Samutprakarn Province widely know as “Muang Pak Nam” is located at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River, north to the Gulf of Thailand and twenty-five kilometers from Bangkok. The whole area covers 1,004 square kilometers of alluvial plain, crisscrossed by canals, causing some areas to be flooded. The water in these canals is briny in the dry season. Most of the area is covered with paddy fields and orchards, with groves of Samae (a small tree of the family Myrsinaceae), prong (a plant of the genus Cycas), the mangrove and nipa palms. Well known goods from this province are “Khanom Chak” or sweetened sticky rice wrapped by nipa palm leaves and dried gourami.
Samutprakarn was founded during the Ayutthaya Period. The administrative center of the old community, known as Muang Prapadaeng, was in an area currently the location of Prapadaeng District. It was a sea port for foreign merchandise ships that traded with Thailand.
Along the coast, forts, town moats and town-walls were constructed as a stronghold against hostile forces. During the Thonburi Period, King Tak Sin ordered dismantlement of the town-walls. In the Ratanakosin Period, King Rama II was afraid that this town might have been used by the enemy as a route to transport their troops and supplies. The King thus had Muang Samutprakarn constructed in Tambon Paknam in 1819. The construction was completed in three years, with six forts being built on both sides of the Chao Phraya River. Only three could be finished in this reign — Prakaisit Fort, Nagaraj Fort and Phi Sua Samut Fort. King Rama II visited the site of construction several times.
By the royal command, a chedi, by the name of “Phra Samut Chedi,” was erected on an island in the middle of the Chao Phraya River.
Unfortunately, the King passed away before the completion of the whole new town, leaving the construction to be resumed and completed in the reign of King Rama III, with three more forts to be added – Tri Petch Fort, Kongkapun Fort and Sua Sonlep Fort. King Rama V Pra Samut Chedi renovated the height of the chedi being elevated, and one more fort by the coast being built, named “Phra Chulachomklao Fort”. At present, only Phi Sua Smut Fort and Phra Chilachomklao Fort remain a good condition whereas others are dilapidated.