THAI NAME: ค่ายบางกุ้ง
LOCATION: Bang Khonthi District in Samut Songkhram
GPS: 13.445671, 99.941294
Bang Kung Camp is located at Mu 4, Tambon Bang Kung. When arriving at the camp site, visitors will firstly see an imitation wall built in memory of the battle. Here is a historic navy camp site. Following the second defeat of the Ayutthaya kingdom in 1767, King Taksin the Great moved the naval force to set up camp in the district of Bang Kung since Mueang Mae Klong (the city of Mae Klong) was in the way used by the Burmese army. A wall was built to make Wat Bang Kung be in the middle of the camp as a spirit centre for soldiers.
King Taksin the Great later commanded the Chinese from Rayong, Chon Buri, Ratchaburi, and Kanchanaburi to form a guard unit for the camp. The camp was, therefore, called the ‘Bang Kung Chinese Camp.’ The king named the guards ‘Thahan Phakdi Asa’ or the ‘voluntary loyal soldiers.’ In 1768, the Burmese king of Angwa led an army via Kanchanaburi to surround the camp. King Taksin the Great and Phra Maha Montri (Bunma) jointly fought and defeated the Burmese. It was the first battle against the Burmese after the Kingdom of Thon Buri had been established by King Taksin the Great.
The victory was hailed as moral support to the Thai people while it created a sense of fear among the Burmese army. The camp site was left deserted for almost 200 years. In 1967, the Ministry of Education established a boy scout camp on the site to celebrate King Taksin the Great, and also built a shrine as a memorial to the king. The ceremony to raise the shrine was held on 20 June 1968. Within the camp compound, there is the Ubosot (ordination hall) commonly called as ‘Bot Luangpho Dam,’ which was built in the Ayutthaya period. The hall is wholly covered by four species of ficus plants: Pho (Bodhi), Sai, Krai, and Krang. Therefore, it is also called ‘Bot Prok Pho’ (ordination hall covered by Bodhi trees). The monument of King Taksin the Great is in the nearby area.
This church is located at Mu 7, Tambon Bang Nok Khwaek. The church is a holy worshipping place for Christian families living around the area. It was constructed in 1890 A.D. by Father Paolo Salmone, a French Missionary. The construction of the church took 6 years. Built in French Gothic architectural style. The windows are decorated with stained glass. Within the church, there is a Statue, a pulpit, a holy water basin, various kinds of candelabra, and carvings depicting various historical points in the Bible.
It is located about 100 metres further from Somdet Phra Ammarin Bridge. You can also get there by renting a long-tailed boat from the pier at Amphoe Sam Phran District Office.
THAI NAME: ตลาดน้ำท่าคา
GPS: 13.472033 99.994783
The Tha Kha floating market takes place on the 2nd, 7th, 12th days of both the waxing and waning moon of the lunar calendar, and also operates on every Saturday and Sunday from 6.00 a.m. to noon. This is a rendezvous of vendor boats that carry local food, vegetable, and fruit for selling. Boat rental services are on offer for travelling to the villages and fruit orchards around Tha Kha Floating Market.
Visitors wishing to go the Tha Kha Floating Market can go by car, taking the Highway No. 325 (Samut Songkhram – Bang Pae), take a right turn at Km. 32 and proceed for another 5 Kilometres You can also take the local buses servicing the Mae Klong Damnoen Saduak Route and the Tha Kha – Don Sam Route from the market in town in front of the Thai Military Bank.
Wat Amphawan Chetiyaram is located near King Rama II Memorial Park. This temple belongs to the Bang Chang family. It was constructed by Princess Phrarubsirisopharkmahanaknari, the mother of Queen Amarintharamat. The area behind this temple was the residence of Luang Yokkrabat and Khun Nak. It is believed that area about the position of the chedi at present of Wat Amphawan is the place where Khun Nak gave birth to a son (Khun Chim) who later became King Rama II.
Later, Wat Amphawan was renovated by King Rama III, IV, and V. At present it is a second class royal monastery. The beautiful main building and precious antiques inside the temple are of an early Rattanakosin period architectural and arts style.
Wat Bang Khae Yai is located on the bank of the Mae Klong River, at the mouth of the Bang Khae Canal in Tambon Khwae Om. It was built in 1814. Inside the temple, there are ancient monuments and artefacts. The large Ubosot (ordination hall) is more than 150 years old. At the front, the square Chedi (pagoda) with twelve indented corners is the art of the Ayutthaya period. The laterite principal Buddha image in the ordination hall is in the posture of Subduing Mara. There are seven Dharma Chedis built in 1872 with a boundary wall. On a separating wall in a monk’s cell, a tempera mural painting from the late reign of King Rama II depicts a battle between the Siamese and the Burmese, probably the one that King Rama II sent troops to obstruct the enemy at Ratchaburi in 1821. Admission is subject to permission in advance.
To get there: Take Highway 325 (Samut Songkhram – Bang Phae) and turn left to cross the Phra Si Suriyen Bridge. Then, turn right to Highway 3062 for about 2 km, past Wat Phummarin Kudi Thong, and see Wat Bang Khae Yai.
Sugar palm is a famous quality product of Samut Songkhram. When a coconut tree is about 3-4 years old, its spadices are cut, so that farmers can collect its sweet sap, they simmer it over a fire until it becomes brown and dry. A place where palm sugar is made is called “Tao Tan”. There are some 5 Tao Tans situated between Km. 30-32 on Route no. 325, that are open to tourists.
Wat Chula Mani is located on Highway 325 (Samut Songkhram – Bang Phae) between Km 34-35 in Tambon Bang Chang. This ancient temple sits on the bank where the Amphawa Canal connects with the Phi Lok Canal. The temple was built in the Ayutthaya period during the late reign of King Prasatthong. It was presumed that Thao Kaeophaluek (Noi), Mistress of the Bang Chang Market and a forebear of the royal lineage of Bang Chang, built the temple. The back of the temple was initially the residence of Khun Nak (Queen Ammarinthramat of King Rama I) and Khun Bunrot (Queen Si Suriyenthramat of King Rama II).
This Orchid Farm is located on Samut Songkhram – Bang Phae Road. It is a tourist stopping point with a beautiful orchid farm and butterfly farms. It is open from 08.00.-11.00.
Wat Charoen Sukharam Worawihan and Fish Sanctuary are located at Bang Nok Khwaek and about 4 Kilometres from Amphoe Muang. Luang Pho Toa Buddha image, which is highly revered by people, is enshrined in the main building (Ubosot). The body of the Buddha image is made of laterite and cast in the attitude of Subduing Mara of Sukhothai period style. Measuring 178 cms. wide at the lap and 208 cms. high from the base to the tip of the tonsure. In front of the temple, there are various kinds of fish in the stream, especially silver and red-tail tinfoil barbs. To get there, take the Samut Songkhram – Bang Nok Khwaek Route, passing the Church of the Virgin Mary, cross the Bang Nok Khwaek Bridge and then turn right onto an access road for 500 metres.
Ban Maeo Thai Boran is a house where species of genuine Siamese cats have been conserved. It is located at 2/1 Mu 7, Tambon Khwae Om. The house of traditional Siamese cats was created by lovers of Siamese cats to promote and support the conservation of Siamese cats to be a treasure of the nation. It also gives information on genuine features of Siamese cats, supports research, exchanges knowledge and views between members, and exchanges research experiences and breeding with relevant bodies.
Khun Pricha Phukkhabut, the co-founder and caretaker of the traditional Siamese cat house, told that “my mother raised Siamese cats of the Wichian Mat species when I was young. At that time, I did not pay much attention to them. When I grew up, I was to feed them. There were not many cats in my house. My family continued to keep Wichian Mat cats and I had developed a bond with them. Later, some friends who were cat lovers talked about the conservation of the cat since it was clever, graceful, attractive, and had pleasing habits.” Apart from the species of Wichian Mat, Siamese cats also include Si Sawat, Supphalak, and Koncha. Inside the house, there is a breeding section divided into cages of various types of Siamese cats. This is an interesting place for the study on a genuine species of Siamese cats. For more information, call Tel. 0 3473 3284, 08 4003 4194.
To get there: Take Highway 325 (Samut Songkhram – Bang Phae). Turn left to cross the Phra Si Suriyen Bridge and then turn right to Highway 3062. Cross the Pracha Chom Chuen Canal, past Wat Phummarin Kudi Thong and Wat Bang Khae Yai, and see the sign of the traditional Siamese cat house.