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Updated by Fritzjames Stephen on Jun 07, 2016
Headline for Bangkok Riverside Attractions – Discover the wonders along the River of Kings
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Bangkok Riverside Attractions – Discover the wonders along the River of Kings

Thailand's spectacular capital, Bangkok, welcomes more visitors than any other city in the world and taking center stage, offering plenty to see and do, is the Chao Phraya River.

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Chao Phraya River

Chao Phraya River

The Chao Phraya River itself is one of the city's key attractions. The Thai New Year, Songkran, which is celebrated in April, is a large water festival where the river is the star of the show. A magical glow takes over the river during the Loy Krathong Festival when the crowds gather in November to celebrate the goddess of water with floating lanterns carrying candles and incense. A Chao Phraya cruise is another great way to enjoy the river's splendor. To celebrate a special occasion, turn your cruise into an elegant affair aboard a hundred year old converted rice barge booked through Anantara Cruises.

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Shopping and Nightlife

Shopping and Nightlife

Enjoy two of Bangkok's trademark experience: shopping and nightlife, in one place. Visit Asiatique The Riverfront the upmarket bazaar that operates between 5pm and midnight. The sprawling complex boasts over one thousand five hundred shops and forty restaurants, with everything from clothing and jewellery to tech gadgets and souvenirs. There is nightly entertainment from Calypso Cabaret and Joe Louis Theatre. Asiatique has been divided into four categories or 'Districts' that are clearly marked in a store directory, making it easy for shoppers to navigate.

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Ratanakosin

Ratanakosin

In 1782, the construction of a number of canals inadvertently turned the center of the city into a small island, which was named Ratanakosin. This is the location of The Grand Palace, which became home to the Thai king for one and half centuries. The central court was used by the king, the halls were used for affairs of state, while the inner court was occupied by the king's royal consorts and daughters. Government departments were based in the outer court along with Wat Phra Kaew, the famous Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Visitors must adhere to a conservative and respectful dress code when visiting the sacred site.

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Wat Pho and Wat Phra Chetuphon

Wat Pho and Wat Phra Chetuphon

The Temple of the Reclining Buddha, also known as Wat Pho and Wat Phra Chetuphon is Bangkok's oldest temple. It is conveniently located behind Wat Phra Kaew. Sightseers come from all over the world to gaze in wonder at the colossal reclining Buddha statue that is covered in gold leaf and stretches to a staggering forty six metres in length and fifteen metres in height. Strangely, Wat Pho is also home to a leading massage school; so if you are feeling fatigued from a day of exploring you can take a break and revive your senses. Again, you will find a strict dress code that includes bare feet.

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Royal Barges Museum

Royal Barges Museum

The Royal Barges Museum offers a throwback to when the Chao Phraya River was the main avenue for travel. The Royal Barges are brightly painted and intricately decorated, masterpieces carved from teak that are only placed in the water for ceremonial state functions. They feature in the Royal Barge Procession, which is a rare event that has only occurred sixteen times in the past sixty five years.