Bangkok used to be known as the ‘Venice of the Far East’ for all the watery arteries connecting to the main vein – the River of Kings. Taking a long-tail boat tour of a few of these canals on the Thon Buri side of the river, like Bangkok Noi (little) and Bangkok Yai (big) with breaks at the Temple of Dawn and the Royal Barges Museum is a great way to immerse yourself in Thai and Siamese history. And buzzing down the waterways in a long-tail boat, past canal-side houses and floating petrol stations, inspires a real buzz of excitement you won’t find anywhere else.
Another historic voyage is along the canal of Khlong Om to the island of Ko Kret, home to a thriving community of Mon artisans, who sell the fruits of their labours, like sandstone sculptures, for very reasonable prices. To get there, take the river taxi to the last station, Nonthaburi, and charter your own long-tail boat from the pier.