The Chao Phraya River. For many town s and cities in Thailand, this is the most important body of water and its citizens’’ main source of water, fish and even transport. It starts from the confluence of the Ping and Nan Rivers in Nakhon Sawan Province, about 250 or so kilometers from Bangkok and runs through the capital and empties into the Gulf of Thailand.
Also known as the River of Kings, the Chao Phraya River weaves and meanders through 372 kilometers of pristine Thai scenery and countryside villages. In addition, the river also cuts through some of Thailand’s major cities and towns including Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Bangkok and Samut Prakan, in that order before emptying out. It is of no coincidence that these towns and cities were historically and presently the most significant and densely populated settlements in Thailand.
If you are coming from Bangkok, you’ll notice that some of the city’s most striking scenery and sites are along the river banks. First, you got the glowing and glittering gold of the Grand Palace temples. Wat Pho, Bangkok’s oldest temple and home to the large reclining Buddha statue is just a short walk away. Also along the river, but on the Thonburi side of Bangkok is Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of the Dawn and its recognizable tower. These great Thai symbols are picture worthy by itself; imagine how it would look like with the river forming part of the scenery.
Also along the banks on both sides are some of the city’s most luxurious five star hotels. Towering high above, all can claim excellent views of the river, with the added luxury of having the sun rise or set from the horizon, with the Chao Phraya and downtown Bangkok in full view. The Peninsula, Hilton and the Marriott are just a few of the names out there.
As you head up north pass these iconic Bangkok sites towards Ayutthaya, you’ll notice the city’s skyline slowly disappear and replaced with scenes of quiet and rustic villages. Traveling by boat to the former capital is a remarkable way to get the overall feel of the place and era. You’ll see the beauty and charm as well as the lifestyle of the people on the river and imagine how things were like back in the 14th century when the Chao Phraya River served as a channel of transportation in trade and commerce.
Enjoy a peaceful and scenic upriver trip with Exotissimo’s Manohra Song Overnight Cruise tour. Visit various temples with opportunities for merit making before arriving at Ayutthaya. See more Thailand tours here.
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