Department of Railways,
Text on page 252
Route XXI (A). Bangkok and Environs.
Approach to Bangkok. The traveller, coming by steamer either from Singapore or Hongkong, sees, as the ship approaches the mouth of the Menam, the island of Koh-si-chang to the right. The estuary at its entrance is about a mile wide, and on the right lies Paknam, a subsidiary port of Bangkok with a fort commanding the passage of the river. Pakman is connected by a light railway with Bangkok (20 km., in I hr.). Off the port and in mid-stream is an islet overgrown with luxuriant vegetation, out of which there rises the cone-shaped tower of a temple, which is visible from afar off. The temple, which commands a fine view of the river, is a celebrated one, and on its festival day is visited by the King of Siam, when a boat race takes place as part of the festivities. As the ship goes higher up the river, on the forest-covered banks on both sides are seen the characteristic Siamese houses, standing on tall posts, firmly
Bangkok Harbour. planted in the stream, and on the river a large number of boats plied by half-naked natives, as well as larger junks with sails spread going up and down stream. Looking further beyond, there are seen extensive paddy fields, with irrigation canals running in all directions, and finally many chimneys sending off smoke, and the painted towers of Buddhist temples, which tell the visitor that Bangkok is close at hand. The ships, after many windings, now arrives at its landing place : at the so-called Borneo, in the case of ships of the Straits Steamship Co., or in mid-stream or before a rice-mill, according to its convenience
Rivers and canals run in all directions in Bangkok and neighbourhood, and many people are said to live in floating houses.