Sakhla Fishing Village

I really like it when new people come to visit me. Especially when they say to you “Let’s go somewhere you haven’t been to before. Let’s go somewhere that’s off the map!” So, that is what we did today. We got into the car, just after lunch-time, and crossed the river by car ferry. We then drove down south towards Chulalongkorn Fort (point 1 on map below) which is on the Gulf of Thailand. I wasn’t going to the fort today as I had been there many times.

What I wanted to do was to try and hire a boat (point 2) and head along a canal and out to the coast (point 3). As you can see on this map, there is a large area with no road access at all. In some areas, the tide has started to come in and some temples are now completely surrounded by the sea. You can only get to these villages by boat. I found someone who would rent us a boat for 500 baht but he said we wouldn’t be able to get all the way to the coast as it was low tide. We should have come in the morning. So, we changed our plans and decided to visit Sakla Village instead (point 4). I will do the boat trip another day.

On the map book in my car, the road is marked as only going half way. So, obviously it has only recently been paved. This fishing village is in the middle of no-where. Literally. I don’t think you would find many tourists coming this way. It is a shame because they would miss out on witnessing a lifestyle which is rapidly disappearing in urban Thailand. The main occupation of these people is fishing and the selling of produce such as shrimp paste and dried shrimp. Families have been living here for hundreds of years, since before the Ayutthaya period. Their dialect is similar to the Mons and they have their own unique culture and customs.

The shops and houses are built close to each other on the banks of the river and its branches. We walked down the narrow paths alongside the rivers for a while before crossing a bridge to visit Wat Sakhla. This temple has a unique looking prang which leans alarmingly to the left. A bit like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It is supposed to be several hundreds years old and built of wood. The main Buddha image is very highly revered. They apparently have a festival celebrating it at the end of the year. Maybe I will try and come back for that.

That was a good trip today. I think I should try and make an effort to visit one or two new places every month. I am sure there is a lot more to see in Samut Prakan. The Tourist Authority is presently running a campaign for Unseen Thailand. Let’s see if I can find some more places that tourists don’t often get to see.


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