This post might answer your question: What is the smallest province in Thailand?
The answer is Samut Songkhram. It is the smallest province in Thailand, so you can easily spend a day in Samut Songkhram, or just a few hours, depending on what you want to do, of course.
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A Bit About Samut Songkhram
Samut Songkhram, also known as Mae Klong or Suan Nok, sometimes spelled as Samut Songkram, is southwest of Bangkok on the Gulf of Thailand. It has an area of 416.7 km2 (about 160.9 sq mi).
The other provinces that surround it are Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi, and Samut Sakhon, the province where I lived for a few months teaching English.
There are a few floating markets and other attractions that make this province special:
- Amphawa Floating Market
- Chang-Eng Siamese Twins Memorial
- King Rama II’s birthing place
- Maeklong Railway Market
- Tha Kha Floating Market
And there will be a bunch of cafes that you can stop at too.
If you’re heading to Samut Songkhram and you are in Mahachai, you are in luck. Just check out the train directions listed below and you will be in Samut Songkhram in no time.
What Do You Need for Your Day Trip?
- Sunblock- this stuff will be great for Thailand’s beaming sun!
- Walking shoes
It might be difficult to find an ATM, so you’ll want to bring enough money to buy food, water, and other small items at the markets.
To Samut Songkhram From Bangkok
If you are staying in Bangkok, you can easily take a day trip to this province.
The distance between Bangkok and Samut Songkhram is 81.3 km (50.5 mi).
Driving on Rama II Road in Samut Songkhram to Bangkok is 63 km (39 mi).
Of course, you can always take a private or group tour if you choose. Check out what tours are available and read the reviews to make sure if a tour is right for you.
But in case you don’t want to, there are plenty of other options that are available.
You can take:
If you decide to drive or take a taxi, it will take around one hour. A taxi can cost you anywhere from USD 15 to 30. But if you want to see a lot of these attractions listed below, you might have to taxi everywhere if you don’t end up taking a day tour.
If you do end up taking a taxi, you might be able to make a deal with the driver and see if they want to bring you around the province for a set price.
The train will be the hottest and cheapest option.
You will want to get to the Wongwian Yai Railway Station in Bangkok and head to Mahachai, Samut Sakhon.
Once you get to Mahachai, you can walk to the pier which is less than a five-minute walk from the station.
From the Ferry Pier (Mahachai – Tha Chalom), you can buy a ticket to get to Tha Chalom.
When you are in Tha Chalom, you will walk out of the station and turn right and walk for less than ten minutes until you see Ban Laem Railway Station. You will have to buy a ticket to Maeklong, which will cost THB 10.
If you want a cheap option with AC, you can take a van from Bangkok to Samut Songkhram for less than USD 10 per person. It might take a few hours since they make stops in between.
You also have to wait for the vans to fill up before they actually leave so it is up to you if you want to wait or not.
To get a van, head to Wat Ratcha Natda Ram. Then from Mochit 2 Bus Depot you will go to Bangkok Mochit New Van Terminal and then just keep a look out or ask the driver for Maeklong Railway Market.
How to Spend a Day in Samut Songkhram
There are loads of things to do during your day trip from Bangkok.
The Buffalo Cafe
Fun fact: the word “buffalo” means stupid in Thailand.
My students would always use that word and one day I finally figured it out. I’m not sure where that name came from, but every time I hear the word “buffalo” I think of Thailand.
And yes, there are real buffalos at this cafe. The area surrounding the cafe is huge. You will see many people there on a bright and sunny day.
Once you are finished at Amphawa Floating Market, you can stop by Chanchala Cafe and grab an iced cold beverage and relax for a bit.
Grab a coconut for hydration and there are different restaurants around the area if you want some food.
Amphawa Floating Market
You’ll want to spend some time at the local water market: Amphawa Floating Market.
There is an inside part of the market that is usually packed so hold onto your belongings tightly and grab some fresh pad Thai to gain strength as you push your way through the crowds. Kidding, don’t push your way, but it will be crowded.
You can also find some small crafts and handmade items, play a game or two, and see all of the fresh food offered at the market. This floating market has local seafood and other street vendors. Try some lychee, pomelo, or coconut that the province is known for.
Maeklong Railway Market
You’ve heard about it, seen videos, and now you can experience it yourself!
Maeklong Railway Market is one of the places that will amaze you. If you head to the province by train, you will land right at the market.
This market is one of the most popular tourist spots and you will see why.
Look out the window, but don’t stick your head out too far because yes, you are THAT close to the vendors. If you get the chance, you can watch the vendors move their shops and awnings from the train tracks and then back in place again once the train departs.
Once you get to the market, take a walk around for a bit and maybe pick up a hand fan to help cool yourself in the hot Thailand weather.
You will see fish, fruit, meat, and tons of jewelry. This is a great area to pick up a souvenir and support the locals.
Chang-Eng Siamese Twins Memorial
Chang and Eng Bunker, the Siamese twins, were born in Samut Songkhram. The conjoined twins were born in May of 1811 in Thailand (formerly known as Siam) and then brought to the United States almost 20 years later where they lived out the rest of their lives.
You can check out the King Rama II Memorial Park and museum that are right by Amphawa Floating Market.
Near the Chang-Eng Siamese Twins Memorial, you can see The Boat Museum. It shows how life is along the Mae Klong river.
Between Samut Songkhram and Samut Sakhon provinces, there are several salt farms.
If you go to the province during the dry season in Thailand, you might be able to catch a glimpse of the salt farms. If you just take the train to Samut Songkhram, you will be able to see the salt farms from afar.
Salt farming is seasonal and the best chance to see them is between January and April.
The seawater is pumped into the fields and then once the water has evaporated, the salt layers stay behind and are collected by the farmers.
Since there are over 100 temples in this province alone, you might not get to all of them so you can decide which one(s) you want to see the most.
Please keep in mind that if you plan on going to any of the temples in Thailand, your shoulders and knees must be covered.
Sometimes the temples will have something that you can borrow for free or will ask for a small donation of THB 20 (USD .50) or so and you will return the skirt or shall after your temple visit. Not all of the temples will have that option so I would recommend bringing a change of clothes or loose clothing with you if you are too hot.
Or you can always buy the classic Thailand pants like I had to on my first day in Thailand.
Wat Amphawa Chetiyaram
Wat Amphawa Chetiyaram is a Buddhist temple. It is believed that King Rama II was born in 1767 in the spot that the temple is in. Wat Amphawa Chetiyaram is located near the King Rama II Memorial Park.
Wat Bang Kung
Wat Bang Kung is a temple from the Ayutthaya period. It was the site of the Battle of Bang Kung, which was between the Konbaung Dynasty and the Thonburi Kingdom.
The front of this temple is adjacent to the Mae Klong river.
Near the temple, there is a farm where you will see horses, goats, and other animals. You can walk around the farm and take a look at all of the animals.