Samut Sakhon is Thailand’s leading province of salt production. A short drive away from Bangkok, Samut Sakhon rests at the mouth of the Tha Chin River and is houses one of the biggest fish distribution centers in Thailand. Samut Sakhon, known to locals as Maha Chai, is a historical city that was officially recorded in the Ayutthaya Kingdom and to this day remains a place where Ayutthaya influences remain. Find out what Samut Sakhon has to offer and plan your next trip today.
1. Razor clam digging at Don Hoi Lot
Don Hoi Lot is a popular lunch spot amongst the locals for fresh and authentic seafood dishes by the lagoon. At low tides, tourists as well as locals can hunt for clams and other fresh seafood in the mud. There are also a lot of food stalls in the area that sell dried snacks such as cuttlefish and anchovies.
Don Hoi Lot
Address: Moo 4, Mueang Samut Songkhram, Samut Songkhram Province, Samut Sakhon 75000, Thailand
2. Eat amazing seafood at Mahachai
Mahachai is one of the largest seafood markets in Thailand and is the biggest fish distribution center that caters to the large population of Bangkok. The market is also a sort of outgrowth of the train station so visitors can witness the train pulling up in the market. There is a well-known house turned local restaurant called Ran Ahan Pi that is a must-visit for seafood lovers! The restaurant carries some must-try items such as khao pad poo (crab fried rice) and salted egg seafood dishes on its menu.
Ran Ahan Phi at Mahachai
Address: Mahachai, Samut Sakhon, Thailand
3. Learn about Thai honesty at Phanthai Norasing Shrine
The history behind this shrine dates back to the Ayutthaya period. A royal coxswain, Phanthai Norasing, crashed the prow of the boat King Phra Chao Sua was on due to the meandering of the river. Although he was forgiven, the royal coxswain displayed his honesty and integrity and begged for his life to be taken in following palace’s law. Till today, Thai students still learn the coxswain’s story in school and have to recite the poem of his life.
Visitors can also cruise the surrounding canals, mangroves and fishing villages that trace the life of Phanthai Norasing by renting a boat at the pier at Mahachai Market.
Phanthai Norasing Shrine
Address: Tambon Phantai Norasing, Samut Sakhon, Thailand
Cruise Tour from Mahachai Market
Address: Mahachai Market Landing
Price: from 200 THB (6 USD) per hour
4. Visit the City Pillar Shrine and catch the procession
The pull of every fisherman’s heart and a sacred place, the City Pillar Shrine is where fishermen light a small candle before they set sail to pray for their safety at sea. Every year the locals celebrate the City Pillar Shrine Procession to honor the town’s guardian spirit. During the procession, visitors can expect to be treated to 2,000 kilograms of fried noodles to be shared and performances such as folk music. The annual procession dates however change according to the Buddhist calendar so it’s best to check on Thailand’s tourism website.
City Pillar Shrine
Address: Setthakit 1 Rd., Maha Chai, Muang Samut Sakhon, Samutsakhon 74000 Thailand
5. Take a break at Porto Chino
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
If you are ready to move on from Samut Sakhon and are going to Hua Hin or if you’re craving some comfort food, Porto Chino is definitely the place. It might not be a first-class shopping mall and it is a little out of the way, but it injects some modernity and diversity into the traditional Samut Sakhon experience. You can find hipster cafes, Korean and Japanese cuisine and even Starbucks here! It also hosts a small Songkran celebration and has occasional night markets if you are lucky enough to catch them.
Address: 99/120 Moo 4, Nadee Subdistrict, Samut Sakhon 74000, Thailand
6. Visit King Narai's Palace
Lopburi Museum is where the ruins of King Narai’s Palace rests today. Built in 1677 during the Ayutthaya Kingdom, it was abandoned shortly after in 1688 after the King’s death. Designed by French architects, the palace has both Thai and European elements in its architecture. The museum also holds other exhibitions of Thai artifacts dating from the prehistoric periods.
King Narai's Palace
Address: Sorasak Street, Tha Hin, Mueang Lop Buri District, Lop Buri 15000, Thailand
Opening Hours: 8.30am - 4.30pm. Closed on Mondays
7. Salt Evaporation Ponds
As the main source of production in Samut Sakhon is salt, it is definitely hard to miss the salt fields. There are many salt production fields along the highway that connect Samut Sakhon and Samut Songkhram and visitors can stop along the highway to watch the farmers hard at work bagging and drying salt.
Salt Evaporation Ponds
Address: Amphoe Mueang, Samut Sakhon, Thailand
Visit Samut Sakhon
Perhaps Samut Sakhon is not for those who itch to be in cosmopolitan cities. However, if you are looking to explore another side of Thailand, Samut Sakhon might surprise you with the numerous activities it has to offer. Deeply seated in tradition and history, Samut Sakhon exhibits a certain charm certainly not found anywhere else. So the next time you are in nearby Bangkok, make sure to explore this beautiful place as well.
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