Thailand has always been on the A-list of the global tourism map, but the hidden jewel of Samut Songkhram province is like the icing on the cake for globetrotters
Famous for its tropical isles, aquamarine seas and world-class shopping destinations, Thailand has always been a travel addict’s fantasy. But, not many of us know that its beauty lies deeply entrenched in its humble Thai culture and unique hospitality. Remember, a true experience is one that adds to your existing knowledge and makes you worldview broader. So, come and experience the joy of being in ‘Amazing Thailand,’ as you explore the fascinating province of Samut Songkhram for some astonishing adventures.
Maeklong Railway Market
Located in the Samut Songkhram province, sitting next to Maeklong Railway Station, is the Maeklong Railway Market, just beside the operating railroad. Featuring a colourful display of fruits, veggies, meat, seafood, sweets, snacks, clothing and flowers, the market is a well-known tourist jaunt in Thailand for a one-of-a-kind shopping experience.
As the charming little bell goes off, alerting the traders of the train barrelling forward, the specially designed awnings and shop fronts are moved backwards to allow the passage of the train, only to be replaced again once the train has passed – hence the name Umbrella Pulldown Market. The train runs through the spine of the market, making the sight a medley of affairs. Do try the ready-to-eats and local favourites – the dried fish, dried squid, crunchy pink Rose-apples and the huge juicy Pomelos.
Amphawa Floating Market
The Amphawa Floating Market is a quaint, but authentic Thai floating market and presents a visual extravaganza. One of the most iconic places to visit in Thailand, it makes for a great day trip. Experience an authentic view of the Thai lifestyle, as the riverbank comes alive each evening with boats zipping around, offering all sorts of exotic goods, hot grilled seafood, fresh fruits, souvenirs and tours.
The various food stalls and numerous boating cruises merge to make a colourful commercial scene, where hawkers are seen selling hand-made crafts, tacky souvenirs and loads of food, making the market place a photogenic vista. The abundance of food options is the magnet that attracts tourists to this place. The must-try staple Thai dishes include Pad Thai, Fried Rice or Krapow. The grilled seafood dishes are much in demand, which you can have from BBQ seafood restaurants on boats. Grilled prawns, shells, snails, fish, and squid are some of best food options to sample.
Benjarong – Thailand’s Royal Porcelain
Benjarong is an ancient, traditional Thai handicraft, which produces spectacular porcelain in various designs, patterns and colours. Earlier, it was exclusively made for the royal families and was passed from one generation to another. The Amphawa region in Samut Songkhram province is famous for this well-preserved porcelain heritage. The Benjarong porcelain production is carried out by the finest of artisans throughout Thailand. Visit the workshops, where Benjarong porcelain is created, and take a close look at the decoration and painting to observe the subtle nuancesof these marvellous pieces of art.
Bang Phlap Homestay
Baan Bang Phlap is a study centre for chemical-free agriculture in Bang Kon sub district, Samut Songkhram province, and makes for an excellent one-day excursion to get a real-life experience of Thai culture and hospitality. The traditional teak houses, set amongst verdant fruit orchards, paint the classic picture of central Thailand. The homestays are owned by the villagers of Baan Bang Phlap and are endowed with shady wooded areas and cool streams, making Baan Bang Phlap an idyllic setting to indulge in the Thai countryside. Bang Phlap is a farming community engaged in producing the nationally famous, rare species of 100% organic pomello, rose apple, lychee, mango, coconut and other fruits. The community welcomes guests who are looking for cultural exchange, relaxation, peace and quietness by indulging in the self-sufficient Thai lifestyle.
Wat Bang Kung (Temple)
Located on the Mae Khlong River and housing a golden Buddha, this iconic temple is a profound combination of natural beauty and serene spiritualism. Probably the most iconic temple in the Amphawa District, it seems to emerge from the heart of the banyan tree. The banyan tree represents the crowning glory of the temple, dominating the site and shading the lush landscaped area. The temple, with its divine surroundings,will give you much food for contemplation.