Often neglected for tourism except for its famous Wat Arun, Thonburi is the "other side of the river." This is one of Bangkok's oldest communities and though its name means "Town of Riches" visitors are more likely to see the tumbledown, tin-roof homes of people who live right at the edge of the Mother of Water, the Chao Phraya River.
After the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767, legend has it King Taksin marched until dawn and only then stopped and declared his new capital. There was built the famous Temple of the Dawn, Wat Arun, which lies along the river and is the most famous landmark in what was the capital of the Kingdom for 15 years. Bangkok took over from there and it wasn't until 1971 that Thonburi was joined to it.
Winding canals and the river intertwine intimately with the residential community, and though numerous bridges connect Thonburi to the east side of the Chao Phraya, the easiest way to get here is by boat. Attractions such as the National Museum of Royal Barges, several temples, and the weekend Taling Chan Market are worth the extra effort, and, of course, Wat Arun is a must-see.
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