Central Thailand Motorbike drive photos: Samut Songkhram – Bangkok shortcut

As mentioned in this blog entry of the most recent trip to Bangkok on the motorbike, the wanderer chose a different, more scenic route to/from the capital. On this particular trip, instead of taking the straightforward route along Rama II expressway-freeway, sharing the road with various 2 to 12 wheeled industrial, private, and transport vehicles, swerving and racing about through one of Thailand’s least scenic stretches of industrial highway, the Wanderer choose back roads of Samut Songkhram and Samut Sakhon provinces, amidst lush green fruit orchards, richly dissected with various tropical canals that have served Thai country folk for centuries.

From Samut Songkhram, some 30 kilometers of relaxing, smooth curving country highway ultimately brought the Wanderer to Ban Paew district of Samut Sakorn province, where he continued east for 12 kilometers on a straight 2 lane modern rural road before reaching Gra-toom-Ben district just after crossing the Tah Jeen river, just on the outskirts of Krungthep Maha Nakorn (Bangkok metropolitan). A few turns later, the Wanderer found himself in a completely different world from the trees, orchards, and canals only kilometers back in the direction which he had come, contrasted now with crowded and lively city on the congested Phetkasem road. Continuing on Kanjana-Pisek road northward, the Wanderer eventually split off towards Rama V bridge which crossed over the Chao Phraya river in Nontaburi.

Following are some pictures:


A modern canal-side community in Samut Sakorn, with the ruling icon, Bangkok Bank sign towering over. If this picture were taken 100 years ago, the main differences would be the lack of power lines, and Bangkok bank, as well as the canal likely would have been full of boats.

A rural canal-based community in Ban Praew district of Samut Sakorn province

Wat Luck-si-rat, a temple and community along side a rural canal in Samut Sakorn province

Most of the canals have become stagnant in recent years, unmaintained with lesser boats depending on them as the masses rely on roads and cars.

The Tah Jeen river, at first glance from this bridge near Gra Toom Ben district, seemed so pristine and untouched that the Wanderer briefly forgot he was looking at one of Thailand’s most industrial used rivers. The smoke stack to the South near Mahachai, quickly reminded which river it was.

The Universal Envoy says:

The Universal Envoy remembers Samut Songkhram, a beautiful place indeed.