If you are sick and tired of the traffic and pollution of Bangkok, then you might want to consider heading down to Bang Pu Seaside Resort in Samut Prakan for a bit of bird watching and a sunset dinner. As you enjoy the fresh sea breeze at the end of a lazy afternoon you won’t believe that you are in one of the most densely populated provinces in Thailand with many factories nearby. The Sukta Pier is a popular places for families to go at the weekend during the late afternoon. They go there not only to enjoy the sea breeze but also to feed the literally thousands of migratory seagulls that come there between November and July.
I have been to this pier many times over the years. When I first came here it was just a wooden structure. Now it is a concrete pier with a large seafood restaurant at the end. This area is also of historical importance as Japanese forces landed here less than two hours after their attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. According to a plaque at the site, “A small group of brave local forces rushed to form a defensive position just two kilometres north-west of this landmark. This group consisted of police, the army youth corps and civilian volunteers all from Samut Prakarn. Just before the two sides clashed, a last minute accord was reached between the Thai government and Japanese which permitted Japanese military forces to pass through Thai territory unmolested.”
The Bang Poo Seaside Resort is actually owned by the army and is used for a R & R facility for their soldiers. However, the general public can use their grounds and even rent the bungalows along the seafront for as little as 500 baht. The World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) also has an education centre there for mangrove forest conservation and birdwatching. Schools often send their students to the center to learn first-hand about conservation. Local bird watchers have spotted 66 species of resident birds and 124 species of migrant birds. The most common migratory birds are the brown-headed gulls from Russia and Mongolia. You can also see pained stork, grey heron and purple heron. Other animals include the mudskippers and crabs. They have also spotted 58 species of fish. At peak times of year, an estimated 20,000 birds can be seen here!
The best time to come is about 4.30 p.m. when the hot day starts to cool down. As well as feeding the birds and walking along the pier, you can eat a meal at several of the restaurants. It is worth hanging around for a spectacular sunset. There are also a couple of walks that you can go on along the coastline. Going east you can walk for about 45 minutes to a fishing community at Tum Ru. Going west you can walk for about 90 minutes to Wat Asokaram. Bang Poo Seaside Resort is on Sukhumwit Road. You can come here by taxi from Bangkok which would cost you about 250 baht. There is no need for your taxi to wait for you. By public transport, you need to catch a bus to Samut Prakan then change to a large songtaew heading to Tum Ru or a blue bus heading to Klong Dan. You could take a 36 Songtaew to Ancient City or the Crocodile earlier in the day and then take a larger songtaew or the blue bus to go a few kilometres more to the pier.