The City of Bangkok is one of the world's most popular tourist destinations for good reasons. Almost 14 degrees north of the Equator, the Port of Bangkok combines tropical heat and high humidity to create an exotic garden with orchids and fruit everywhere. Thai cuisine is famous around the world, and in the Port of Bangkok, the food is delicious, varied, and inexpensive. While there is much more to see and do in the Port of Bangkok than this article can cover, there are some sights that visitors will not want to miss.
Wat Pho is famous for its gigantic Reclining Buddha statue. Covering 20 acres in the Port of Bangkok, it is the oldest and biggest wat in Bangkok. Not only does it hold the Reclining Buddha, but it has more Buddha images than any other wat in Thailand. Portraying the Buddha passing into Nirvana, the Reclining Buddha is gold-plated, 46 meters long, and 15 meters tall. On the Buddha's feet are the 108 auspicious characteristics of the true Buddha.
One definite must-see in the Port of Bangkok is the Siam Niramit Theatre where Thai art and culture are presented on a state-of-the-art stage with special effects and more than 150 performers. The 2000-seat theater tells amazing stories about Thai culture in stunning theatrical performances that receive high praise from people around the world. Susan McKee of Jax Fax Travel Marketing Magazine summed it up beautifully: "Think Cirque de Soleil plus Italian grand opera and classical Thai dance dressed by Las Vegas costumers and staged by Hollywood."
The Port of Bangkok's National Museum of Royal Barges is the dock where the Royal Barge Procession of the absolute Monarch of Siam took the King to the Grand Palace to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Chakkri Dynasty. Many changes have taken place since that auspicious day in 1932. The king's barge was damaged by bombs in World War II. The government changed from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy, and the barges were left to deteriorate at their docks. In 1972, King Bhumibol Adylvadej revived the ancient traditional of the Royal Barge Procession for very special occasions, and artists form the country's Fine Arts Department took a year to repair the damage and restore the barges. Today, the dock is the National Museum of Royal Barges and well worth a visit to see the beautifully restored ornate royal barges.
The Mahakan Fort is one of just two remaining medieval Port of Bangkok fortresses. This octagonal structure is 38 meters wide and almost five meters tall. This three-story was part of the defensive chain of 16 gates and 14 forts built around three rings of canals that protected the King's palace. The top floor is an octagonal tower.
Travelers who want to visit the Port of Bangkok by sea can find a long list of scheduled cruises on the Cruise Compete website.