Appon's Thai Travel & Tourism

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Temple Sinking into the Sea, Khun Samut Chin


Just south of Bangkok, in the Bay of Bangkok, there's a temple on its own little island, surrounded by tidal mud and water. To the north the land is all flooded. To the south the sea. This temple was once far inland, in the middle of a village! It wasn't that long ago either, 30 years, since the village was abandoned and the people moved further inland.


The sea takes 25 metres of land each year on Thailand's coast, but here, where the farmers farm shrimp, fish, crabs and clams, the boundary has moved quicker. The village was originally 3-4km from the sea.


They decided to move the town, but leave the temple. The original old temple simply could not be moved, other temple buildings could be raised on concrete stilts, but the temple could only have a new floor put in, just above water level. So that's what they did. You can still see the original entrance and the stairs, now under mud. Taken by the sea.

Watch your head as you enter. It makes for a very low doorway, even my head hit the doorway entrance.

The isolation of this temple is part of the draw. It takes a boat trip and a 1km walk to reach it. The boat runs down a narrow canal, and usually lands at the new village pier. Ask for the 'Wat' (Temple), so the boat driver knows to drop you off at the temple's pier.

There's a homestay in the new village, if you want to stay overnight, the boat captain says it costs 600 baht including seafood meals. That's excellent value. I might try that sometime when I find the details. He also says some homestays here, let you collect your own clams, and cook them for you. An experience similar to Don Hoi Lot.


Once at the pier, look for a sigh that gives you the number of the temples tuk-tuk, or being your walk! Best to take some water and use sunscreen, this is a 1.2km walk.

At the temple, you can still see the electricity poles of the old village. Sticking out of the mud.

It's worth checking the tides, at very low tide, the river is too low and the boats cannot get to the piers. When I left, I was too late to return to my own pier and the boat dropped me off at another deeper pier. There's a rest stop there, and it is possible to walk the distance north to get back to your car, but I caught a bike.

Since this place is famous for seafood, especially crab, why not stop at one of the seafood restaurants. They're a bit touristy and pricey, my crab was 800 baht per kilo! But the seafood is about as fresh as you can ever get.

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