But be warned, it certainly is a river of contrasts as seen above!
The majestic charm of the Chao Phraya adds perspective to your exploration of the city's premier attractions. Rivers and canals referred to maenam and khlong in Thai have always been vital forms of communication. When the capital of Thailand was moved to Bangkok in 1782 (the beginning of the Rattanakosin period), the capital was laced with canals, so Bangkok was sometimes called the "VENICE OF THE EAST" by European visitors.
In the past, Bangkokians usually settled by the Chao Phraya River and gradually spread into the core of the country. As you will see traces of the Early Rattanakosin period such as architecture and traditional ways of life have been left by the river more than in the inland areas. Besides, waterways at that time were the most important means of transportation and trading as well.
Nowadays, even though Bangkok has become a modern city, the Chao Phraya River as well as the canals are still charming for whoever wishes to seek the peaceful atmosphere amidst bustling Bangkok.
We didn't get to see the "floating market" as we were in Bangkok during the week and the Taling Chan Floating Market is only held at the weekend. Boats and stalls gather here for selling a variety of food. But for those in Bangkok for a weekend may like to take note of the following:
the image - above - was taken where the boat 'turns around' for it's return journey back to the original wharf.
If spending a few days in Bangkok, it is certainly worth doing one of the river trips.