Samut Sakhon to Samut Songkhram

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Stage Two

So Far You Have Travelled by BTS Skytrain and SRT Train and arrived at Samut Sakhon.
Now you need to catch a second train...but it's the other side of the river.

How to Cross the Tha Chin River By Ferry and Continue by Train to Samut Songkhram

Next destination is Samut Songkhram, the “Umbrella Fold-Down Market,” where after enjoying the quaint market, you will have the choice to continue to:

Amphawa Delightful Original Floating Market – by Songtheaw

Don Hoi Lot -getting-aboard

Don Hoi Lot (Razor Clam Bank) & Mangrove Expedition

But First It's Time To Catch The Train

Baan Laem Station

Travel by Bangkok BTS Skytrain √

SRT Train Bkk to Samut Sakhon √

Ferry over Tha Chin River 

SRT Train Ban Laem Station 

Depart Ban Laem Station for Samut Songkhram

Information given is based on personal experience using these modes of transport in the region. As far as possible alternative means of transport are suggested should the recommended modes be out of service due to floods, upgrades, or other. Seats on trains may be taken quickly at times so make a choice smartly.

Tip: Should you miss the train or if it is not running for any reason you can return over the river and regular mini buses depart from the Samut Sakhon bus Depot to Samut Songkhram, Amphawa, Bangkok and other destinations.

Experience Real Thai flavour of Travel and Cuisine

You Have Successfully Arrived At Samut Sakhon from Bangkok

Trains depart about every 45 Minutes from this station and it is a terminus of the line.

This Fishing Village is Halfway to Samut Songkhram

Tip: Before you leave this station check the departure time of the next train you will travel on after you cross the river.

You will now need to leave this train and walk through the station past the ticket office and out onto the street where you turn right and continue along the busy market street until arriving at the end of a wide divided road. Veer left here and proceed towards the river where you will see the Ferry Terminal. You might have time for a bowl of noodles here. Check the time of the train departure from Ban Laem. You need to allow about 20 min for the crossing and walk to the station. 

Crossing the Tha Chin River from Mahachai Station. 

A Ferry provides a regular service. The crossing only takes a few minutes -followed by a ten minute easy walk to Ban Laem Station.

Depart the ferry and turn right immediately after leaving the terminal. Continue along the street until you pass a Buddhist Wat and the station will be just ahead.

Motorbikes disembark ferry at Samut Sakhon
Motorbikes disembark ferry at Samut Sakhon

Popular Crossing for Motorcyclists

Stand clear as the motorcycles leave the ferry. The ferry is going back and forth repeatedly so you may only have to wait a few minutes for the next trip. 

Departing the ferry after crossing the Tha Chin River at Samut Sakhon
Departing the ferry after crossing the Tha Chin River at Samut Sakhon

Train from Samut Sakhon Ban Laem Station to Maeklong Station at Samut Songkhram

Train From Ban Laem Station (Samut Sakhon) to Maeklong Terminus at Samut Songkhram

This train departs from its terminus at Ban Laem and travels to its terminus at Maeklong. Both the trains you are travelling on are independent of the rest of the rail network in Thailand and you stay on both to the end of the trips. There are no branch lines, so rest easy. The cleaner will wake you at your destination.

Booking ahead has never been required in my number of trips here. Buy your ticket (10baht) when you get to the station. 

Tip: Take a photo of the timetables before leaving the stations as reference for return travel.

Travelling Samut Sakhon to Samut Songkhram

Two large rivers flow into the Gulf of Thailand in this region not far west of Bangkok. Both have cities located on them close to where they enter the sea.
The nearer of these cities to Bangkok is Samut Sakhon where we have continued the second part of this trip. It is a bustling fishing port situated on the river Tha Chin Klong. Aging fishing trawlers unload their catch at this busy port which supplies the export market as well as Bangkok and environs.
The local markets and streets stalls present a broad range of fresh fish, shellfish and dried fish.

Samut Songkhram is somewhat further west, and its river is The Maeklong. This also supports a thriving but smaller fishing industry.
The Mae Klong (not Mekong) is the same river that flows through Kanchanaburi in its upper reaches. In that particular section it was renamed as The River Kwai, for tourism interests, after the release of the movie “Bridge over the River Kwai.”

Several kilometres upstream from Samut Songkham is Amphawa. It is renowned for its bustling floating market. Thai’s on holidays flock to Amphawa. Few westerners are seen here. The floating market is located at one end of a klong (canal) loop that branches from the Mae Klong.

Travelling on the Maeklong Train
Travelling on the Maeklong Train

Floodwaters Don't Stop The Train

This image shown is from a trip I took to Samut Songkhram in 2011 when floodwater had engulfed vast areas of Thailand. The train continued on its journey, often steadily through the water on the submerged tracks 

train-at-small-station
Train-brief stop at small-station
monk/ elderly-train seating
Special Seating
There is actually a train line beneath the water -and we are on it!
Passing swamps & palms
Passing swamps & palms on the trip

Samut Songkhram Salt Evaporative Ponds

Drawing closer to Samut Songkhram the train passes through extensive areas of salt evaporative ponds. There are some remnants of the original wind driven pumps still standing but generally more modern motors are used now. Piles of salt can be glimpsed occasionally, or bagged in sheds.

Evaporative Salt-ponds
Evaporative Salt-ponds

Arrival at Maiklong -Samut Songkhram

Train Blast its Horn and Bells on the Crossing Clang as the Train Approaches the Market Station

The  train winds its way through the town at times almost scraping the buildings. With the constant honking, the vendors have no doubt that they will shortly have to fold back their awnings and umbrellas. The train is now travelling at walking speed as it continues to the terminus.

The train passes through the cleared wares and folded awnings
The reassembled awnings.
Waiting at the crossing as the train pulls slowly into the station
Waiting at the crossing as the train pulls slowly into the station.
A tight squeeze through the market

The Train Arrives at Maeklong

After you leave the train at Maiklong Station you will understand why it travels no further. If you walk ahead about fifty metres you can see that there is no bridge across the Maiklong. Not here anyway.

The umbrellas are spread out, tables replaced and all reopen and start trading again for the 30 minutes that the train is at the station.

A hive of activity resumes and tourists and locals spill back over the tracks to make choices from the multitude of stallholders.

Fresh faced youn g vendor sweetening the customers
Fresh faced young vendor sweetening the customers
fruitstall-mangos & starfruit
Fruitstall-mangos & starfruit at Maeklong Market

Ferry Crossing is Close to the Train Terminus

Ferry crossing Maeklong at Samut Songkhram
Ferry across the Maiklong

How to continue to Amphawa or The Mouth of the Maeklong

Firstly, you don’t need to cross this river as all the transport for the suggested destinations is on this side, apart from the rickshaws and motorcycle taxis that service the western side.

However you may like to cross over for the fun of it if you have time and the inclination. Be aware that the last Songthaew departing for Amphawa leaves at 6pm and there is a fifteen minute walk to reach the depot.

Amphawa

Visit the historic weekend floating market that is situated five kilometres upstream from Samut Songkhram. Transport is by either Songthaew or Minibus.

Razor Clam Bank

The best way to experience  travelling to Don Hoi Lot is by Songthaew. Follow the directions on the Don Hoi Lot page after you have enjoyed the intriguing Samut Songkhram Market. I recommend first visiting Amphawa for an overnight stay— or two, and head to catch the Razor Clams the following morning.

Razor Clam Sandbank

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