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Samut Sakon (สมุทรสาคร)

Thai-Sanskrit. Literally ‘Ocean Lake’, but usually translated as ‘Ocean City’. A province (map) and its capital city of the same name on the Gulf of Thailand, bordering Bangkok, about 36 kilometers to the West of the centre. Samut Sakon was formerly called Tha Chin, also transcribed Tachin and Thah Jihn, i.e. ‘China Seaport’, because in the past, it had been a trading port dealing with a vast number of Chinese junks. In 1548, a town named Sakon Buri (สาครบุรี) was established at the mouth of the local river, equally called Tha Jihn river, as a centre for recruiting troops from various seaside towns. In 1704, the name of the town was changed into Mahachai, meaning ‘Great Triumph’, when the Mahachai Canal was dug to link Samut Songkhram with Bangkok. Finally, the town was renamed Samut Sakon by King Rama IV, though it is still popularly called Mahachai by the local populace. The province has a total area of 872.3 square kilometers and is administratively divided into 3 amphur. Besides being the biggest producer of brine salt, the city has a major fishing port, that sells some of its produce on the local Talaat Mahachai market (map - fig.), one of the largest fresh seafood markets in Thailand, where an outbreak of Corona amongst migrant workers in December 2020 triggered a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Thailand. Also transcribed Samut Sakhon. See also Samut Sakon data file.