Situated southwest of Bangkok on the Gulf of Thailand, the small province of Samut Songkhram is a popular destination for travelers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the capital. Guided tours or private guides are well worth the expense if you’re looking to get off the beaten path – without getting lost or turned around.
Outside of Bangkok, rural trains can be boarded that will take you all the way to the coast. There are faster ways to reach the province, but in Samut Songkhram, the pace of life is slow and travelers are advised to embrace it. Tourists looking for a taste of unspoiled rural life in Thailand need look no further than this sleepy agricultural region.
The vast majority of the population in the region earn their living by farming and fishing; and nowhere is this fact more apparent than at the floating market in the Amphawa Canal near Wat Amphawan Chetiyaram. The best time to visit this wild assemblage of local vendors is during the weekend, when boats flock to the area packed with an astonishing variety of produce, drinks, sweets, seafood and fried delicacies.
Other activities worth pursuing in the region include hunting for cockles and clams at Don Hoi Lot (a massive, muddy sandbank at the mouth of the Mae Klong River), paying a visit to the so-called “Lychee Fair” that is held from the end of March until early April in Amphoe Amphawa, and a tour of the numerous temples that are located all over the province.