Bangkok – Rattanakosin Island (Old City)
Rattanakosin Island (Old City) is a historic area near the center of Bangkok, Thailand, that contains many attractions of historic significance. When booking Thailand tours, Rattanakosin Island will often be referred to as the Old City. Rattanakosin Island is in the Phra Nakhon District in Bangkok, Thailand, and is nestled on the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya River. Canals were dug around the city to create moats to serve as fortification for the city itself.
Rattanakosin Island was founded in King Rama I in 1782 and served as the new capital of the kingdom. Before Rattanakosin was established as the new capital, the former capital city of Thailand was Thonburi, which is situated on the western bank of the Chao Phraya River. After King Rama I moved the capital to the eastern bank, he ordered fortifications to be built including the canals and moats that surround the city today. The outermost canals that encircle the island are Bang Lamphu and Ong Ang Canals. The inner moat consists of the Rong Mai Canal and the Talat Canal.
Most Thailand tours and tourists come to Rattanakosin Island to see The Grand Palace. The Grand Palace is usually number one on everybody’s list when they come to visit Thailand. Thailand tours and tourists will often either talk about The Grand Palace or Wat Phra Keo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), but there is a slight difference. The Grand Palace actually refers to the entire complex of buildings including Wat Phra Keo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), but Wat Phra Keo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) is the only part of The Grand Palace that is open to the public.
Another popular destination for Thailand tours and tourists on Rattanakosin Island is Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha). Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) is most famous for housing a 15 meter high and 43 meter long statue of a reclining Buddha. Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) is located directly to the south of The Grand Palace.
One attraction that is not on Rattanakosin Island, but is still worth mentioning is Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn). Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) is located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, directly across from Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha). Many Thailand tours and tourists will take a ferry across the river to get to Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn).
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