The best walks and cycle rides are the ones where you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city. One way of doing this in Samut Prakan is to do the Gulf of Thailand route which is 11.6 kms one way. You can either return the same way or come back along Sukhumwit Road. I first did this route back in 2009 (see blog here). At that time it was only suitable for walking. However, they have now paved much of this coastal route. Though, please be aware, with storms hitting the coastline, there is no guarantee that the path will still be in a good condition.
This is a google map of my route. I started at Wat Asokaram as it is easy to park your car here. However, if you intend on going all the way to Tam Ru, you might find the gate at Bang Pu Seaside Resort locked at the weekend. In addition, as it is a mangrove nature reserve, there are signs up saying that you cannot take bicycles past the gate. However, if you start at the Tam Ru end, then you shouldn’t have that problem as there are no gates or signs coming in from that direction. There are a few restaurants and opportunities along the way to buy drinks, but it is best to have reserves just in case. I am working on a google map of Cycle Routes in Samut Prakan which you might be interested in visiting.
Wat Asokaram is a famous temple in Samut Prakan for meditation. This might be partly due to the quiet atmosphere here during the week. It is along the coast and surrounded by many trees. The Western half of the accommodation for monks (called kuti in Thai) are on stilts above a mangrove forest. Go to the far end where you will see the entrance for Soi 1. This is the access route to the coast. However, it is worth exploring some of the other elevated concrete walkways first.
If you are there at the right time, when it is changing between low and high tides, you will probably see some mudskippers.
Other inhabitants of this mangrove forest include monitor lizards.
This is the start of the coastal walk behind Wat Asokaram. As you can see, they are building a sea wall and working on the track. When you come to use this, they may have finished paving the track. The gate here to the temple is locked at 6:30 p.m. There is also a small shop here where you can buy drink and snacks.
This is the estuary for the Chao Phraya River. In the distance you can see the other side of the river. To the left is the Gulf of Thailand. It is low tide in this picture. During your cycle trip or walk, you will probably see lots of container ships going up and down this stretch of water.
This is how the path looks further on. I presume they will do this all the way to Bang Pu. When I last came nine years ago, this was all rocks. Now it is an easy stretch to cycle.
At the section of the coast called “Bangsaen 2”, there are four or five restaurants. If you time it right, you could have lunch here. There is also road access if you want to start or finish your trip here. This is a good place to eat while watching the sun set.
As it was low tide, I saw lots of people looking for cockles and other shellfish. This is either for their own dinner or to sell in the market.
At a small shipyard, there is a new 100 meter long pier with a shelter at the end. Just beyond the shipyard, and before the water gate, there is a small restaurant if you want to get a bite to eat or buy some water. However, at low tide the sewage is a bit smelly here.
I was on this coastal path for more than two hours and I never saw anyone cycling. Just this guy resting with his bicycle under a tree. Looks like cycling clubs haven’t discovered this trail yet.
Prince Chumphon is the Father of the Thai Navy, and so you will often see shrines for him along the coast. This is a big one built in the shape of a ship. Fishermen pray here for good luck before going out.
I was lucky to come across this ice cream vendor on a motorcycle. A big cup of coconut ice cream with sticky rice was only 20 Baht.
The last time I walked the along the coast, I saw this boat moored further out with a large pipe coming from it to shore. I presumed at the time it was dredging or maybe sifting for precious materials in the mud.
This section of the coastal path has been hard hit by storms. Though quite often, damage like this is partly caused by water trying to drain out into the gulf. I am not sure if they built drainage pipes under this path or not.
This is Wat Sichan Pradit. The last time I came down this path, about nine years ago, none of these buildings were here. All I saw were mangroves and one small shelter with a raised platform leading to it from the temple behind.
Another new addition near Wat Sichan Pradit is this wooden pier. Looks like a great spot for fishing when the tide is higher. And also to relax under the shelter.
As you can see from these two photos, lots of motorbikes were going up and down this pier. Great for them, I guess, but those wooden planks won’t last under the weight of the big bikes. They are already coming loose and a few have broken away.
This is the second water gate on this coastal path. These are the only places where you will have to carry your bike.
This is a small fishing community behind the water gate. Low tide at the moment so the boats are all moored.
This is the border gate as you enter Bang Pu Seaside Resort. It is really only symbolic as you can easily go around it. Just be careful of the razor wire. A bit further up there is a gate which you might have to lift your bike over if it is chained.
There are a number of bungalows in Bang Pu Seaside Resort which you can rent out with prices ranging from 500 Baht to 2,600 Baht. Call 02-3239530 for more information.
Wind turbines at Bang Pu Seaside Resort. The last time I did the coastal walk I could actually see the coast from here and also Sukta Pier. But the mangroves have all grown tall. Which is great of course.
This is the entrance to Sukta Pier. This has been here for several generations, though originally it was a wooden pier. At the end there is a large ballroom and restaurant. It is a popular place between October and March to come and feed the migrating seagulls.
Next to the entrance to the pier there is this gate to the mangrove nature reserve. You also have to get through here to continue the coastal path to Tam Ru. This was locked at the weekend and I was told that it is only open during the week. In fact, it wasn’t locked, there was a chain around it but it wasn’t padlocked. There is also a sign here to say no bicycles allowed in the nature reserve. I guess if there is no-one around you could walk your bicycle through here. However, it might be less hassle if you start your journey at the Tam Ru end.