Created by Margaret Tully.
If you like to have the modern comforts, but want the experiences of all things ancient, this vacation destination is for you, you can even play a game of golf…
Samut Prakan is an area of Bangkok, that is full to the brim with all things Thai, and even fulfils the needs of the golfer – the Bang Pu Golf and Sports club is a fantastic place to enjoy a few games of golf alongside the local businessmen of Bangkok. It is a wonderful course helped along by Arnold Palmer, in its design. It is near to the coast and can experience some changing winds, which makes for a challenging, yet enjoyable experience. The open plan club house, with a large central bar and kitchen area, is a relaxing and friendly place to enjoy an after game drink, always having the opportunity with its layout, to make new friends.
Not so far from the golf club and near to the business quarter of Bangkok in Samut Prakan, is the unbelievable attraction, named Ancient Siam, a.k.a. Ancient City or Muang Boran. It is in this vast area that you will see dozens of elaborate buildings, constructed to look as they did in the past history of Thailand, or reformed ancient buildings, dismantled and brought to this site.
You can walk through centuries of history, the exquisite gardens surrounding the structures are a beautiful sight in themselves, not to mention the pagoda styled roofing on some if the buildings. Bright colours alongside the pale grey stone of Buddha statues, perfectly placed to entice you to walk further along a path or through a hedged boundary.
There is the Grand Palace in the centre, that stands on stilts in the river that flows within this park or city, a sight to behold for sure. You can also find a market on the river, a floating myriad of “shops” to enjoy, and many choices of restaurants and places to rest and enjoy the views of the different faces of Thailand, past and present.
If you can drag yourself from this out of this world experience, then just a few doors away, you will find the Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm & Zoo. This is a really good day out if you enjoy zoos and watching animals do tricks. You can also go boating on the pond or have a ride on an elephant. There are even hippopotamus here, to see up close.
It is so easy to find another wonderful building, the Wat Asokaram and shrine, which is an elegant, yet huge, white, ornate building set in lovely green gardens, you can visit this shrine and others such as the three headed-elephant called Erewan and a giant golden elephant shrine on the river´s edge.
In this area, that is easily accessed from down-town Samut Prakan, you will find places to visit at every turn, on every street, it is fantastic. Back to your accommodation with a bag full of knowledge of ancient Thailand and an insight into the people and their cultures, then look around you to see the modern Thailand and its people, the contrast is eye-opening. In the evening enjoy, on your doorstep, karaoke bars, boutique lounge bars, great places to eat and an open warmth.