Chao Phya River & Canal
Cruise along the legendary Chao Phraya River and some canals on the Thon Buri side is the most pleasant way to explore the city once dubbed "Venice of the East" The majestic charm of the Chao Phraya adds perspective to your exploration of the city's premier attractions. Tourists can book such a tour through travel agents or rent a boat at Tha Chang (Tel: 225-6179, 623-6169), a pier near the Grand Palace, or Tha Si Phraya (Tel: 235-3108) near the River City Shopping Complex.
Rivers and canals referred to maenam and khlong in Thai have always been vital forms of communication. When the capital of Thailand was moved to Bangkok in 1782 (the beginning of the Rattanakosin period), the capital was laced with canals, so Bangkok was sometimes called the "VENICE OF THE EAST" by European visitors.
In the past, Bangkokians usually settled by the Chao Phraya River and gradually spread into the core of the country. As you will see traces of the Early Rattanakosin period such as architecture and traditional ways of life have been left by the river more than in the inland areas. Besides, waterways at that time were the most important means of transportation and trading as well.
Nowadays, even though Bangkok has become a modern city, the Chao Phraya River as well as the canals are still charming for whoever wishes to seek the peaceful atmosphere amidst bustling Bangkok.
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