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Samut Songkhram (สมุทรสงคราม)

Thai. ‘Ocean of war’. Name of a province (map) and its modern coastal capital in West Thailand, 72 kms southwest of Bangkok and located on a sharp curve in the Mae Klong River. The city is therefore also generally known by the epithet Mae Klong. It is Thailand's smallest province covering an area of just 416 square kilometers and is situated in West Thailand on the Gulf of Thailand. Initially it the area was referred to as Suan Nok (สวนนอก), i.e. the ‘Outer Garden’. The region has an abundance of waterways and canals on which several talaat nahm or ‘floating markets’ can be found. Easy irrigation from the nearby sea gives rise to many shrimp farms as well as salt fields (fig.). It is the birthplace of king Rama II, and of the famous Siamese Twin, In and Chan. Don Hoy Lot (ดอนหอยหลอด) or ‘Razor Clam Sandbank’ at the mouth of the Mae Klong river is famous for its endemic shell population, which includes razor clams, undulated surf clams, ridged Venus clams, cockles and tongue shells. Another curiosity is the city's centre rail track market (fig.), where vendors put up shop alongside the rails and only move away when trains pass by (fig.). The province has three amphur. See also Samut Songkhram data file and THEMATIC STREET LIGHT.