Samut Sakhon Province


Samut Sakhon Province

Infobox Thai Province
name = Samut Sakhon
thai = สมุทรสาคร
capital = Samut Sakhon town
area = 872.3
arearank = 72nd
population = 466.281
population_as_of = 2000
populationrank = 53rd
density = 535
densityrank = 4th
isocode = TH-74
province code = 74telephone province code = 034governor = Wirayut Iam-ampha
governor_since = October 2007
map

Samut Sakhon ( _th. สมุทรสาคร) is one of the central provinces ("changwat") of Thailand.

"Fishing City, Factory Town, Agricultural Ground, Historic Site"

Neighboring provinces are (from the southwest clockwise) Samut Songkhram, Ratchaburi, Nakhon Pathom and Bangkok.

Etymology

The word "Samut" originates from the Sanskrit word "Samudra" meaning "ocean", and the word "sakhon" from Sanskrit "sagara" meaning "lake".

Geography

Samut Sakhon is located at the mouth of the Tha Chin Klong river, a distributary of the Chao Phraya river, to the Gulf of Thailand. At the coast to the sea are many fields used for sea salt production.

History

The oldest name of the area is Tha Chin, probably referring to the fact that it was a trading port where Chinese junks arrived. In 1548 the city Sakhon Buri was established, and was renamed in 1704 to Mahachai after the khlong Mahachai which was dug then and connected with the Tha Chin river near the town. It was renamed by King Mongkut to its current name, however the old name Mahachai is still sometimes used by the locals.

ymbols

Administrative divisions

The province is subdivided into 3 districts ("Amphoe"). The districts are further subdivided into 40 communes ("tambon") and 288 villages ("muban").
#Mueang Samut Sakhon
#Krathum Baen
#Ban Phaeo

Altogether there are 7 municipal ("thesaban") areas within the province - Samut Sakhon is the only city ("thesaban nakhon"), Krathum Baen and Om Noi are the two towns ("thesaban mueang"), and there are further 4 townships ("thesaban tambon"). The non-municipal areas are administrated by 30 Tambon administrative organizations (TAO).

Tourism

ights

"Wat Yai Chom Prasat (วัดใหญ่จอมปราสาท)" It is an ancient temple aged approximately 400 years. Inside the temple, there are important historical remains. The Fine Arts Department registered the temple as a national ancient monument on 27 September, 1936.

"Wat Suthiwat Wararam (วัดสุทธิวาตวราราม)" or Wat Chong Lom (วัดช่องลม) is a beautifully decorated royal temple and a model of the developed one. At the front of the temple is enshrined a statue of King Rama V, celebrating his royal journey to Tha Chalom and its establishment as the first sanitary district of Thailand.

"Samut Sakhon Science Centre for Education (ศูนย์วิทยาศาสตร์เพื่อการศึกษาจังหวัดสมุทรสาคร)" Inside the building lies an exhibition on astrology and space. Outside the building, scientific gardens are organized such as geological garden, health garden, physics amusement park, organic agricultural garden and herb garden.

"Wat Khok Kham (วัดโคกขาม)" The interesting part of this temple is the old ubosot decorated around with Sema boundary markers. Besides, there is a Phanthai Norasing Shrine which was a temporary shrine and a store of antique objects concerning the story of Phanthai Norasing.

"Phanthai Norasing Shrine (ศาลพันท้ายนรสิงห์)" This shrine was constructed in memory of Phanthai Norasing. Phrachao Suea had Phanthai Norasing executed against the former’s own consent, ordered the construction of a temporary shrine and put Phanthai Norasing’s head, as well as, the broken figurehead of the Ekkachai royal barge in the shrine to be a symbol of his honesty and loyalty.

"Khlong Khok Kham (คลองโคกขาม)" is a very winding canal. Some parts of it are 90-degree curves. The tide is so strong that it is very difficult to control a boat. This caused an accident when Phrachao Suea went along Khlong Khok Kham on his private trip by the Ekkachai royal barge. The barge hit a branch of a tree and Phanthai Norasing as the steersman took responsibility by being executed.

"Pom Wichian Chodok (ป้อมวิเชียรโชฎก)" It was constructed in 1828 during the reign of King Rama III because in that period, there was a conflict with the Vietnamese on Chao Anuwong of Vientiane. The fortress was made of bricks and cement with no guarding station, but fighting ones, while at the opening in the wall laid the cannons preventing the enemies coming through the mouth of the river.

"The City Pillar Shrine (ศาลหลักเมือง)" is a sacred place, as well as, a centre of the heart of the fishermen in the province. Every time before sailing off, they have to pay respect and light a firework in front of the city pillar shrine for good luck.

"Talat Maha Chai (Tharuea Thetsaban) (ตลาดมหาชัย, ท่าเรือเทศบาล)" It is a centre of commerce and transport of Samut Sakhon. Talat Maha Chai is a spot where there are boats to various districts. There are charters as well as regular long-tailed boats to Khlong Khok Kham.

"Saphan Pla (สะพานปลา)" is the biggest fish bridge and a modern one, second only to that in Bangkok. Modern facilities are utilized to transfer large amount of sea products in every kind. Also, it is a wholesale centre of sea fish.

"Wat Pa Chai Rangsi (วัดป่าชัยรังสี)" The temple was constructed in 1982. Its unique pattern of architecture, similar to the stone sanctuaries in the Northeast is the most interesting aspect of the temple.

"Wat Bang Pla (วัดบางปลา)" is an important temple of the Mon minority in Samut Sakhon. King Rama V went to the temple when Luangpu Thao Kao Yot was the abbot. Moreover, Krommaluang Chumphon Khet Udomsak had a long covered walkway constructed with its eaves board being beautifully engraved.

"Ao Maha Chai Mangrove Forest Natural Resource Study Centre (พื้นที่ศึกษาธรรมชาติป่าชายเลนอ่าวมหาชัย)" is situated in Tambon Ban Ya Phraek, at the mouth of the right side of the Tha Chin River. The centre is located in the area of the National Forest Reserve on the western side of Ao Maha Chai.

"Shrimp Farms and Salt Fields (นากุ้งนาเกลือ)" Samut Sakhon’s beaches are appropriate for operating shrimp farms and salt fields, especially in Tambon Kalong, Tambon Na Khok, Tambon Ban Bo, Tambon Bang Thorat, Tambon Khok Kham and Tambon Phanthai Norasing.

"Wat Nang Sao (วัดนางสาว)" The important ancient monument of the temple is a brick ordination hall on a curved base similar to a junk with one entrance which is called “Bot Maha Ut”. It has the ancient style of a terracotta tiled roof, whose beams were made of logs and twin sandstone boundary markers.

"Plong Liam (ปล่องเหลี่ยม)" is a chimney of a Portuguese sugar factory, called Captain Hit. It is believed that the Portuguese who resided in Thailand during that period might support the villagers to plant sugar cane to supply sugar factories because in the past, this area was a good location for planting cane as evident from many sugarcane press factories, which are called by the locals as “Rong Hip”.

Activities

"Cruising" is one of the interesting water activities for tourists in Samut Sakhon. The route starts from the Phanthai Norasing Shrine at Khlong Khok Kham.

"Orchard and Flower Garden Tour" in Amphoe Krathum Baen and Amphoe Ban Phaeo. In both districts, the locals do orchards, vegetable plantation, orchid farms and coconut groves. The former one is famous for the orchards of Nam Hom (fragrant juice) coconuts, pomelos and orchid farms along Setthakit Road (3091), while in the latter, there are vineyards and guava orchards along Highway No. 3097.

Culture

Festivals

"Seafood Festival" takes place during February or March every year at the embarkment in front of the City Pillar Shrine to promote the reputation of seafood products of the province, as well as, the agricultural produce of the Ban Phaeo people such as fruits, flowers, including the processed food industry. Also, there is a fair offering seafood and handicraft products.

"Ban Phaeo Agriculture Fair" is organized during February or March every year to promote the agricultural produce of the farmers in Amphoe Ban Phaeo, the most well-known place in the province and the biggest one in the country for the production of fruits, flowers and agricultural products.

"Chaopho Lak Mueang Procession" takes place in June every year at the embarkment and in front of the city hall. Chaopho Lak Mueang will be placed in a palanquin onto a fishing boat, beautifully decorated with flags and floated along the Tha Chin River from Talat Maha Chai to Tha Chalom in the area of Wat Suwannaram and further to Wat Chong Lom, providing an opportunity for the people to pay respect for good fortune.

"Tha Chalom Vegetarian Festival" is organized during the period of days 1-9 of the waxing moon in the 9th Chinese lunar month every year. It is a serene vegetarian festival full of a ceremonial atmosphere, as well as, spirit and body purification attended by a large number of people.

"Honey Offering Festival" takes place in Wat Khlong Khru, Amphoe Mueang, Samut Sakhon, on the full moon of the 10th lunar month to pass on the traditional culture and festival of the Thai Mon people in paying respect to the monk. The monk will preserve the honey and use it as medicine in the necessary time. The Thai Mon people believe that those who offer honey to the monk will obtain good luck back and will be prosperous in money and honour both in this and in the next life.

"Bodhisattva Kwan Yin Homage-paying Fair" takes place during 19-23 November every year in the area of Wat Chong Lom to provide a chance for the public and tourists to pay homage to Bodhisattva Kwan Yin.

External links

* [http://www.tourismthailand.org/destinationguide/list.aspx?provinceid=59 Province page from the Tourist Authority of Thailand]
* [http://www.samutsakhon.go.th Official website] (Thai only)
* [http://www.thailex.info/THAILEX/THAILEXENG/LEXICON/Copy%20of%20Samut%20Sakon.htm Samut Sakhon provincial map, coat of arms and postal stamp]


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