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Updated by Joanna James on Mar 12, 2018
Headline for Amazing Historical Sites near Chao Phraya River – Bangkok's Ancient Waterway
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Amazing Historical Sites near Chao Phraya River – Bangkok's Ancient Waterway

The Chao Phraya River was once the main throughway for Bangkok's locals and royalty. The 21km stretch is lined with many historical sites one can enjoy via a refreshing river cruise.

1

Wat Arun

Wat Arun

Steeped in history, the ancient banks of the Chao Phraya River hold many wonders. Book yourself a Chao Phraya cruise and enjoy the sights, sounds and relaxing ambiance of this centuries old waterway. Sitting on the western bank of the river in Thonburi, Wat Arun or Temple of Dawn is quite a magnificent sight. It is an ancient relic from a time when the capital was Ayutthaya. It is one of the city's most iconic and visited sites and from the river, the view is simply stunning. The temple glistens and glows from a thousand twinkling lights reflecting off the multi-coloured pieces of Chinese porcelain used to adorn the façade.

2

Bang Pa In

Bang Pa In

Bang Pa In is a Royal Palace that dates back to the 17th century. It is located quite close to Ayutthaya and was once the country home for the Ayutthaya royal family. Fully restored by King Rama V, the place is a reflection of past grandeur with a Chinese style pavilion and Thai style rotunda in the middle of the lake. Taking a Chao Phraya River cruise aboard a fully restored luxury teak barge will certainly make you feel like royalty pulling up to the dock of Bang Pa In Palace; like the ancient rice barges used for Anantara Cruises, Thailand.

3

Wat Niwet Thammaprawat

Wat Niwet Thammaprawat

This ancient temple was constructed in 1878 under the orders of King Rama V. Strangely this Buddhist temple was built under the styling of a British Gothic Church – a definite must visit. As such the place sports stained glass windows and other design elements unique to gothic architecture making Wat Niwet Thammaprawat one of Thailand's – if not the world's – most unique Buddhist temples.

4

Chao Sam Phraya National Museum

Chao Sam Phraya National Museum

Many historical Buddhist artefacts are housed within this museum. On display are a number of bronze Buddha images as well as precious artefacts encrusted with gold and precious gems. There are panels and carved ornaments from the Ayutthaya era while in the Thai pavilion you will come across relics of Lord Buddha and other precious objects that are over 500 years old.

5

The Drum Making Village of Ekaraj

The Drum Making Village of Ekaraj

This historical village has been known for drum making since 1927. Making drums the traditional way the locals of this village after harvest, take the bark of the silk tree – also called rain tree and carve out the soft bark. The heads are then created by wrapping the ends in dry cow or buffalo hide; you're your river cruise you can disembark and view this whole process.