Samut Sakhon was formerly called "Tha Chin” probably because, in the old days, it had been a trading port dealing with a vast number of Chinese junks. In 1548, a town named "Sakhon Buri” was established at the mouth of the Tha Chin River. It was a centre for recruiting troops from various seaside towns. The name of the town was changed into "Mahachai" when Khlong (canal) Mahachai was dug in 1704 to join the Tha Chin River at the town. Later, the town was renamed "Samut Sakhon” by King Rama IV but it is still popularly called "Mahachai" by the villagers. Samut Sakhon is located 30 kms. from Bangkok. The province occupies a total area of 872 square kilometers.

:: Attractions

The Phanthai Norasing Shrine is regarded as the symbol of honesty. It was erected to commemorate Phanthai Norasing, a man of integrity of the Ayutthaya era.

The ancient, Ayutthaya-style Wat Koke Kham covers an extensive area and has a pier for docking of long-tail boats. Main attractions are the old ubosot and the restored chedi in front of it.

Situated on the Ta Chin riverbank is Thailand's largest traditional seafood market, the Mahachai Market , though handicrafts and other local items can also be found here. Also called the ‘Municipal Pier', it is the provincial center of commerce and transportation, containing many landings that link the municipal with the rest of the province. A cruise along the canals with a chartered boat can be arranged from a landing in Mahachai Market. Crossing the river from Mahachai to the west bank will bring you to Tha Chalom , a large fishing village and industrial land for marine product.

Samut Sakhon is the nation's biggest producer of brine salt. The picturesque sight of many salt farms can be seen sprawled along its borders with Samut Songkhram on the Thonburi-Pak Thor Highway.

The districts of Kathumban and Ban Phrao are famous for their fruit and flower orchards. The former district is renowned for growing excellent fragrant coconuts, pomelos and orchids, while the latter for grapes and guavas.

:: City attractions

Wat Yai Chom Prasat Located on Highway No.35 with a left turn after crossing the Tha Chin River, this is an ancient temple presumed to have been built during the Ayutthaya era. The doors and windows of both the old and new chapels were neatly and beautifully carved in various floral designs. It is believed the craftsmen were Chinese, as the carvings include some Chinese trees.

Mahachai Market This is one of Thailand's largest traditional fresh seafood markets, but visitors can find much more than seafood, especially if there is time to spare. Handicrafts such as wicker furniture, pottery and local sarongs are among the colourful offerings in the market. Crossing the river from Mahachai to the west bank, visitors will arrive at Tha Chalom, a large fishing village and industrial land for marine products.

Wat Chong Lom or Wat Sutthi Wata Wararam This temple fronting the river mouth is located at Tambon Tha Chalom on the western side of the Tha Chin River. It was constructed during the Ayutthaya period. Religious buildings in the temple have been beautifully renovated. The windy area by the sea is used as a rest area for the locals.

Wichian Chodok Fortress This fortress is located near the city pillar shrine in the town. It was constructed in 1827 during the reign of King Rama III to prevent sea invasion by an enemy. It can be seen as ruins nowadays. The cannons, which used to be housed in the fortress, are now displayed at the city pillar shrine and the city hall.



Phanthai Norasing Shrine
This is regarded as the symbol of honesty. It was erected to be a memorial to Phanthai Norasing, a man of integrity of the Ayutthaya period. The historic event occurred in 1704 when Phra Chao Sua, a king of Ayutthaya, made a royal visit by the Ekkachai royal barge via the curved Khok Kham Canal. Phanthai Norasing, who was the coxswain, could not operate the steering, thus causing the prow to be broken by hitting the limb of a tree. To foster the palace law, the coxswain then begged the king to slaughter him although he was forgiven. After his death, the king built a shrine in Khlong Khok Kham and commanded to have a new canal, later named Khlong Mahachai, dug to eliminate the sharp curves of Khok Kham Canal. A cruise along the canal via mangrove forests and fishery villages is organised by Khun Narin Bunruam Tel: 0-3441-2490.

Ao Mahachai Mangrove Forest Study Centre offers a nature trail along a mangrove forest around the Tha Chin Estuary. From the town, take Sutthiwawithi Road for 2.5 kilometres, then turn left and proceed for 6.5 kilometres to the centre.

Salt Farms Samut Sakhon is the biggest producer of brine salt. Its picturesque salt farms, which sprawl across the border with Samut Songkhram and along the Thon Buri-Pak Tho Highway, have provided a back drop for many holiday snapshots.