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One of Asia’s great rivers, the Chao Phraya is a magnificent waterway. Once a lifeline of transport for the country, and a principal factor in the development of Thai heritage, culture and economics, it remains intrinsically connected to the spirit of Thai people. With some of the capital’s most famous landmarks standing proudly on the banks, Manohra Cruises reveals a timeless journey.
The progressive route is made even more inspiring by well-informed local hosts, who engage guests in fascinating stories about the prominent sites and distinctive places of interest.
Taksin Bridge, also known as the Sathorn Bridge, was completed in 1976 and marks the beginning of the Chao Phraya’s eminent Golden League.
Asiatique the Riverfront combines shopping, dining, sightseeing, activities and events under one roof.
The East Asiatic Company, built in 1884, is one of Bangkok’s original trading firms and a Dutch flag can be seen flying over the central cupola.
The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, established in 1876, was the very first five-star hotel in Bangkok.
The Holy Rosary Church was constructed in 1786 by Portuguese Catholics who moved from the Thonburi side of the river after the destruction of Ayutthaya by Burmese invaders.
Siam Commercial Bank, which was established in 1906 as the first Thai Bank, is a magnificent building - designed by the Italian architect Annibele Rigotti.
Phra Phuttha Yodfa Bridge, also known as the Memorial Bridge, was built to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Chakri Dynasty by King Rama I
Wat Prayurawongsawas Worawihan or Wat Prayoon is an ancient monastery of the early Rattanakosin era, built in 1828.
Santa Cruz Church, constructed by Portuguese Catholics in 1770, is also popularly known by locals as Wat Kudi Jeen.
Wat Kanlayanamit Woramahawihan was built in the reign of King Rama III between 1824 and 1851. There is a belief amongst locals that visiting this temple ensures that you are blessed with good friends in life.
The Bangkok Royal Seminary within the compounds of Rajini School was the first girl’s school founded by Queen Saowapa. King Rama V built this in memory of Queen Sunantha Kumariratana who drowned in the Chao Phraya River in 1880. The building was restored after a fire in 2005.
Wat Arun Ratchawararam Rataworamahawihan or Temple of Dawn was built at the height of the Ayutthaya period and envisioned by King Taksin in 1768. The temple features a crowned roof porch and a Cambodian style tower or ‘prang’. The prang, which was extended during the reign of Rama III (between 1824 and 1851), stands at 67-metres high and is inlaid with a multi-coloured array of Chinese porcelain that glimmers in the sunshine.
Wat Phrachetuphon Vimon Mangkararam Ratchaworamahawihan or Wat Pho is commonly known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. It features the oldest reclining Buddha in Bangkok and the largest in the country, at 46-metres long. Wat Pho is also known for its traditional Thai massage and a place to learn this ancient art of wellness. Built in the 16th century during the Ayutthaya era, it was almost completely rebuilt in 1781 by King Rama I.
Grand Palace took three years to build and was completed in 1785. The Grand Palace also houses Wat Phra Kaew, fondly known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. History says that the Emerald Buddha was stolen and later returned to Thailand from Laos in 1778 by General Chao Phraya Chakkri, who later became King Rama I.
Wat Rakhangkhositaram Woramahawihan or Wat Rakhang, located across the river on the west bank, is one of the original temples remaining from the Ayutthaya period. King Rama I lived there before he was installed on the throne.
Maharaj Pier, located on Maharaj Road in Rattanakosin Island next to the Grand Palace, was built in the early Ratttanakosin period. It has since been transformed into a complex featuring open-air restaurants, retail shops, a riverside promenade and a community garden.
Siriraj Hospital is the oldest hospital in Bangkok. It was built in 1888 by King Rama V after one of his sons died from an unknown illness.
Thammasat University can be seen on the other side of the river and is one of Thailand’s leading education institutions.
Phra Sumen Fort was constructed in 1783 to fortify the old city during the reign of King Rama I. Formerly the Bang Kun Prom Palace, it was commissioned in the 20th century by King Rama V as a residence for his Prince.
Rama VIII Bridge was one of the world's largest asymmetrical cable-stayed bridges at the time of its completion. The bridge was opened on 7 May 2002 and inaugurated on 20 September on the birthday of the late King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII), after whom it is named.