This is a US Army map commissioned in the mid-1950’s. It shows Samut Prakan Province with the Gulf of Thailand to the south. The main road is Sukhumwit which runs from Bangkok all the way to the Cambodian Border in Trad. These days, this stretch is called Old Sukhumwit as most people use Bang Na-Trad highway instead.
This is a close up of a larger map of the Chao Phraya River from the mouth of the river to King Rama VI bridge in Bangkok. This part of the map shows the Samut Prakan Anchorage. The main map is dated 1929-1930. However, amendments were made to the soundings and the coastline in 1943-1944 and 1948. Presumably this was because the river was dredged during this period to allow the bigger ships access to the port upriver in Bangkok. The dredging caused the river to change direction and also contributed to the Phra Samut Chedi island becoming part of the left river bank. On this map the temple is marked as “pagoda”. Other features marked on this map include the telephone cable that goes from Paknam to the other bank via Phi Sua Samut Fort. The Immigration Office and Government Office seem to be marked in the same place as today. However, the Post Office and Customs House are no longer in the same position. The prison has also been moved to outside the city. Further south you can see the Roman Catholic Church which is still there today.
Click here to download the original map (1.67 MB).
This is a map from the Samut Prakan Archives dated 1935 A.D. The quality is not very clear but I have marked some landmarks. There doesn’t seem to be any sign of Prakhonchai Fort. Nor does there seem to be any bridges across Paknam Canal (9). You should be able to work out the moat that surrounded the city at the time. The Chao Phraya River is to the left. At the top of the map you have Mahawong Canal (2) which leads to Koo Muang Canal (3) which joins with Paknam Canal (9). There is another canal which cuts across between Koo Muang Canal and the river called Phong Phang Canal (5). Two of the railway stations can be seen. Mahawong Station (1) and Paknam Terminal Station (7). The distinctive shape of Paknam Prison (4) can clearly be seen. I have marked two of the temples which are Wat Pichai (6) and Wat Klang (8). The captions for other buildings are not clear.To the south of Paknam Canal are some Fruit Orchards.
This is a section of a military map of Samut Prakan dated 1912. The black line from the top to the middle is the Paknam Railway line. Just south of the terminus station is marked Pika Fort.The only real section of this that can still be seen today is the air raid shelter that was constructed during the Second World War. On the left bank (opposite Paknam Railway Station) is the outline of Nakarat Fort. There is a school on this site now. I have visited this school and have seen some guns on display in the playground. If you go around to the back of the school, along the river, you will find some evidence of the walls. Up a little and to the right is the small island housing Phi Sua Samut Fort. Just north a little you can just see the outline of another small island called “Phra Chedi Klang Nam”. This is Phra Samut Chedi which is now on the west bank. Up until the early 20th Century, this temple was still on an island. Going further north and following the curve of the river you can see some more forts marked on the map. I have found no evidence of these forts today. A bit further, and off the map, you will reach Phra Pradaeng where you can visitPlaeng Faifah Fort.
This is a map from the National Archives which shows Paknam City in 1904. In the center of this map you can clearly see the outline of Phrakhonchai Fort. In the middle of the fort is the City Pillar (4). The Chao Phraya River is to the West. The terminus station of Paknam Railway (3) is marked here. Today this area is Paknam Market. This railway ran between 1893-1959. Nothing of the fort remains today. The only evidence is a road named after the fort. Paknam Canal (7) to the south and Phong Phang Canal (1) to the north formed a moat around the fort on three sides. Other features on the map include Wat Pichai (2), the old City Hall (5) and Wat Klang (6).
I have marked the area where the fort used to be. You can just see the moat on the right that links Paknam Canal and Phong Phang Canal. The wide road running down the middle from north to south is Prakhonchai road, named after the old fort.
This is a cross section of a 1954 US Army map showing the Paknam Railway line from Bangkok to Samut Prakan.
This is a modern map showing the old Paknam Railway created by Dick van der Spek.
This is a section of an old map which dates back to the reign of King Rama II. On the right you can seen the town of Paknam marked. This was later renamed Samut Prakan (Ocean Fortress) when the banks of the river were fortified. Even now you can see some forts marked on both banks of the river. The island in the middle is the combination of two later islands – to the south is the Phi Sua Samut Fort. To the north is the Phra Samut Chedi temple.