You’re about at a provincial border. The 76 administrative provinces of Thailand often date back to times of chiefdoms and city-states.
Many provinces of Thailand date back to semi-independent kingdoms, which paid tribute to the central Ayutthaya Kingdom. When the modern Kingdom of Thailand began to emerge in the late 1800s, it felt pressure from neighbouring colonial powers who sought to influence the border areas, so the kindgoms and chiefdoms were gradually broken down and drawn under a new administrative apparatus, sometimes with considerable resistance. The railway lines that you’re taking today were actually part of the answer to bringing these wayward provinces into the fold.
There are now 76 provinces arranged around and named after a provincial capital. Son in this intance, you’re crossing between Kanchanaburi Province (which is the next major town to the West, and the Northern tip of Ratchaburi Province (which is the next major town to the South), and you’re not far from Nakhon Pathom province (the next major town to the East).
Get the audio guide
Download the Window Seater app - your offbeat guide to the world outside your window