Samut Prakan City Guide

by Jose Marc Castro on August 19, 2008

thailandFLAG200Samut Prakan is a small yet densely inhabited city in Thailand. It is situated in the province of the same name, and can be found on the south of Bangkok. In Thai, “samut” means sea or ocean and “prakan” refers to a fortress. The old section of the district is known as Pak Nam, which means “river mouth”. The name can be chiefly attributed to the location of the place itself – that is, at the opening of river called Chao Phraya. The western side of the area near the river is rice and prawn fields as well as mangrove forests while the eastern part is the urban center which has become part of the Bangkok metropolis.

The Samut Prakan commercial district is considered to be part of the Bangkok metropolitan area because of the identical modernization efforts evident in both cities. The major languages spoken in this part of the country are Thai and English. The time zone is Thailand Standard Time, and the currency used in business, as well as daily, transactions is none other than Baht (THB).

Residential Places in Samut Prakan

Samut Prakan is divided up into six districts, or Amphoe, namely: Mueang Samut Prakan, Bang Bo, Bang Phli, Phra Pradaeng, Phra Samut Chedi, and Bang Sao Tong. These localities are also subdivided into 50 sub-districts and 396 villages.

Since Samut Prakan is not a typical tourist hot spot, there are actually not a lot of guesthouses and apposite hotels in the locale. The majority of its visitors come on daytime excursions from the neighboring metropolitan of Bangkok. Nevertheless, a number of foreigners have chosen to settle in the different districts of the city.

Bang Bo – a district in Samut Prakan – is bounded by Muang Samut Prakan, Bang Sao Thong and Bang Phli on the west. On the north side lie Bangkok, Mueang Chachoengsao, and Lat Krabang. To the east are the districts of Bang Pakong and Ban Pho. Lastly, to the south of Bang Bo is the Bangkok Bay. With over 90,000 residents, this locality spans a land area of 245 km2.

Famous for its annual Lotus Flower Festival, the district of Bang Phli is inhabited by over 170,000 people. The population density is around 656.46/km2. The postal code for this region is 10540.

Mueang Samut Prakat, the capital, holds the largest number of residents of all the districts in the country. With a total population of over 460,000, the region spans a total land area of 190.5 km2. The major attractions that draw tourists into the locale are the Ancient City, the Erawan Museum, and the Crocodile Farm.

Hospitals and Universities of Samut Prakan

The educational system in the entire country is divided up into four levels, namely: preschool, primary, secondary, and tertiary. Admittance into the collegiate level is possible after receiving a grade-12 certificate. However, it will still depend on the person’s ability to pass the national university admission test, which is arranged by the Office of a Permanent Secretary for University Affairs and a committee composed of public university representatives. Some schools also carry out their own entrance exams for a number of special degree programs.

The Huachiew Chalermprakiet University is one of the highly esteemed academes in Samut Prakan. Members of the Chinese community in Thailand set it up in the year 1992. It was nothing more than a midwifery school at Hua-Chiew Hospital back in 1941. It was later promoted into a college in 1981, and consequently to a university more than a decade after.

The university’s main campus spans a 58.8-acre land area on the Bangna-Trad thoroughfare in Samut Prakan. It boasts of many facilities, namely: an auditorium, exhibition halls, recreational areas, and laboratories. A secondary campus, situated in downtown Bangkok, was built to accommodate the school of nursing and other non-degree programs. For further information, you can contact the school at (662) 312 6300 73 or you can email them at [email protected].

The city of Samut Prakan also has several hospitals that cater to the health needs of the people. One of these medical establishments is Muang Samut Hospital. It can be found at Naraiprapsuek Road Paknum, Muang Samut Prakan. You can get touch with them at (662) 387 0027 or you can fax them at (662) 387 2890.

Commercial Places in Samut Prakan

For a hearty fill of seafood, try driving down the Sukhumwit Road. There are a number of restaurants and eating-places you could choose from along the side of the highway itself. Then again, if you wish to sample the sumptuous dishes of the Bang San 2 group of restaurants, you may reach their establishments by making a turn at T. Bangpu Soi 70.

The Floating Market is also a good destination for a bit of shopping and recreation. The signs are usually bilingual so it wouldn’t really be that difficult to locate the area. But unlike the renowned floating market of Damnoen Saduak, paddling vendors do not fill up the canal. Instead, most of the merchants are lined up on the riverbank. Some also do their selling from boats that are securely tied up.

A lot of food stalls can also be seen around the place, so you’ll be certain that your hunger pangs will be well taken care of. Aside from that, you will also see a number of OTOP booths – One Tambon One Product. These stores sell an assortment of locally made and produced products. And if you get tired of all the shopping, you can take a breather by hiring a boat for a while. You may then resume your previous activity after the relaxing ride is over.

Service Establishments of Samut Prakan

To have your Internet connection hooked up, you may get in touch with the World Internetwork Co. Ltd. It is an Internet Service Provider that serves the area of Samut Prakan. Their office is at 22/1 Moo 2, Tambon Samrong Tai, Amphur Phra Pradaeng, Changwat Samut Prakan.

For your other servicing needs such as phone and cable connections, electricity and water supply, and automobile maintenance, you may visit www.yellow.pages.co.th/newyp/. From this site, you will be able to get a listing of all the service establishments in your area. Indeed, it’s a search made easy with the help of the Internet. Of course, you will be asked to type in your exact location in Thailand so as to make sure that you get the particular name of companies in your locale.

Embassies in Samut Prakan

You should not worry too much if you can’t locate a British Embassy in Samut Prakan. You can simply go to the neighboring city of Bangkok to ask for consular assistance from the British Ambassador stationed there. The embassy can be found at 14 Wireless Road Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok. You may also give them a ring at (66) (2) 305 8229 for consular information, or at +66 (0) 2 305 8333 for the main Embassy phone line.

The Consular section of the British Embassy is open from 8 am – 11 am and 1 pm – 3: 30 pm, from Monday through Thursday. During Fridays, they only entertain people from 8am-12nn. The Visa section, on the other hand, accepts inquiries and applications from Monday through Thursday between the hours of 7:30 am – 9:30 am. On Fridays, they usually close an hour later – at 10:30 am. For more information, you may visit their website at www.britishembassy.gov.uk/thailand.

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