:: SAMUT SONGKHRAM

Samut Songkhram is the province of fertile land, of plants and food grains, the production source of vegetables and fruits, as well as a vast variety of seafood products. It is also an interesting historical source for the early Rattanakosin period.

Samut Songkhram is an ancient province with a long history. Originally, it is believed that this province was once a part of Ratchaburi province, and called "Suan Nork” at that time. Then, towards the end of the Ayutthaya period going on to the Thonburi period, it was separated from Ratchaburi province and was called "Mueang Mae Klong”.Samut Songkhram is located 72 Kilometres from Bangkok, occupies an area of 416 square kilometres

:: Attractions

Numerous simple establishments serving excellent and fresh seafood and stalls selling a variety of seafood products can be found at Don Hoi Lot. It was made popular, and derived its name, from the hoi lot worm shells that live in the tidal muddy beach at the mouth of the Mae Klong River. The worm shells are most plentiful during the dry season (April to May).

Centrally located in town and the most important temple of Samut Songkhram, people come to pay homage to a sacred old Buddha image, Luang Phor Ban Lam , enshrined in the chapel of Wat Phet Samut Worawiharn.

The 11-rais, riverside garden of King Rama II Memorial Park was built to honor the ‘poet king' at the site believed to be the royal birthplace of King Rama II (1809-1824). The main attraction is a traditional Thai-style teak mansion used as a museum to house an exhibition of his works.

Early in the weekend mornings (7 am-noon), vendor boats congregate at Tha Kha Floating Market transforming the wide, main canal into a congested traffic of boats laden with colorful agricultural and handicraft products.


Wat Amphawan Chetiyaram was originally the temple and house of King Rama II's mother's dynasty. Highlights include the beautiful artwork and architecture from the early Rattanakosin period featured on the temple grounds.

Built towards the end of the Ayutthaya period, Wat Chulamani is an ancient temple located on the bank of Klong (canal) Amphawa. The area behind the temple was formerly the residence of the queens of King Rama I and King Rama II.

Visitors can enjoy feeding the copious amount of fish inhabiting the canal in front of Wat Charoen Sukharam Worawiharn.

 

The Pinsuwan Benjarong Complex has been recreating Bencharong (5-colored) and Lai Nam Thong (golden watermarks) ceramic ware for the past 20 years. Customers may request the products made according to their own designs also.

Like Samut Sakhon, this province is also known as a major producer of brine salt. The picturesque sight of many salt farms can be seen sprawled along its border with Samut Sakhon on the Thonburi-Pak Thor Highway.

Samut Songkhram is famous for producing palm sugar and visitors can see it made at any of the 5 ‘tao tan' (charcoaled burner) establishments located between the 30-32 kilometer markers on Route no. 325. Closer to town, the Orchid Farm has wildly growing orchids and a butterfly garden

:: City attraction

Wat Sathatham ,located at Tambon Bang Cha Kreng. The temple is made from golden teak wood and the inner walls are set with pearl-inlay. It was built in the year 2535 B.E. (1982) by Phra Khru Samutvisutthiwong, the former abbot. Inside the main building, Ubosot, there are paintings depicting Buddha's life, paintings about the Ramayana epic, painting of famous monks. The temple is highly revered by the people of Samut Songkhram and people of neighbouring provinces.

Wat Ban Laem or Wat Phet Samut Worawihan This temple is located in Samut Songkhram town. The former name is "Wat Sri Champa”. It is the most important temple of the province. According to history, in B.E. 2307 (1764) the Burmese invaded Mueang Phetburi but Ayutthaya's troops protected the city. Ban Laem people in Phetburi migrated to escape from the Burmese and settled down at Amphoe Mae Klong, further up from Wat Sri Champa, and called this village "Ban Laem”, the same name as their former village in Mueang Phetburi.

The people all ptiched in to renovate Wat Sri Champa and gave it the new name of "Wat Ban Laem”. Most of the Ban Laem people were fishermen. One day, they went to catch fish as usual using a net in the Mae Klong Gulf, two Buddha images were caught in the net: one was a seated image, another was a standing image. The sitting image of the Buddha was enshrined at Wat Khao Ta Krau, Phetburi province. For the second standing image of the Buddha, the image was 1.67 metres high and holding an alms-bowl, unfortunately, the bowl could not be recovered. This Buddha image was enshrined at Wat Ban Laem and was called "Luang Pho Ban Laem”. This is a very sacred Buddha and many miracles have been associated with this Buddha image amking the image highly revered by all.

 


Wat Ban Laem which once was a small and disregarded temple, prospered and was enlarged mainly from the donations made by the people out of their faith and from their merit making and worshiping Luang Pho Ban Laem. Later, this temple was promoted to the status of royal temple of the class "Worawihan” and was granted the name of "Wat Phet Samut Worawihan” by the King. To replace the lost alms-bowl of Luang Pho Ban Laem, Prince Phanuphanwongworadej presented a blue glass-bowl which can still be seen today.

In the temple compound, there is a monk museum, exhibiting Buddha images, amulets from various periods, artefacts, antiques, and a pulpit from the Ayutthaya period.

In front of Wat Ban Laem, boat trips are available for a trip along the Mae Klong River to King Rama II Memorial Park and Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Contact Mae Klong Travel Company (under the care of the Chairman of Samut Songkhram Chamber of Commerce) at 0-3471-3053, 0-1916-3494.