traditional Thai atmosphere. The Thai families in the area are very welcoming, and it is not usual to be invited to join the family for a big meal or general celebration.