PLACE: BANG PU RECREATION CENTER (ศูนย์ศึกษาธรรมชาติกองทัพบกบางปู)
LOCATION: Bang Pu Mai sub-district in Amphoe Mueang district
GPS Coordinates: 13.517343, 100.654966
OPENING HOURS: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
ADMISSION PRICE: Free
Just beyond the 37 k.m. marker on Sukhumwit Road is the entrance way to Bang Pu Recreation Center. It is the army’s rehabilitation and relaxation center but members of the public can also enter and enjoy its beautiful scenery. On the site are some gardens, a restaurant and a pier. Between the end of November and April, large numbers of seagulls flock to the area and the pier is a popular place to watch and feed them. There is also a nature walk which you can go on. Early evening is the best time to visit when it is cooler and you also get a beautiful sunset as you look out across the Gulf of Thailand.
** Running south-east of the pier is a nature walk which runs alongside the sea for about 3 kilometres. This is an ideal place for bird spotters. It is about a 45 minute walk along the path to a small inlet where there is a fishing village called Tam Ru. To save making the return trip back along the same path, walk through the small village to Sukhumwit Road and catch a songtaew bus back to the recreation center. Please note, the nature reserve is now only open on weekdays.
The pier is also a historical landmark. On December 8th at 2:00 a.m., less than two hours after the attack on Pearl Harbour, Japanese forces began landing in Thailand. The 5th Division, 25th Army, landed at the cities of Pattani and Songkhla and on the island of Ko Samui in southern Thailand. The Guards Division, 25th Army, landed small elements at Samut Prakarn at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River south of Bangkok. The bulk of the Guards Division entered the country overland from Cambodia at the town of Aranyaprathet.
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.
Map for Bang Pu Seaside Resort:
GETTING THERE: The easiest way to get here from Samut Prakan is to take the skytrain to the end of the line to BTS Kheha. From here it is only a further ten minutes to the pier. I would advise you to take a meter taxi for the short journey. Otherwise, take a large Songtaew or minivan that is heading to Khlong Dan. Some of the smaller Songtaews No. 36 go as far as the pier, but most do a u-turn and head back to Paknam a kilometer short. The ones that go further have a sign that says “Nicom”. If you go to Ancient Siam first, you can wait outside the entrance for the large Songtaews or the minivans that go from Samrong to Klong Dan. Unfortunately, there are no bus numbers and the names are only written in Thai.
Amphoe Mueang district:
- Erawan Museum
- Bang Pu Recreation Center
- Ancient Siam
- Crocodile Farm and Zoo
- Thamma Katanyu Foundation
- Wat Asokaram
- Paknam City Pillar
- Thai Naval Museum
Samut Prakan is divided into six districts: Amphoe Mueang, Amphoe Bang Bo, Amphoe Bang Phli, Amphoe Phra Pradaeng, Amphoe Phra Samut Chedi and Amphoe Bang Sao Thong. Click on the links to see tourist attractions from each of those districts. Or click here to see a Map of Tourist Attractions in Samut Prakan Province.