Venice of the East: Bangkok and its River – The River of Kings


Anantara Dream | Photo by Anantara Cruises, Thailand


It’ll come as no surprise that the Mae Nam Chao Phraya is known as the Venice of the East, as not only is it one of the most beautiful waterways in the country, but still acts as a popular trade route that’s still in use. Along with merchants and vendors still using the river and khlongs as a trade route, you can also go on a river cruise. Bangkok has a number of attractions dotted on the banks of this river and a cruise organized by providers such as Anantara Cruises, Thailand is the ideal way to look at these attractions. Along the river, you’ll be able to see attractions such as Wat Arun, Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew as well as Wat Pho.

The Chao Phraya River got its nickname Venice of the East as a number of khlongs, both natural and manmade; started connecting various parts of the city which then play a major role in contributing to the local’s lives and changed the cityscape. The Chao Phraya river stems from the north of the country where the Wang, Ping, Nan and Yom rivers meet at the Paknam Pho District, which then flows towards the south of the country connecting Chai Nat, Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Bangkok to name a few, before meeting with the Gulf of Thailand.

Today, the river plays an important role in acting as a transport route for the shipment of teak and rice to the city of Bangkok. The banks are often seen crowded with local markets, manned by locals who sell fresh fruits and vegetables – some have even set up their houses on the river banks. The river has been regarded as the bloodline of the local people since for the longest time! The Chao Phraya River plays a significant role in the vibrant festivals of the country such as Loy Krathong and Songkran.

Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers.

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Bangkok City Guide – Where to Go and What to Visit

Bangkok City Guide, Image Credit: Anantara Cruises, Thailand

So you’ve landed at Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and are wondering what tourist attractions to visit first? If you’ve landed at an ungodly early hour, and the morning’s not quite started, make your way to the waterside. Many floating markets commence early and are a staple sightseeing option for tourists holidaying in Thailand. Visitors to Bangkok will find a number of them to choose from, such as the Damnoen Saduak, Bang Khu Wiang, Amphawa and several others, which are located in and around the region. While no floating markets congregate over the waters of the Chao Praya, Thailand’s main river, you will find vessels operating Bangkok cruises navigating these waters, such as those run by Anantara Cruises, Thailand and other tour and cruise operators.

If you would like to get a real sense of Thailand’s cultural and religious heritage, go on a tour of the capital’s temples such as Wat Pra Kaew and Wat Arun. The former, which is housed within the Grand Palace complex, is known in English as the ‘Temple of the Emerald Buddha’ and is one of the country’s most richly decorated temples. The latter, Wat Arun, called ‘Temple of Dawn’ can be found on the west bank of the Chao Praya River and is a sight to behold with its towering spires that rise up beside the water. For a change of scenery, take a break at Bangkok’s sole oasis of greenery; Lumphini Park. If you swing by there in early enough in the morning, you’ll be able to catch many residents in the middle of their flowing tai chi movements. Later on in the day, you’ll find that they have been replaced by colorfully clad and highly energetic aerobics practitioners frenetically trying to keep to the beat.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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Exploring Bangkok on a Cruise – A Journey Along the River of Kings

Anantara Dream - Evening view

“Anantara Dream” – Evening view | Anantara Cruises

Although it is known as Chao Phraya on maps, the River of Kings in Bangkok is essentially the lifeline of the city. Surfacing at Nakhon Sawan, the river flows through long and arduous 360km before meeting the sea at the Gulf of Thailand. The dubbed name of the river is attributed to history, when it was among the busiest waterways in all of Asia, as it flows through Ayutthaya. While a Chao Phraya cruise today will not show you barges of gold and treasure, it will show you a treasure of different type – history and culture.

There are many places you can – and will – stop at along the river, depending on the duration of the tour. While it is not unheard of for people to take a cruise of one day, it would require at least three days to properly experience what the River of Kings has to offer. There are cruises available at different ranges. You have small canoes that will offer you a “cruise down the river”, as well as converted rice barges like the one from Anantara Cruises, Thailand that will offer you a luxurious experience. Depending on your budget and interests, you can decide which you want to go with.

Whatever the level of comfort you choose to indulge in, there are key attractions along the way that you must not miss. The Temple of Dawn on the West bank of the river is one of them. Other temples that you can visit are Wat Niwet Thammaprawat, Wat Mongkhon Bophit, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Panacherng, and Wat Mahathat. Apart from places of worship, there are two other key attractions not to miss: Bang Pa In, the royal palace that dates back to the 17th century and Chao Sam Phraya National Museum that will show you the riches that once sailed the same route as you are sailing now.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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