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The Riverside area of Bangkok was long the main center of life in the city, not just for entertainment but for commerce, dining, and socializing. Although Bangkok, which became the capital in 1767, was first located on the Chao Phraya River’s western bank, it was not too long before it moved to the eastern side.
Many important events and festivals still take place along the river, and it has numerous attractions that draw locals and tourists alike. New Year celebrations are especially busy, but visitors can enjoy the Chao Phraya at any time of the year. This is the main river in Thailand and, clearly, is still central to life in Bangkok. There are a number of canals that allow you to travel from the city to the river’s main artery.
Visit the Riverside at any time of the day to enjoy interesting attractions including shopping, dining, and nightlife.
The Bangkok Forensic Museum is a fascinating attraction near Pranok Pier. It is part of Siriraj Hospital and showcases some fascinating medical exhibits including displays on forensic science and pathology. Those who are sensitive to biological curiosities or medicine in general should stay away, but it should make a great place to visit for anyone interested in science. It is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, excluding Sundays.
The Rivercity Shopping Complex offers not only numerous shops, but a great rooftop view that looks out over the river. There is a popular Thai restaurant as well several other eateries and a major bar. Try the Thai barbecue venue for a fun meal with friends. This is at Bar B Q, which is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The complex is next to the Sheraton Hotel.
Wat Arun is a fine temple that used to be home to the famous Emerald Buddha. Also called Wat Chaeng, this temple was renovated by King Taksin, who came here after a battle with the invading Burmese army. It can be visited from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Once a major trading center, Asiatique at the Riverfront is one of the best places to go shopping in Bangkok. There are more than 1,500 stores located here. It’s the perfect complex for discovering everything from fashion to souvenirs. Asiatique also has numerous restaurants and even a cabaret show as well as other entertainments and performances. Asiatique is open from 5 p.m. to midnight.
Assumption Cathedral is home to the Archdiocese of Bangkok and is an amazing example of Romanesque architecture. It is one of the most unique buildings in the city. It features not only beautiful architectural details but stained glass and artwork. There are several masses each Sunday, but the church can be admired every day. It is located on Oriental Lane off Charoenkrung Road.
The Royal Barges Museum is a fascinating look at the history of the Chao Phraya River and its unparalleled importance. The Royal Barges are unusual and remarkable ships made out of teak. Featuring intricate carvings and finished with great artistry, these barges are still used today for special ceremonies and events. Visit the museum from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
One of the best-known attraction in Bangkok is the Grand Palace. Once home to the king and the center of government, the palace is appreciated not only for its historical significance but for its stunning beauty. The architecture as well as the gardens remain an impressive sight. This Palace Complex can be entered from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tickets can be bought on-site.