Ban Don Kai Dee in Krathum Baen District of Samut Sakhon Province where the famous Benjarong porcelain is made . The ceramics produced here are of the finest quality and are much sought after by collectors, universally admired for the beauty and grace of their unique form, design and colour.
The unique design benjarong of Ban Don Kai Dee is called Sakharabenjayamanee, or the Five-coloured Gemstones of Sakhon City. The design is based on the province’s historical background and the Thai symbolism of auspicious colours. Samut Sakhon, the home province of Benjarong manufacture, is a coastal fishing province and thus has always been associated with the sea. This is why the Benjarong ware of Samut Sakhon with the Sakharabenjayamanee design has the blue-green colour as its main background, to represent the sea, the soul of the city.
The people of Ban Don Kai Dee have formed themselves into a strong handicraft group and prepared their village to welcome visitors, not only to buy their products, but also to join in activities they have organised for them, such as demonstrations of the different processes in the making of Benjarong, tours of the village and visits to nearby orchards and to the coast, as well as to trying their hands and cooking local food.
For visitors who would love to prolong their stay in the village, standard home stay accommodation at very reasonable prices with food is also provided by many Ban Don Kai Dee families. Another important aspect that make Ban Don Kai Dee most suitable is the helpful and hospitalble nature of the village people.
To get to the village: Take Highway 35 (Thon Buri – Pak Tho) and turning left to Highway 3091. Ban Don Kai Dee is 2.2 kilometers from the clock tower.
Samut Sakhon Science Centre for Education is situated in Tambon Khok Kham, 1 kilometre from Wat Khok Kham. It is under the Office of the Non-Formal Education Commission, Ministry of Education. It was established in 1997 in an area of 18 rai. Inside the building lies an exhibition on astrology and space under the title of the Earth and Solar System, Exploration to the Moon, Life of Fixed Stars with a projector presenting stars in a small dome, a presentation in the Mini Theatre, and an exhibition entitled “Human Beings and Measurement and Calculation”, telling about the long history of measurement and calculation. Outside the building, scientific gardens are organized such as geological garden, health garden, physics amusement park, organic agricultural garden and herb garden. The activities are blended with the original and natural geography. It is open daily from Monday to Friday, 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. For more details, please contact Tel. 0 3442 1014.
Wat Nang Sao is located in Tambon Tha Mai. Take Highway No. 35 (Thon Buri-Pak Tho) to Highway No. 3091 for approximately 5 kilometres and turn left into Soi Wat Nang Sao 2 for 1 kilometre.
According to legend, Sakhon Buri is a beach town in the south of Ayutthaya city. During a war in then Burma, a group of Thai people immigrated along the Tha Chin River. The elderly and women hid in the ancient Phra Ubosot. Later, the Thais helped one another in fighting with the Burmese troops and gained victory. The immigrants then, settled in the area. Among them, 2 sisters who once had taken refuge in the Phra Ubosot, had an idea to renovate it. However, the elder one realized that the temple was too damaged and thus, built a new one instead. Therefore, the younger sister would like to do as promised that if they survived, they would have the temple renovated.
Therefore, she finished the renovation and called it “Wat Phrommachari”. Later, it was called “Wat Nong Sao”. At present, it is eroded into “Wat Nang Sao”. 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. In the area, in front of the temple next to the Tha Chin River is located a fish sanctuary, full of striped catfish. It is well-known among tourists who usually come to visit and feed the fish.
It is situated at Mu 10, Tambon Tha Mai, near the basketball court in Ban Plong Liam School, on the bank of the Tha Chin River. Plong Liam is a chimney of a Portuguese sugar factory, called Captain Hit. It was built in 1824 during the reign of King Rama III. It is a chimney made of bricks and cement on a 4 metre-width and 4 metre-height square base. From the base rises an octagonal chimney. Each side is 1 metre wide and its overall height is 30 metres.
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”. Later, due to the geographical change, some of the canals linked to one another. The tide could run through 3 areas of Lat Tha Pla, Lat Hang Pla and Lat Ko, making sea water flood the sugarcane field. When there was no sugarcane to supply the factories, the Portuguese sugarcane press factories and sugar factories had to stop their businesses and have been left deserted until the present.
To get there: Take Phetchakasem Road, passing Phutthamonthon Sai 4 Intersection to the Flora Inn Intersection (1 kilometre before the elephant show space) and turn left for approximately 4 kilometres, passing Wat Tha Kham, cross the Chaloem Phrakiat Bridge to Wat Thian Dat – Suan Phak Intersection. Then, go straight on for approximately 3 kilometres to Wat Tha Mai and go further for 500 metres and turn right for 500 metres.
Wat Ratsatthakayara, Tambon Lak Sam, Amphoe Ban Phaeo is where thousands of birds live in peace among the bushes. Migrating mangrove birds can be found along the muddy shore between the Tha Chin and Mae Klong Rivers during the cool season.
The Ao Mahachai Mangrove Forest Study Centre offers a nature trail along a mangrove forest around the Tha Chin Estuary. From the town, take Sutthiwawithi Road for 2.5 kilometres, then turn left and proceed for 6.5 kilometres to the centre.
Saphan Pla is the biggest fish bridge and a modern one, second only to that in Bangkok. It is located in Samut Sakhon municipality. Modern facilities are utilized to transfer large amount of sea products in every kind. Also, it is a wholesale centre of sea fish.
Khlong Khok Kham 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 or Somdet Phra Sanphet VIII (1703-1709) 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.
A straight shortcut through the curving canal was dug by the order of Phrachao Suea at the execution spot. Chaophraya Ratchasongkhram was a leader of 3,000 soldiers in the operation of digging the shortcut in 1705, connecting with the Tha Chin River. The shortcut was 5 Wa-width and 6 Sok-depth and was finished in 1709 in the reign of King Thai Sa. The king gave its name as “Khlong Sanam Chai” and this was later changed into “Khlong Maha Chai”. However, it is called by the locals as “Khlong Than”. At the mouth of Khlong Maha Chai, next to Khlong Khok Kham is situated another shrine of Phanthai Norasing.
The City Pillar Shrine is situated near Pom Wichian Chodok and 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.
Wat Si Suttharam or Wat Kam Pra is the temple where the Prince Chumphon statue is located. Prince Chumphon is respected by local fisherman who look on him as a kind of patron saint of sailors. Prince Chumphon was a son of King Rama V and the founder of the modern Thai navy. He is celebrated as the “Father of the Thai Navy”. His statue can be found at many seaside towns and villages.