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Samut Prakan (สมุทรปราการ)

Thai. Fortress at Sea. Name of a province (map) and its capital city in the region of central Thailand, 29 kms south of the centre of Bangkok. The most densely populated provincial capital of Thailand with approximately 72,000 inhabitants on an area of approximately just 1,004 square kms and bordering Bangkok. Generally known as Meuang Pahk Nahm, the city at the estuary because of its location at the mouth of the Chao Phya river (fig.), near the Gulf of Thailand, a place with many sandbanks and bars called sandon (fig.). Places of interest include the Phra Chulachomklao fortress dating from 1893 and built near the river mouth as a defensive outpost for Bangkok (fig.), and Phra Samut Chedi, a chedi whose construction started during the rule of King Phra Phutta Leut La and ended in the period of King Phra Nang Klao. Today it is situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya river (map - fig.), but at the time it stood in the middle of the river on a small island. Hence its name Phra Chedi Klang Nahm (chedi in the middle of the water). At the Chulachomklao navy-yard on the West bank near the Gulf of Thailand, stands a statue of King Chulachomklao (map - fig.) and is a naval museum, consisting of a large battle ship (map - fig.) and a garden with naval armaments (map - fig.). There is also the Naval Museum in the amphur meuang (fig.), the Erawan Museum (map - fig.), Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo (map - fig.), the Old Pahk Nahm Prison Towers (fig.), the City Observation Tower (fig.), Bang Poo Nature Reserve (fig.), Phra Thutangkha Chedi (fig.), and Meuang Boraan, an open-air museum (fig.) consisting of a contrived village (meuang) with statues, traditional houses and sights from Thai antiquity (boraan). The province has five amphur and one king amphur. See also Samut Prakan data file.