The area of Khun Samut Chine is a very unusual area due to its close proximity to the sea and the very marginal nature of the land. The entire area is only accessible by using various on demand klong boat services. There are no roads of any kind to access the 8 villages that are spread around the Samut Chedi and Bang Khunthian areas. A large part of the Samut Chedi area was formally mangrove forests. Today most of this has been removed and converted to prawn farming which is very profitable allowing locals to earn up to 50 times the local monthly pay level.
However this prawn farming has increased the marginal nature of the land even more by increasing the erosion rate of the land by the sea to around 65 meters a year. Over the last 30 years over 2 kilometers of land has been lost to the sea including the town of Khun Samut Chine located close to the temple. Originally the land level of the area was around 1 meter above the high tide mark. Today without the sea walls most of the area would be under seawater at normal high tide.
Wat Khun Samut Chine this temple is famous because of its current location. This temple is located 400 meters out to sea on a small tidal mangrove island that is being swallowed by the sea. However this was not always so, this temple when built over 100 years ago was about 2 km from the seafront. Today the sea surrounds it and sometimes floods the buildings and grounds of the temple during storms. A community of 5 resident monks lives full time at the temple. The temple is a 1.9km walk one way from the closest boat pier and only point of access.
If heading to Wat Khun Samut Chine. Take BTS to Victory Monument then take Bus route 140 Expressway OR Bus route 529 Expressway to Kilometer 9 then take Bus route 20 to Samut Chedi Pier.
Then take Truck – Bus route 1290 towards Ban Sankla and get down at the boat pier for Khun Samut Chine and Take an on demand klong boat service to the pier at Wat Khun Samut Chine and walk 1.9 km to the temple.
The on demand klong boat service costs 80 Baht per trip for one person plus 10 baht for each extra person on the boat. I.e. 80 baht = 1 person, 90 baht = 2 persons.
1. This is a shot of a Route 140: Victory Monument to Mahachai Mai Bus. Bus Number 140 – 3. Bus Type Unknown. Taken as it approached Kheha Thonburi on Rama 2 road. The starting point for my journey.
2. This is a general view of the on demand klong boat service pier on Sankla road in Samut Chedi. Taken from the road bridge looking north. This klong boat service is considered a basic access (level 3) mass transport service rather than a traffic beating service (level 1).
3. This is another angle on the klong boat service pier. This service is quite different to others in Bangkok in that it is a full on demand service with no fixed route. But a fixed fare is charged for using the boats. It is almost a water taxi service but not quite as it’s a fixed fare to a fixed destination.
4. This is a close up shot of the very powerful LPG powered engine on the klong boats. These boats can do up to 100 kph.
5. This is an image of the boat operator as he is just about to start up the boat.
6. This is another view on the klong boat that I used. The maximum number of passengers is 5 adults or a few hundred kilograms of cargo.
7. This is a shot of other boats and their drivers waiting out of the hot sun under the road bridge for customers or phone pickup.
8. This is a shot of a typical klong side view in the Sumat Chedi area. The water in these klongs is saltwater as the area is close to the sea. The klongs of this area are like the roads and sois.
9. This is a short movie showing a ride on an outbound klong boat service as it heads to Wat Khun Sumat Chine. Note these boats go very fast and are just 30 centimetres above the water doing close to 100kph. They hardly slow down for curves either.
10. This is an image of the boat just after getting off at Wat Khun Sumat Chine Pier. To return to Bangkok you need to call the boat by phone and they will come and collect you.
11. This is a shot of the same klong boat as it blasts off back to the main road pier with a nice rooster tail behind it. Taken from the boat pier.
12. This is a general view of the Wat Khun Sumat Chine Pier. Note the massive wake of another boat that just passed by and the timber construction of the pier.
13. This is a shot of typical home in the Sumat Chedi area. The lake infront of the house is where they farm prawns and other seafood. This is a very profitable business venture.
14. This is a general overview of the village of Khun Sumat Chine. This village has recently relocated further inland to its current location due to the sea claiming their old land.
15. This is a shot of the very long and hot walk from the pier to the bridge that goes to the temple. This walk is the only way to get there and is about 1.5km end to end.
16. This is a shot of the new concrete bridge to Wat Khun Sumat Chine. The bits of wood sticking up out of the mud are the remains of the old wooden bridge. This image was taken at low tide. At high tide this is covered in 2 meters of seawater.
17. This is an image of where the village used to be located as shown by the remaining poles and concrete building bases in the mud at high tide this area is under a couple of meters of sea water.
18. This is a shot of the monks accommodation located on the bridge just before the temple grounds. The monks live a simple life with no need for modern materialism.
19. This is a view of the only original temple building left. This building used to be 2 meters above sea level. Now the building is regularly flooded with seawater at high tide. The sea has taken its toll on a once nice building.
20. This is another angle on the old temple building taken from the eastern seawall. This temple was built over 100 years ago and was once 2 km from the open sea. Now it is in the sea.
21. This is a shot of the new seawall built to try and save the temples very marginal mud island from being washed out from under them. Note how the sea wall is built around the mangrove trees.
22. This is a shot of the various sea wall attempts in the past and the power poles in the sea. Where the power poles was once a klong with the village around it. Today it’s a fishing ground.
23. This is a picture of another image showing what happens during storms in this area. This image is a very famous image and is what got people interested in visiting this temple. Note how the sea just pounds the side of the temple building.
24. This is an inside view of the old temple building with its elevated floor. The temple is rather plain inside, as all the nice artwork has been damaged by the salt water eating into the paintwork.
25. This is a movie of a walk around the temple grounds at Wat Khun Samut Chine. Note how everything is elevated up 2 to 3 meters above the mud and mangroves. Only the old main temple building is not elevated. As time goes by it is likely this temple will end up over 2 km out to sea as the land in the area is being claimed by the sea at a massive 65 meters a year.
If you would like to view more images of the temple and its grounds please visit
26. This is a view of the long walk back to the boat pier. Note the towers and bridges of Bangkok in the distance. This area is only 30 kilometres from inner Bangkok but yet feels thousands of kilometres away.
27. This is a movie of the High speed Klong boat trip back from Wat Khun Samut Chine to the main road pier. Note how fast they go though the curves and the homes around the klong also another temple can be seen one day in the future that temple will be in the sea too. To return you must call the boat as you are walking to the pier.
28. This is a shot of the rooster tail and wake taken from the boat looking to the rear as we ripped along at 100kph.
29. This is a shot of the Truck-Bus service route 1290 Sumat Chedi pier to Ban Sankla. This is the service you use to access the Klong boat service to the temple. The truck runs every 10 to 15 mins and is 8 baht per trip. Truck – Bus Number 1290 – 1.
30. This is an inside shot of a route 1290 Truck – Bus. The floor is wet from a passenger who had a number of baskets of live fish.
31. This is a shot of another Route 1290 truck bus. Taken at Ban Sankla Terminal. Truck – Bus number 1290 – 18. All of the trucks used are made by Isuzu then converted to have seating and roof installed.
32. This is a shot of truck bus 1290 – 8 waiting to depart on the next trip to Sumat Chedi Peir. The trip takes about 30 mins end to end.
33. This is a short movie showing what it is like to ride on a route 1290 truck-bus. The section of main road it was passing though is very rough and in poor condition and as shown in the film is being upgraded. Traffic delays are common on this 1 km section of road due to the rough surface and narrow points.
34. This is an image of one of the number of ship building and repair works near Sumat Chedi on the Lower reaches of the Chao Phraya River. Taken from the truck – bus as it passed by.
35. This is an image of a Route 20 Sumat Chedi Pier to Din Daeng Pier. Bus Number BMTA 5 – 6827. Bus Type Aircon Merc O305. Taken at Sumat Chedi Pier.
36. This is a shot of Bus Number BMTA 5 –6825 doing a u-turn just after it departed from the stop at Sumat Chedi Pier. In the foreground is a motorbike taxi in action.
37. This is a shot of the Route 1290 and 1146 Truck bus stop at Sumat Chedi Pier. The trucks will pick up at any point in the terminal area.
38. This is a shot of a couple boats used on commuter services in the klongs of Sumat Chedi and onwards to Mahachai city. These large boat services are infrequent peak hour only services. Taken from the end of the cross river ferry pier at Sumat Chedi.
39. This is a shot of a cross-river ferry just after departure heading towards Paknam city on the other side of the river. These boats operate every 3 mins all day long.
40. This is a shot of passengers boarding the cross river ferry at Sumat Chedi pier. The seating layout is similar to that of the Klong Saen Saep boats in Bangkok.
41. This is a shot of a typical cross riverboat as it pulled out of the pier at Sumat Chedi. Note this cross-river ferry has one of the longest routes and can be very rough at times due to its proximity to the river mouth.
42. This is a shot of a cross river ferry approaching Sumat Chedi with a rather good load on board. Note the nice lean as it comes in.
43. This is a general view of the Cross river boat storage area and servicing area next to the pier at Sumat Chedi.
44. This is an image of the typical inboard engines on the cross river ferries. Taken in the boat repair yard at Sumat Chedi.
45. This is a picture of a Route 1146: Sumat Chedi Pier to Phra Pradaeng Pier Truck Bus. Truck Bus number 1146 – 44. Taken at Sumat Chedi Pier. Note this truck bus service operates every 2 to 5 mins.
46. This is a shot of a newer Euro 2 aircon bus on route 20. Taken at Sumat Chedi Pier. Bus Number BMTA 5 – 65037. Bus Type Merc O405.
47. This is an inside shot of BMTA 5 – 65037. Note the 1 + 1 seating in the front half of the bus. This is to allow easier movement of people in the bus and to carry more standing passengers.
48. This is a shot of the typical bus tickets used on the BMTA buses in the Sumat Chedi area.
I hope you find the pictures and vehicles shown to be of interest if you view this please post some comments and feelings about the pictures.