Things To Do In Samut Prakan
One of the central provinces of Thailand, this place was established by the Act Establishing Changwat Samut Prakan and the Buddhist Era 2489(1946) which were enforced in March 1946. A huge part of the Bangkok Metropolitan Region, the neighboring areas is Bangkok and Chachoengsao. The famous Suvarnabhumi Airport is in the Bang Phli district of this lovely city. This place was created in the Ayutthaya Period with its administrative center located at Prapedaeng. Earlier this place was a bustling sea port of the Siam Region and was secured with many forts, moats and walls which surrounded the town. A royal Monarch named King Rama II had started building this new center after his predecessor had abandoned the earlier settlement.
A total of six forts were constructed on the sides of the river and the Pagoda named the Phra Samut Chedi was also constructed. All this area was involved in the Paknam incident of 1893, which ended the Franco-Siamese war and caused a French Naval Blokade of Bangkok. Out of the original six forts, only two forts exist today and are called the Phi Sua Samut and Phra Chulachomklao. The Thai Word Samut has been taken from Sanskrit which means a huge water body like the ocean or the sea. And the word Prakan in Sanskrit means Fortress, walls or stronghold. At the mouth of Gulf of Thailand, the province is also called Pak Nam which is the mouth of a river. There are mainly rice paddles and prawn farms all along the western side of the river. Mangroves line the entire place and the eastern part of the province is the urban center. With a coastline of about 47.2 Km, this stretch has quite a lot to explore. The national seal is the most important symbol of the country.
When To Go:
Try and avoid April unless you want to be drenched totally. This is the hottest month of the year. July to October is the monsoons where the wet rains make it bit pleasant. Actually the best time to visit Samut Prakan is between November to March every year.
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Just perfect, cool and dry, these months let you enjoy everything that the city has to offer. You should definitely avoid the summers between March end and June. They are too hot at times with temperatures ranging up to 40 degrees Celsius at time too.
These are the top things to do in Samut Prakan:
Spread over an area of 800 Ray in the Samut Prakan Province, the ancient city has been regarded as one of the biggest museums in the world. The specification being it is the biggest open air museum. While you can see many significant places in Thailand, there are exemplary castles, palaces, temples and sculptures. The segregation of the ancient city sculptures has been made based on the regions, for the visitors to enjoy and appreciate the basics of this multi-faceted culture. If you want to travel through Thailand in just one day, this is where you should be. Constructed in patronage to the owner of Virilya Insurance, in 1963, it has been turned in to a must visit tourist spot.
By visiting Talad Bok, you can have an example of the typical Thai Houses along with a floating market. The tourists buy a lot of souvenirs and memorable here. Considered to be the most important spot of this area, a visit to the Rangsan Zone, which is where most the famous places have been constructed. The best way to explore this place is by renting a bicycle or a tram. The best replicas of the unique buildings in Thailand are found at the Ancient City. The Ancient City has been laid out with respect to the directions and the entire place can be explored quickly. Cycling around the area is the best option to explore it and the narrow alleys and the roadways are a delight. You will also find a lot of eating and drinking joints where is you can taste the best food in the city. Spending one day here is leisure and fun.
Bang Pu Nature Reserve
If you are in the center of the town, around 12 kms east of it is the town center, a large population of the birds nestles around making it one of the best Nature Reserves in the area. It is a very popular place for the residents and the locals feeding the birds in this area. Run in conjunction with the Royal Thai Army and the Thai WWF, this place was officially established on the 72nd Birthday of the queen.
A huge population winter seagulls live in this nature park and the crowds that come to see it are scintillating. A Royal Thai Navy ship has been moored in concrete in Bang Pu Nature reserve and is one sight to see. While you may not be able to explore it completely from inside, the visit to this moored ship will let you have a first-hand experience of the majesty of the ships. A perfect exploration for those who have not seen a ship before!
Located in the sub district of Pak Nam, this museum is right opposite to the Naval Academy. This museum narrates the history of the important naval battles that have bee fought and the victories and the defeats and the sacrifices that people had to make for their loyalties to the nation. So apart from the histories , the museum has also tried to preserve whatever it could of the arms and equipment that was being used in the wars. Tributes have been paid to the national heroes. There is an extensive collection of naval Miniature ships which are also called barges. Now these barges have been very important to the Royal Barge Processions which were a matter of pride and prestige in the earlier times.
So while you enjoy beautiful audio visual display you can also gain a good amount of knowledge for the historical riches of this place. There are three areas of exhibitions here, Building 1 and Building 2 along with the outdoor exhibition. In front of the buildings, a water car, a diving boat and many more aquatic war forces are displayed. The outdoor exhibition displays all the grave weapons of war that have been used so far. The best exhibit that is liked by many is the display of the Uniforms. There is something so eerie about this place. If you have even a bit of interest in bombs, guns and weaponry, then this is just the place for you. Reaching the Naval Museum is not a problem, with the major bus routes plying through the area and the best again would be to ride at your reliability by renting a bicycle.
Samut Prakan Crocodiles and Zoo
Established in 1950 at present the Samut Prakan zoo is the world’s largest crocodile farm. With more than 60,000 crocodiles of various sizes are being bred and enjoying the protected but natural habitat. An internationally renowned zoo, it also the world’s largest crocodile as its inhabitant. With measurements ranging from six meters and onwards, this crocodile is the major attraction here. Weighing around 1112 kgs this crocodile is not only massive but ferocious as well and has been restricted for its movement openly to ensure safety of the visitors. Though the main attraction of this place is the crocodiles, you can also find a number of other animals. Carry your camera for beautiful clicks of the elephants, lions, tigers, monkeys and horses. The hippos are not in a large number but are in their habitat too. To entertain the visitors, protected under the wildlife norms, there are many animal shows that are held her every day.
These shows include interactive sessions with elephants and crocodiles. You may be fortunate enough to watch an animal expert put his head into the mouth of the crocodiles and witness the dexterity of the Elephants. While the other entertainers walk the tight ropes and ride skateboards and dance, the visitors are also invited to participate at their own risk. Yu could also enjoy a nice elephant ride all inside the area and have a fuller view of the place. A ride of the train which is inside the museum is also very interesting giving the rider a full throttle experience of the vintage trains. To keep you happily occupied throughout the day, you can also enjoy a paddle boat ride and explore the totality of the dinosaur museum. Not just for the adults, but this place is just amazing for the children as well. A lot of knowledge is imparted while you are following a guide to take you through the place and the interactive sessions with all the animals are fairly enjoyed by the young and adults both. Though there is an entry ticket for visiting Samut Prakan Crocodiles and Zoo, but it is not very expensive and you would find the money spent well worth the visit.
Exploring the Temples
Because this place has enough history covering it, a visit to the temples is a must to see its beautiful architecture and constructions. The first on the list is the ancient temple of the late Ayutthaya period. A mondop was created to house the Phra Putthabat Si Roi, roughly translating to the four Buddha footprints and also has an extensive gable which is decorated with stucco reliefs and bencharong Crockery. A must visit for the lovers of spirits and spiritual tours, this temple will leave you almost enlightened. Another temple which is definitely a must visit is the Wat Asokaram.
As many of the region’s most famous and largest temples belonging to the Forest Tradition, a complex structure of 13 chhedis or stupas containing the valuable relics of Budhha are centered in the place. You can also witness the grandeur of the three story building, called the Wihan Wsiuthithammarangsi. The four porches of this building forma the mondop superstructure and a giant statue of the emperor Asoka lie in the center. This temple was founded by the Great Saint Ajahn Lee, whose remains are interred in a casket in the main temple hall of the building.
A modern fort that was earlier constructed to display the protective powers of the people, the remains of the Fort Chulachomklao are still found in the city. This fort once protected the safety and the sovereignty of the people of Thailand and is now a major tourist attraction. This fort houses the best visiting place in the city.
Many of the favorite spots for visiting are the King Rama V the Great Monument which is a graceful monument of the king Rama v and has him adorning the royal uniform as a general holding the sword in both his hands. While you are touring the fort, you can also enjoy the HTMS Mae Klong Museum which respects and pays homage to the warriors of the Thai Clans. The royal Navy Warship which has been around for 60 years has also been displayed here.
Si Nakhon Khuean Khan Public and Botanical Park
If you want to explore the flora and fauna of the place, you need to be here. If biology and tress and their stories make you want more, then this place is just perfect for you. While you can witness the many life forms around you, you can also get in close to nature and have the best of the flora and fauna at your disposal.
An educative tour around this place will make you an expert in recognizing the various animals and birds in this region while you would also gain enough knowledge on the trees and foliage. All throughout the year, may biologists and horticulturists come here to study their subjects in peace and comfort. You should visit the Si Nakhon Khuean Khan Public and Botanical Park to understand that the grass we can walk upon also has so many types and species. Blatant little facts of life we happen to ignore every day.
Bang Namphueng Floating Market
If you have wondered what a floating market looks like, then this is where you should be. Completely floating from all sides, nothing ground this market to the ground. While you enjoy your pick of things, you would also be able to identify so many relics from the past and their replicas which you can buy at throw away prices to carry back home.
You can also enjoy the local delicacies here in the Bang Namphueng floating market while you also buy a bag full of local and handmade handicrafts and little treasures. A must visit for the street shopper this market is a must visit. The basic charm of this floating market is the lifestyle of the people who dwellon the sides of the canal, which are locally called the THAI MON. The specialty of this place is the Hoi Thot and khanom Khrok.
City pillar and Phra Suea Mueang Shrine
Shrines are the most revered places in any area of the world and they are supremely important here also. The City Pillar Shrine basically looks like a divine element considering it holds the image of the Indian God Ganesha on it top. Many people come here to pay respects and homage to this shrine. Also at tambon talat, a shrine was constructed exactly in the same period as the Phra Pradaeng town and is much revered by the locals.
A visit to both these shrines is a must in terms of leisure and knowledge of the spiritual; beliefs of the people. A lot of local traditions can be understood by a visit to this pace while they pray and follow their heart and spirituals souls. A must visit not just for the knowledge that you could gain, also for the sheer beauty of the two shrines, a visit to this place is a must and should not be missed.
Pak Lat Songkran Festival
13thApril every year is the Songkran day and every Sunday after the Songkran Day is held the Pak Lat Songkran Festival. A huge procession crosses the city and bird and fish release follows the merit making here. The best if to enjoy the folk games of the local and it also presents a perfect opportunity to understand what the local lifestyles are like.
You can also enjoy the Saba game with huge crowd of people making it all the more interesting. Try your hand at the Mon Ram game and see how far you can excel. A perfect festival filled with fun and frolic, this is one procession that breathes life into the city. People come out dressed in their traditional attires and also have loads of local food and drinking stalls where in you can relish the culinary tastes of the local cuisines.
Samut Prakan is one place in Thailand that has everything that you would need to make your trip memorable and fantastic. Pack your bags and plan you r trip now. Enjoy the walkways and the streets and you would totally connect to the place.
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