The city of Samut Prakan is located very close to the capital city of Bangkok, at the junction of The Gulf of Thailand and the Phraya River. Samut in Sanskrit means ‘Ocean or Sea’ and Prakarn in Sanskrit means ‘Port’. Located at the end of Chao Phraya River, it is sometimes called as ‘Pak Nam’ which means ‘The Mouth of the River’ in Thai. This town exists from the Ayutthaya period and consists of many cultural and historical sites. Over time it has imbibed the modern culture of Thailand and is now a bustling city as well.
Towards the western part of the river, the land in Samut Prakan is fertile and hence, rice and shrimp are grown here. The eastern part is filled with a lot of industrial factories. From a museum & a beautiful botanical garden to a crocodile farm & zoo, Samut Prakan has a lot of interesting places to visit within & around the city. It’s safe to say that Samut Prakan is rich in natural beauty and cultural heritage.
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1. Ancient City (Muang Boran)
The ancient city in Samut Prakan is also called as Ancient Siam. It is an open-air museum which was built by Lek Viriyaphant. It is claimed as the World’s largest outdoor museum. The museum contains structures of buildings, places and temples from the history of Thailand. These structures are the mini versions of the actual ones, scaled down to one-third of the original structures. The entire area is covered nearly 200 acres of land, hence it is hard to explore the entire place by walking around. You can borrow bicycles or rent a golf cart.
2. The Erawan Museum
The Erawan Museum is a museum in Samut Prakan Province which contains a giant three-headed elephant. The construction of this huge elephant took nearly 10 years to complete. The museum is named after an elephant from the Hindu mythology, Airavatha. Airavatha in Thai is Erawan. The elephant is completely made out of bronze and weighs about 250 tons and is 39 meters in length and 26 meters long.
3. Crocodile Farm and Zoo
The Samut Prakarn Crocodile Farm and zoo is a very popular zoo in Thailand. There are about 100,000 crocodiles in this place, including the world’s largest crocodile. Yai, the world’s largest crocodile, which weighs 111kg can be spotted in this farm. This zoo is famous for crocodile shows wherein people put their heads and arms inside the mouth of the crocodile. There is also a dinosaur museum on the farm that can be explored.
4. Wat Pho
Also known as Wat Phra, it is a temple consisting of a huge reclining Buddha. The Buddha is about 15 meters tall and 46 meters long. The reclining Buddha is registered by UNESCO in the Memory of the World Programme. The reclining Buddha was built by Buddha’s followers after he passed away.
5. Wat Asokaram
The temple, Wat Asokaram was named after King Asoka, by whom the was built. The temple contains a large structure of Buddha, paintings, carved wooden doors, and a chanting place. This Buddhist temple is an ideal place for meditation.