Samut Songkhram - Life on the River - Amphawa District
Life on the River. Many thousands of people live along the Maenam Mae Khlong in Samut Songkhram. The river is tidal (seawater streaming in and out), and rather impressive in size.
Samut Songkhram is located about 75 km southwest of Bangkok. It takes a bit more than one hour to reach. The province is quite small, with life centered around the Maenam Mae Khlong waterway, which is a fairly broad river. The capital (same name) is located a few kilometers inland from the Gulf of Thailand.
[The Maenam Klong river begins at the confluence of the River Kwai Noi and River Kwai Yai in Kanchanaburi province, of 'Bridge over River Kwai' fame]
Water plays and important role in daily activities. A lot of the inhabitants live around the khlongs and the main river. The small province has many orchards. Reportedly grapes, lychees, guavas are grown. During our visit to the Amphawa district, we did notice coconut plantations, banana trees, jackfruit and pomelo orchards.
Orchards in Thailand are comfortable to visit. There are elevated walkways, about one and a half meter wide, with the fruit trees and irrigation canals on a lower level. Ideal for walking (it is mostly shady) and cycling. But when cycling you have to be mindful, since you do not want to go down from the walkway into the ditches below. The harvesting season seems to be around April, but during a visit in early June we still found some fruits on the trees.
People in Samut Songkhram seem to be just a bit more relaxed than their countrymen in Bangkok. During our visit to the King Buddhalertla Naphalai Memorial Park (Amphawa district), we found many people taking leisurely strolls. The same when visiting some temple grounds, where even young people were enjoying Thai traditional massage on the salas of the temple, a rare sight in Bangkok (where massage seems to be more associated with provided certain services, mainly to foreigners).
List of places of interest to visit.
We did hardly notice any heavy industry in this small province. There is some salt production along the Gulf of Thailand. The fruit industry however is important (and quite understandable with a huge market like Bangkok just one hour by car away).
'Green' waterway inside the orchards of Amphawa district, Samut Songkhram.
Jackfruit on the trees - Orchard in Samut Songkhram
The Maenam Mae Khlong is a good place to spend some time fishing.
Small chedis at Wat Alongkorn, Samut Songkhram. They show the name and contain the ashes of deceased (mostly rich or important) people.
Goose on a mission. We noticed these rather majestic animals walking at a brisk pace on road to ??? Passing a monk at the temple in the process. [cost 500 baht a piece, and rather tasty, we were assured]