The Plan

Saturday morning, Simon and Oli received their new motorbike a few days earlier and it was time for their first trip! As riding a bike in Bangkok can be chaotic, we decided to head south of Bangkok where google maps show more greenery!
Our two main sights would be to visit the Phra Chulachomkhlao Fort (ป้อมพระจุลจอมเกล้า) and the Ban Sa Khla Village (บ้านสาขลา), both located in Bangkok’s bordering province of Samut Prakan. This will also bring us to Phra Samut Chedi (พระสมุทรเจดีย์) and the Krua Poo Long Restaurant (ร้าน ครัวปูหลน) along the way.

Note: If you don’t have your own transportation, the following trip could be done by renting a taxi for the whole day. 

Bhumibol Bridge and Phra Samut Chedi

After a morning coffee in Bangkok’s Sathorn area, we headed south toward the imposing Bhumibol bridge to cross over the Chao Praya River. The bridge is made of two sections with an exchange in the middle (that we had to take). Crossing the bridge was an impressive and somewhat scary experience.

Next, we drove to see the stupa at Phra Samut Chedi that was on our way. We took some back roads to get there and got surprised by a very cool and steep bridge crossing an affluent of the river (see the pin on the map).

A few kilometers further we arrived at this old stupa built nearly 200 years ago. Despite being very important and significant for the neighborhood, the Chedi was a bit of a letdown, even though it is nicely located along the river.

Phra Chulachomkhlao Fort

After this quick break, we headed south to our main stop of the day, the Phra Chulachomkhlao FortAt this point, you began to feel less in Bangkok. More greenery, bigger spaces and less traffic. The only downside was the road constructions that created some dust.
Arrived at there, we parked our bikes and ventured into the fort. The best thing about our visit was our total freedom to visit the sites. In the fort itself, there was no security or any other visitors. Basically, it is only a bunch of tunnels and a few cannons but still, the loneliness adds to the atmosphere. We goofed around with the cannons, obviously.
Two minutes walk away, you can find the HTMS Mae Khlong docked in the Chao Phraya river, a navy ship dating from 1939. This was my first experience on a real warship and this is really impressive. We could go (nearly) anywhere we wanted on the boat. The control room still has these old (broken) electronic controls and the ship’s wheel to play with.

Good to know that visiting the fort (and the ship) is free of charge.

Lunch Break

Our stomach began to cry so we spotted a restaurant near a canal a few kilometers away. This restaurant is called “Krua Poo Lon” (ครัวปูหลน) and is built over a big pond used as a fish farm. As foodies, we indulged and ordered a lot of food. Special mention for the specialty of the house, the poo lon.

This dish is a creamy dip made of crab and pork. It is served with rice crackers and is to die for. We’ve been in Thailand for a while, but this is the first time we ran across this dish. Totally recommended and even the picture shows many chilis it is not spicy!

We then ordered some salads and a fried fish. The portions were huge!

Ban Sa Khla

The village of Ban Sa Khla would be our next stop. Located in the middle of nowhere was the reason to go there! We drove the five kilometers between the restaurant in the middle of these fields of water. This may not be the most impressive sight, but quite unique nonetheless.

Ban Sa Khla is a small traditional village partially built over water. The main attraction is their colorful temple with the accompanying garden and a little market.

We did a stroll on the “over water” part of the village that was quite cool despite the dead ends and tricky corners.

Conclusion

We then rode back to downtown Bangkok taking some country roads before ending up on the very busy Pracha Uthit Road. We were back in town by 4 PM with a total of 80 kilometers ridden. Moneywise, this was a very cheap as all attractions (temple, fort, village) were free of charge.

We also shot a video of our full day, see below:

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