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Thonburi – Thailand’s Old City that is now part of Today’s Capital

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What’s the capital of Thailand after it was moved from Ayutthaya? If you said Bangkok, well, you are right and wrong. Thonburi is the answer. What? it is not Bangkok? Read on to find out.

The reason why the capital was moved from Ayutthaya to Thonburi was to evade the Burmese. The two had a fierce rivalry throughout the years, and it intensified massively around the late 1770’s. But the capital was only in Thonburi for a short time until it was moved to the east side of the Chao Phraya River, forming a natural protective barricade. And the rest as they say is history.

Up until 1972, Thonburi was independent of Bangkok. The east side of the Chao Phraya River developed while the west pretty much remained idle. That is until 1932 when Thonburi was connected to its developing cousin by a bridge. Its distinct identity lasted another 40 more years until it was finally incorporated into Bangkok itself. So, now you see why by answering Bangkok it was both right and wrong. Thonburi was the next capital after Ayutthaya, but it is now part of Bangkok itself.

Crossing the Chao Phraya River and into Thonburi is like stepping into a foreign land. The place is hardly developed. And to think just across the river a huge metropolis is growing! That is the beauty of walking around West Bangkok; it has a distinct charm independent of the big city atmosphere in the east. And the best way to discover this vast district of Bangkok: by boat.

There are a good number of nice temples on this side of the city. One is pretty iconic, of which you may have already seen before. Yes, that is Wat Arun aka The Temple of the Dawn. But there are also hidden ones rarely seen by visitors, such as Wat Kanlayanamit and Wat Rakhang, amongst others. Find out more about what you can experience in Thonburi by checking out our Fascinating Chao Phraya River daytrip. If you need a quick escape from the big city, there isn’t a closer and faster way to it than Thonburi.

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