Many people will travel to Samut Prakan for one reason only – on their way to and from Suvarnabhumi Airport. This central province is located just south east of Bangkok city centre, and it’s fair to say that it lacks some of the beauty and charm that Thailand is so famous for.
Here’s a pocket of Thailand that is home to mainly old Thai-style neighbourhoods and just a small number of expats. While it’s not a typical tourist hot spot, it is home to attractions including the Ancient City, the Erawan Museum, and the Crocodile Farm. The Ancient City, which sits on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River, is a sprawling outdoor museum with scaled-down replicas of historic temples, old cities and palaces. Head further upstream, and you can’t miss the enormous, triple-headed elephant statue that marks the entrance to the Erawan Museum and its collection of fine arts and religious relics.
There are around half a dozen international schools in Samut Prakan, like Concordian International School, Thai-Chinese International School, Singapore International School of Bangkok, Thai-Singapore International School and Thai Sikh International School. Although expats tend to live outside of the province, the Skytrain makes commuting to school quick and easy. Samut Prakan is a small but densely inhabited city in the province of the same name, and home to the major shopping malls and eateries.
Bangkok’s Skytrain services have recently been extended to Soi Bearing, and work is underway to extend the southern stretch of the Green Line even further into Samut Prakan – as far as Samrong. This has opened the area for easy commuting to and from Bangkok. A&E services can be found at Muang Samut Hospital.
Mega Bang-Na is the new addition to shopping malls, offers everything you would ever need. while Samut Prakan’s swankiest mall is the new JAS Urban Mall in Sinakarin, which has high street stores, an international food court, cinema and fitness centre. Alternatively, the Floating Market is a good destination for shopping. New gargantuan shopping malls and condominium projects and shopping malls are being built at a staggering rate.
Srinakarin Road and Theparak Road are lined with neon-lit karaoke bars and nightclubs, and Theparak has a vibrant street-food scene. For eating out, though, most people head to shopping centres.