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.
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.
Naval Museum is located at Bang Nang Keng, Pak Nam, Samut Prakan, opposite the Naval Academy on Sukhumvit Road, 10 kilometres from Bang Na intersection. The museum chronicles the history of the Royal Thai Navy and the important Naval battles, exhibits miniature ships such as the Royal Barges which were used in the Royal Barge Processions of King Rama V period, the warship "H.M.S. Phra Ruang”, Rau Barge, H.M.S. Matchanu - the first submarine of the Royal Thai Navy. It is open on public days from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Contact tel: 0-2394-1997 or 0-2465-5087 for more information.
Muang Boran or the Ancient City is the world's biggest open-air museum. It occupies an area of 500 rais (200 acres). Construction began in the latter part of 1963. It is located at Tambon Bang Pu Mai, at Km. 33.5 of the old Sukhumvit Road, 8 kilometres from Samut Prakan town. This unique attraction is the center of scaled-down and actual-size replicas of important historical sites of various provinces such as Prasat Hin Phanom Rung, Wat Mahathat Sukhothai, Phraphuttabat Saraburi, Phrathat Mueang Nakhon, Phrathat Chaiya, etc.. Furthermore, there are rare traditional folk arts and cultures, some of which are hardl to come by nowadays. For those who wish to learn about Thailand, they will not be disappointed here.
Getting there: by car, take the Samrong - Samut Prakan Road to Samut Prakan T-junction and turn left going along the old Sukhumvit road (road to Bang Pu), then at approximatley Km. 33 turn into an entry road to Mueang Boran and drive on for 8 kilometres, Mueang Boran will be on the left. To get there by bus, take the air-conditioned bus Line No. 11 (Pin Klao - Pak Nam) to the end of the Line and take the local mini-bus Line No. 36 to Mueang Boran. It is open daily from 8.00 a.m.-5.00 p.m. Admission is 50 baht for adults, 25 baht for children under 12 years, and free for children under 5 years. Fees for taking a car in is 50 Baht, 100 baht for vans, 200 baht for coaches. Call Mueang Boran Co., Ltd., Kilometres 33.5, Tambon Bang Pu at 0-2323-9253 or Bangkok office at the corner of Democracy Monument, Ratchadamnoen Avenue at 0-2224-1058-7, 0-2226-1936-7.
The Erawan Museum This three-headed elephant, Airavata was born of Khun Lek Viriyapant's ideas and imagination. It was inspired by his wish to preserve his collection of antiques as a contribution to Thai cultural heritage. Many of these were priceless objects of art they were also held as sacred objects for people of ancient cultures. According to ancient traditions they were believed to bring blessing and prosperity to the land and its people, and therefore must not be lost to outsiders. It had been Mr.Viriyapant's concern to find a way that would keep these objects safe and that would also be suitable to their traditional functions.
One day he had a visit from a Westerner who, during the course of the conversation, suggested the idea of constructing the most important building in the town in the form of an apple which according to Western traditions of belief, played a crucial part in the shaping of human destiny. This suggestion was warmly welcomed by Mr.Viriyapant. He nevertheless thought it more appropriate to adhere to Eastern traditions and thus decided on the heavenly elephant Airavata of Hindu mythology. In addition, he wanted this three-headed elephant to be more than just the vehicle of the god Indra.
The elephant would be a symbol of the centre of the universe and, as such, the building would function symbolically as the spiritual heart of the land where sacred objects of the land were housed and revered.
He then designed the building and gave the design to Khun Pagpean Viriyapant, his eldest son, to begin construction. Already during the construction, the building attracted people who came to worship. Thus it fulfilled Khun Lek Viriyapant's wish to preserve sacred objects for the country. Although both Khun Lek and Khun Pagpean passed away before the construction was completed, their heirs continued their wish to create a place where ceremonies and festivals of Thai traditions might be held, and that would also serve as museum to keep the memory of Khun Lek Viriyapant's life and work alive for future generations.
Getting to The Erawan Museum : Bus No: 25,142,365 / Air-conditioned bus No: 102,507,511,536Admissions : Adult Baht 150 / Children Baht 50Office : The Ancient City 99/9 M.1 Muang Samut Prakan, Samut Prakan Province 10270Tel: 0 2371 3135-6 Fax: 0 2371 3136Open Everyday 9.00 a.m.-6.00 p.m.
Nong Ngu Hao Farm is located at Tambon Bang Chalong on Bangna-Trat Road. Between the 14 and 15 kilometres markers, take a left turn into a side road (entrance to Krirk University) and go in about 1.5 kilometres. It started in 1986, has an area of about 10 Rais (4 acres). The main purpose being the rearing of various kinds of cobras. There are also shows of snake venom extraction and snake catching. There are various snake-skin products on sale at low prices, such as shoes, belts, bags, etc.. It is open from 9.00 a.m.-5.30 p.m. Normally, it is open to only contracted Tour Operators. For the the general public, please contact the Farm in advance at: Nong Ngu How Farm, 23/2 Mu. 6, kilometre 15 (Bangna-Trat), Tambon Bang Chalong, Amphoe Bang Phli, Samut Prakan 10540, or call at 0-2312-5990.
Wat Bang Phli Yai is situated on the banks of the Sam Rong canal, Tambon Bang Phli Yai, about 13 kilometres from Pratunam Sam Rong. The former name is Wat Plap Phla Chai Chana Songkhram. It was constructed as the victory monument to commemorate Later, a large bronze Buddha image of the Sukhothai period in the attitude of Subduing Mara with open eyes, which measures 3 cubits and 1 span (175 centimetres) wide at the lap was enshrined at this temple. The Buddha image is highly revered by all and is known as "Luang Pho To”. So this temple is also called Wat Luang Pho To. The townspeople transports a replica of Luang Pho To by boat in the celebration of the Lotus Throwing Festival (Yon Bua (lotus throwing to the Buddha image) Festival), which is held annually on the fourth day of the waxing moon in the eleventh month of the lunar calendar.
Bang Pu Seaside is located at Tambon Bang Pu Mai, about Kilometres 37 from Bangkok on Sukhumvit Road, opposite the Bang Pu Industrial Estate. It has long been famous for its seaside resort and also the recuperation centre, and generally associated with relaxation. It is operated by the Quartermaster General's Department. Inside the compound, there are many gardens and a lot of trees and plants. Restaurants and bungalows are also available. During November to late July, a lot of migrating seagulls will come here, feeding along the seashore. Call 0-2323-9138, 0-2323-9983 for more information.
Bueng Tako This is a place for water sports lovers. Water skiing and windsurfing can be enjoyed here. Rental fee is 200 Baht per hour. It is open daily.
Getting there: visitors can take the Bang Na-Trat highway going out of Bangkok, and at Kilometres13 marker, you can see the entrance on the right hand side, on the same side as the entrance to Wat Luang Pho To, right next to Mitsubishi Co., Ltd. Call at 0-2316-7809-10 for more information.
Phra Samut ChediNaval History Park at Chulachomklao Fortress is situated at the mouth of Chao Phraya River, Tambon Laem Fa Pha. You can get there using the Suksawat Road from the Phra Samut Chedi intersection. The fortress's compound houses a magnificent standing monument of King Rama V, which is located in the front of the fortress.
The Chulachomklao Fortress is a modern fortress and has played an important role in protecting the sovereignty of Thailand during 1893 against unfriendly forces. It is the fortress forever in the memory of all Thais and a very important part of Thai history. During King Rama V's reign, there was a period during which England and France were hunting for colonies. All neighbouring countries around Thailand were colonised by England and France. This was indeed a grave situation endangering Thailand so he sought ways to protect the country. Particularly, protection of the water of Thailand, he commanded that the fortresses at the river's mouth be renovated and re-equipped, and also hired a foreigner who was a naval specialist as a consultant for planning the development of the Thai navy.
Pom Puen Suea Mop (Machine Gun), used in the battle against unfriendly forces, is situated at the lower base of the fortress. Exhibition Hall displays the picture of damage from the wars and pictures related to the development of the Royal Thai Navy. H.M.S.Mae Klong Battleship Museum is a battleship that served in the Royal Thai Navy for over 60 years, the longest period of service for any vessel. The Ministry of Defense, seeing the battleship was no longer fit for active duty, de-commissioned the battleship and converted it into a museum. There are also walking paths for visitors who are interested in nature and ecological preservation. Visitors can see the mangrove forest, which is home to egrets, sea gulls, mudskippers, and many kinds of crabs. There is also a garden filled entirely with plants and trees from the mangrove forest. Getting there : by car: 7 kilometres on Highway No. 303; by bus: take the bus line number 20 which will pass the fortress, or you can take a Song Thaeo from Phra Samut Chedi to fortress, or alternatively, you can take a micro bus (Bang Pakok route) which will stop inside the fortress.
The fortress is open daily from 8.00 a.m.-6.00 p.m. without any admission fee. To get in, visitors must seek permission by exchanging their identification cards from the on-duty officers unit at the gate. For groups of visitors that should wish to have a guide should send a request letter to H.M.S.Mae Klong Battleship Museum. Call 0-2475-6109, 0-2475-6259, and 0-2475-6357 for more information.
Phra Samut Chedi is located at Tambon Pak Klong Bang Pla Kot, on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, opposite Samut Prakan City Hall. Formerly, this chedi was located on a small island in the middle of Chao Phraya River's mouth behind Phisuea Samut Fortress. Subsequently, however, the little island became linked to the right bank of the river due to the water turning shallow. Then, King Rama II granted the construction of the Chedi but it was not completed in his time. Later, during the reign of King Rama III, construction was resumed and the 20-metre high pagoda was completed. Finally, King Rama IV commanded that the shape of the chedi be changed and also increased the chedi's height to 38 metres. Inside the pagoda, contained Lord Buddha's relics, Phra Chai Wat and Phra Ham Samut Buddha images (Buddha image in the attitude of Pacifying the ocean).
Pom Phlaeng Faifa is located at Tambon Talat. Only a few parts of the fortress are still in good condition. It was one of the fortresses of Mueang Nakhon Khuaenkhan, serving as a military base at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River. There are many fortresses because King Rama I commanded that the fortresses be built for protecting the kingdom. At present, Mueang Phra Pa Daeng Municipality has developed the area of the fortress into a recreational area for the townspeople. The upper part of the fortress displays several old cannons. Trees have been planted all around.
City Pillar Shrine is located at Tambon Talat. It was constructed in 1813. It has been with Amphoe Phra Pradaeng a long time - since the time when this Amphoe was once a city. It is a highly revered holy place of the people.
Phra Sua Mueang Shrine is located at Tambon Talat. It was built a long time ago at the same time that Phra Pradaeng city was first built. This is also a highly revered holy place of the locals.
Wat Phaichayon Phonsep Ratchaworawihan , situated at Tambon Bang Phueng, it is a second class royal monastery. Prince Ratchawangbowon Mahasakphonsep built it during the reign of King Rama II. There are two splendid buildings in this temple. Inside the main building, there is a Buddha image in the attitude of Subduing Mara covered with gold leaf in a little shrine on top of the chedi.
Wat Song Tham Worawihan is located at Amphoe Phra Pradaeng. It is an old temple of Mon-Buddhism sect. It was constructed at the same time when Mueang Nakhon Khuaenkhan was being built, during the reign of King Rama III. At present, it is a second class royal monastery. The huge Phra Raman Chedi was built in Mon style. Buildings in this temple are built of brick and cement. A decoration on the roof of the temple is made of teak. The replication of Lord Buddha's Footprint was enshrined inside the temple.
Wat Proatketchettharam located at Tambon Song Kha Nong, is a third class royal monastery. It is the only Thai-Buddhism temple in Phra Pradaeng. Other temples are of the Mon-Buddhism sect. Phraya Phetphichai built it during the reign of King Rama II. A distinct and unique architectural characteristic of the templ is that it's roof is covered with ancient Mon ceramic shingles, without any decorations on the temple roof. The front of the main building, Ubosot, above the entrance, is done with stucco adorned with vine lines and decorated with ancient porcelain and ceramic pieces. Inside, there is a cast-metal Buddha image in the attitude of Subduing Mara.
The second main building, Wiharn, has the same architecture as the first building. Inside the second main building, there is a reclining Buddha of which the face is very beautiful. Above the windows, there are the pictures of Dhamma Riddles of western arts style, which is extremely rare. Another building, Mondop, has a roof that is covered with ceramic shingles and decorated with small chinese pavilions all around the edge of the roof. It enshrines Buddha images in many the attitudes and has chedis at all 4 corners. Inside the Mondop, there are Buddha images and the replication of Lord Buddha's Footprint, decorated with pearl inset.
Phra Samut Chedi Worship Fair This is the great fair for which people from all over the country come to worship the revered chedi. The fair is held annually for 9 days and 9 nights, starting from the fifth day of the waning moon in the eleventh month of the lunar calendar. During the festival, there are contests held for the best-looking procession in presenting the cloth to cover the Phra Samut Chedi. The procession will be run through the streets around the Pak Nam Market, then be brought onto boats going down the Chao Phraya River until it reaches the Phra Pradaeng District Office and return to Ong Phra Samut Chedi. There are also the walk around the Phra Samut Chedi (wian tian – walk, while holding lighted candles, around a temple), boat racing in the Chao Phraya River, local entertainments, and many local products on sale. Getting there: from Samut Prakan town to Phra Samut Chedi, there are daily boat ferries in front of Wibunsri Market around the clock.
Pak Lat Songkran Fair (Phra Pradaeng) It is held yearly on the first Sunday after Songkran Day (April 13 th). The townspeople in cooperation with Amphoe Mueang Phra Pradaeng celebrate the Songkran Day according to the local Songkran Festival of Raman (Mon) people. Songkran beauty pageants parade, freeing birds and fish, and traditional folk entertainment such as Saba (a pitch and toss game), Thayaemon (a musical composition of Mon) and Mon dancing are included in this fair.
Yon Bua Festival is a festival which goes back a long, long time for the Bang Phli people and which have been followed by generations after one another. It is held yearly on the thirteenth day and the early morning of the fourteenth day of the waxing moon in the eleventh month of the lunar calendar. The festival consists of worshipping and parading of Luang Pho To, both on land and by boat, competitions of local activities such as arranging a lotus tray, boat decoration contests, and folk entertainments such as Phleng Rua (traditional singing in boats). In the early morning of the fourteenth day, the Yon Bua Festival is held, people will toss lotus onto the boat bearing the Luang Pho To Buddha image. They also toss lotus to the people from out of town in boats who also come to join in the festival as a sign of making merit together.
Luang Pho Pan Worship Fair It is the Bang Bo people's annual fair, held on the eighth day of the waxing moon in the twelfth month of the lunar calendar to commemorate and celebrate Luang Pho Pan's virtue
Hotels and accommodation
- Bang Pu Resort : Tambon Bangpu Mai, Sukhumvit Rd Amphoe Muang [0 2323 9138, 0 2323 9983] : 250-750 baht
- Bangpu Inn : 259 Mu 2 Tambon Bang Pu Mai, Km. 37 Sukhumvit Road Amphoe Muang [0 2323 9627-8] : 190-490 baht
- Nitthra Sawan : 106 Tambon Pak Nam Amphoe Muang [0 2395 1608] : 120-350 baht
- Pak Nam : 101/1-2 Narai Prapsuk Road, Tambon Pak Nam Amphoe Muang [0 2387 1691] : 200-350 baht
- Phara Inn : 1970/11-14 Soi Mit Udom 1, Tambon Samrong Nua Amphoe Muang [0 2398 9945-6] : 185-500 baht
- Phet Inn : 143 Mu 5 Soi Wat Dan Samrong Amphoe Muang : 300-400 baht
- New Si Sawat : 128/14 Suksawat Road, Tambon Bang Phung Amphoe Phra Pra Daeng [0 2462 7717] : 260-350 baht
- Phra Pra Daeng : 281 Khuan Khan Road, Tambon Bang Phung Amphoe Phra Pra Daeng [0 2462 6751] : 200 baht
- Palace : 19/11 Soi Wat Nam Daeng, Si Nakharin Road Amphoe Bang Phli : 300-400 baht
- Kam Poo : 1 Km., Teparak Rd.
- Kiew Pla : Pak Nam, near the Government Saving Bank
- Seafood : 199 Moo 14, Tai Ban, Sukhumvit Rd., Tel: 0-2395-0576, 0-2395-2326
- Nai Mah : Old Sukhumvit Rd., Tel: 0-2709-1118-9
- Bang Poo : Bang Poo Recreational Retreat, Thai Royal Army, Sukhumvit Rd., 38 Km.
- Suan Aharn Talay : 77/1 Moo 4, Sukhumvit Rd., Tel: 0-2395-1150
- Samosorn Rachatan : Bank of Chao Phraya River, next to Pak Nam Prison
- Sawang Kaniwat : Sukhumvit Rd., 31.5 Km
- Amphoe Phrapradaeng
- Kao Man Kai Ha Yak : South Samrong
- Poonlert 75 : 283/13 Poo Chao Saming Prai Rd., Samrong Klang
- Suan Aharn Talay : 77/1 Moo 4, Sukhumvit Rd., Tel: 0-2395-1150, 0-2395-1870
- Samosorn Ratchatan :: Bank of Chao Phraya River, next to Pak Nam Prison
- Amphoe Bang Pli
- Greenfield : 5/30 Moo 6, Bangna-Trat Rd., 15 Km., Bang Chalong, Tel: 0-2312-5404
- Pia U Pochana : 52/1 Moo 10, Rim Klong Bang Phli, Bang Pli Yai
- Petch Sri Fah : 1986 Teparak Rd., 1 Km., North Samrong
How to get there
* By car
You can use the old Sukhumvit Road and also Highway Number 303 to get there. The distance is only 29 kilometres to Samut Prakan town.
* By bus
- By air-conditioned buses (of the BMTA – Bangkok Mass Transit Authority) Line No. 2 (Sam Rong - Pak Khlong Talat), Line No. 6 (Pak Kret - Phra Pradaeng), Line No. 7 (Sam Rong - Tha Phra), Line No. 8 (Pak Nam - Tha Ratchaworadit), Line No. 11 (Pak Nam - Khonsongsaitai), Line No. 13 (Rangsit - Pu Chao Saming Phrai), Line No. 23 (Sam Rong – Thewet via Expressway), Line No. 25 (Pak Nam - Tha Chang), Line No. 102 (Pak Nam - Chong Nonsee), Line No. 126 (Nonthaburi - Sam Rong), Line No. 129 (Thang Duan - Kasetsart University - Sam Rong), Line No. 142 (Wat Lau - Samut Prakan), Line No. 145 (Suan Chatuchak - Samut Prakan)
- By non-air conditioned buses Line No. 2 (Sam Rong - Pak Khlong Talad), Line No. 6 (Phra Pradaeng - Bang Lamphu), Line No. 13 (Rangsit - Phu Chao Saming Phrai), Line No. 20 (Pom Phra Chun- Tha Nam Din Daeng), Line No. 23 (Sam Rong – Thewet via Expressway), Line No. 25 (Pak Nam - Tha Chang), Line No. 45 (Sam Rong - Ratchaprasong), Line No. 82 (Phra Pradaeng - Bang Lamphu), Line No. 102 (Pak Nam - Chong Nonsi), Line No. 116 (Samrong - Sathorn), Line No. 129 (Kasetsart University - Sam Rong via Expressway), Line No. 138 (Chatuchak - Phra Pradaeng via Expressway), Line No. 145 (Suan Chatuchak - Pak Nam)