Samut Prakan , also known as Pak Nam, is located 29 kilometres south of Bangkok, around the area where the Chao Phraya river flows into the Gulf of Thailand. It is a town of the Ayutthaya period. Samut Prakan is home to countless historical and cultural sites. It occupies an area of 1,004 square kilometers.
Covering an extensive area, The Ancient City is essentially an open-air museum complex containing replicas of religious complexes, monuments, and buildings found throughout Thailand. Nearby is the Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm, the world's largest crocodile farm that contains more than 60,000 freshwater and marine crocodiles and a mini zoo. Exciting shows of man playing with the dangerous animals are performed daily.
The impressive, riverside, white Phra Samut Chedi sits opposite the Provincial Hall. Built in 1826 during the reign of King Rama II, it was finished during the reign of King Rama III. Commonly called ‘Phra Chedi Klang Nam' (Chedi in the Middle of Water), its original site was on an island near the river mouth, but the river current shifted and created a sandbar connecting the island with the right bank. An annual celebration is conducted here.
Located 7 km south of Phra Samut Chedi, the Phra Chulachomklao Fortress , or ‘Pom Phra Chun' is an old fortress displaying an old warship, several old cannons, and binoculars. The fort was built in 1893 during the reign of King Rama V to prevent French naval ships from intruding into Thai waters.
The Royal Naval Museum , opposite to the Naval Academy, informs the public about the history of the Royal Thai Navy and displays models of various boats, including the ones used in the Royal Barge Procession.
A pier stretching out and spanning across a tidal muddy beach provides a pleasant long walk for those who enjoy the pleasant, seaside atmosphere of Bang Pu. The area is also populated with a handful of reasonable priced seafood restaurants. During the winter season, plenty of seagulls can be seen flying around the vicinity.
The Erawan Museum this three-headed elephant, Airavata was born of Khun Lek Viriyapant'a ideas and imagination. It was inspired by his wish to preserve his collection of antiques as a contribution t Thai heritage. Many of these were priceless objects of art; they were also held as sacred objects for people of ancient cultures.
:: City attractions
Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo It was built in 1950 as Thailand's first crocodile farm. It is now the world's largest crocodile farm. It is situated at Tambon Tai Ban, 3 kilometres from Samut Prakan town. The farm has over 40,000 crocodiles of different kinds in various pits. Daily shows feature catching crocodiles bare-handed. Shows take place every hour from 08.00-17.00. , except at noon; additional shows at 12.00 and 17.00 on holidays. Feeding time is between 16.30 - 17.30. Another star attraction for visitors is the elephant show of which performances are held daily every hour from 09.30 -16.30. Furthermore, you can see tigers, chimpanzees, and other animals such as gibbons, turtles, boa constrictors, pythons, birds, camels, hippopotamuses, and of various species of fishes.
There is even a Dinosaur Museum which has on display life-size models and skeletons of more than 13 kinds of dinosaurs and also features a multivision slide presentation on man and prehistoric animals. The farm is open daily from 07.00 - 18.00. Admission is 300 baht. For group tours and academic institutions that require a tour guide, please contact Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo in advance at 555 Thai Ban Road, Amphoe Mueang, Samut Prakan 10280 or tel. 0- 2703-4891, 0-2703-5144-8. Getting there is also possible by taking the air-conditioned buses Line Nos. 7, 8, and 11, to the end of the Line or by non air-conditioned buses Line Nos. 25 and 102, to Samut Prakan and taking another ride on a local truck (Song Thaeo) Line No. S. 1 and S. 80.
Wat Klang Worawihan This second level royal monastery is located at Tambon Pak Nam. The temple, of which the former name is Wat Takothong, was built in the late Ayutthaya period. The main building was renovated in the reign of King Rama III. The upper part of the front of the temple, above the entrance, is decorated with Chinese porcelain and ceramics. Inside the temple, there is a mural painting, depicting the first book of the Buddhist scripture dealing with the life of Lord Buddha. Later, another building was built to enshrine the 4 traces of Lord Buddha's Footprints. The hall for sermons is Thai style structure made totally from teak and upper part of the front of the building, above the entrance, is lavishly decorated with exquisite and beautifully carved wood well worth preserving.
Wat Asokaram is 6 kilometres from town. It is located in Soi Sukhaphiban 58, Tambon Thai Ban, on Sukhumvit road, its entrance is opposite Sawangkhaniwat Recuperation Centre. The new temple was built by Phra Acharn Lee Thammawaro) of the Dharmayuthi sect on May 8, 1962. It is one of the important temples for practicing mediation. Worth visiting and seeing in this temple is Phra Thutangkha Chedi, a group of 13 chedi as a representative of the 13 duties of the monks on their religious trips. There is also Vihara Wisutthithamrangsi in which Acharn Lee's remains are enshrined.