INTERACTIVE MAP OF THE CHAO PHRAYA RIVER BY ENGELBERT KAEMPFER (Siam 1690)
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Prior Bangkok

1. Customs House - Engelbert Kaempfer takes mistakenly the guard house for the customs house on his map. François Valentyn's map shows here
two guard houses established on both river banks of the Chao Phraya River. Their purpose was to inform the authorities at Samut Prakan of
approaching vessels. Kaempfer noted in his work that guns were installed on both sides of the river since the French troubles in 1688.

2. Ban Chao Phraya - Literally the Village of the Chao Phraya. Chao Phraya was the highest title conferred by the King to a noble man. The official
settlement, in fact the "Gate to Ayutthaya", must have been an important post. The nobleman here was responsible for the security of the lower
reaches of the Chao Phraya River and a kind of ambassador to receive (and evaluate) important visitors. The official building was likely situated in
Khlong Nang Bang Kreng in Pak Nam (Samut Prakan) along a canal with its mouth on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River. The latter derived its
name from this place.

3. Bang Pla Kot - Ban Belkot - Bang Pla Kot or "Village of the Cat Fish" was the main village located along Khlong Bang Pla Kot, a canal with its
mouth on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. The Dutch East India Company had a warehouse called "Amsterdam" along this canal since 1636.

4. VOC Warehouse Amsterdam - A warehouse called "Amsterdam” was built around 1636 on the west bank of the Chao Phraya, where it meets
the Bang Pla Kot Canal. Because large ships were not able to sail the almost 80 Km long distance over the river to Ayutthaya, it was necessary to
build this warehouse on stilts, located about 2 miles from the mouth of the river. Kaempfer noted:
"… the Dutch habitation and storehouse called
Amsterdam, near two leagues distant from the mouth of the river…"
and "It is built according to the fashion of the country on piles of
bamboos. Stores of deer and buffle skins, red wood, were kept in lofts, but the red wood for dying, called Faang, or as the Japanese name
it Tsiampan, lies in an open place, till ships come to take it in, which happens every year, and the greater part of it is carried to Japan."

5. Phra Pradaeng - Phra Pradaeng was a fortified town at the beginning of the Ayutthaya period. In the reign of King Songtham (r. 1610/1611-1628)
it was abandoned because of regress of the shore-line caused by deposition of sediment at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River. Samut Prakan was
established further south on the east bank (See Ban Chao Phraya). In 1721, in the reign of King Phumintharacha  (r. 1709-1733), a shortcut canal
was dug called Khlong Pak Lat. The canal cut a narrow neck in the Chao Phraya River, reducing the journey with 19 kilometers.

6. Banwat - Kaempfer noted:
"But from Bangkok to the harbor there is nothing but forests, deserts and morasses; and every where there is
plenty of bamboos, and Gabbe Gabbe, (a shrub with leaves like those of the Palm Tree) [=Nipa Palm] furnishing the inhabitants with
materials to make houses, hedges and roofs."


Bangkok

7. Thonburi Fortress - The Wichai Prasit Fort before named the Wichayen Fort, is situated on the western bank of the Chao Phraya River near the
confluence of  Khlong Bangkok Yai. The fort was built in the Ayutthayan era to prevent ships from sailing up the river to the then Siamese capital of
Ayutthaya. The fort is at present part of the Thai Navy's headquarters. The new fort the French had built on the Bangkok side was demolished on
order of Phetracha (r. 1688-1703) after the ousting of the French in 1688. Kaempfer noted:
"At Bangkok we saw the new Fort, which was
raised by the French on the right bank, quite demolished."

8. Bangkok Fortress - destroyed after the ousting of the French at the end of the 17th century. Kaempfer noted: "We found the old Fort, which
lies on an Island, in good condition; but the new Fort, that had been built by the French on the East shore, was quite demolished."

9. New Chao Phraya River - Khlong Lat Bangkok was dug in 1542 in the reign of King Chairacha (r. 1534-1547). The canal was responsible for
the creation (or divide) of Bangkok and Thonburi. The 2 Km long canal was dug from the site of the present-day Bangkok Noi Railway Station to a
point just south of Wat Arun. It reduced the journey from 14 to 2 kilometers.

10. Old Chao Phraya River - Khlong Bangkok Yai (also called Khlong Bang Luang) is a stretch in a loop of the old Chao Phraya River. The
waterway became a canal when the 2 Km long shortcut named Khlong Ban Makok Yai or Khlong Lat Bangkok was dug in 1542 in the reign of
King Chairacha (r. 1534-1547). The former loop was transformed into four canals being Bangkok Noi (from the origin until the confluence with
Khlong Chak phra near Wat Suwan Khiri (Wat Khi Lek), Chak Phra (from Wat Suwan Khiri until the confluence with Khlong Mon), Bangkok Yai
(from the confluence with Khlong Mon until Wat Pak Nam) and Bang Luang (From Wat Pak Nam until the confluence with the Chao Phraya River.
The cutting was responsible for the creation of Thonburi and Bangkok.

11. Old Chao Phraya River - Khlong Bangkok Noi is a stretch in a loop of the old Chao Phraya River. The waterway became a canal when the 2
Km long shortcut named Khlong Ban Makok Yai or Khlong Lat Bangkok was dug in 1542 in the reign of King Chairacha (r. 1534-1547). The
former loop was transformed into four canals being Bangkok Noi (from the origin until the confluence with Khlong Chak phra near Wat Suwan Khiri
(Wat Khi Lek), Chak Phra (from Wat Suwan Khiri until the confluence with Khlong Mon), Bangkok Yai (from the confluence with Khlong Mon until
Wat Pak Nam) and Bang Luang (From Wat Pak Nam until the confluence with the Chao Phraya River. The cutting was responsible for the creation
of Thonburi and Bangkok.

12. Old Chao Phraya River - Khlong Oom is a stretch of the old Chao Phraya River formed by the digging of Khlong Lat Muang Nonthaburi in
1636. Only the northern stretch of the U-loop has been drafted on Kaempfer's map. The southern leg is missing.

13. Khlong Lat Bang Khruai was dug in 1558 in the reign of King Chakkraphat (r. 1548-1569) and connected Khlong Oom near Wat Chalo with
Khlong Bangkok Noi at Wat Khi Lek.
   

Above Bangkok

Kaempfer noted: "The banks of this river are low, and for the greater part Meinam, marshy, yet reckoning from Judia to Bangkok, which
makes at least three parts in four of the way to the seashore, they are pretty well inhabited. Along them appear many villages, the houses
of which are raised on piles, but built of poor slight stuff, and sometimes fine Temples and Habitations of the priests, with abundance of
Trees some bearing fruit, some not."
   
Ban Samsel [Samsen]
Talkeeuw or Talaque [Talat Kaeo]
Ban Pay
Talaquan [Talat Khwan]
Plapan
Ban Noy
Talatquan [Talat Khwan]
Ban Trit

14. Trit Noy  [Khlong Lat Kret Noi] - Shortcut canal dug in 1722 in the reign of King Phumintharacha (r. 1709-1733) at the town of Pak Kret,
reducing the journey on the Chao Phraya River from 6 to 2 kilometers. The Dutch called this shortcut the "small mosquito hole".
   
Ban Luangh (= DLL)
Ban Lauw
Ban Lawma
Banleauw
Ban Kitsieng
   
15. Pagus Peguanorum [Lit: Village of the Peguans / Sam Khok] - In 1661 in the reign of King Narai (r. 1656 - 1688) Mons fled Martaban after a
revolt and sought refuge in Ayutthaya. The Mon families, about 11.000 people, were met at Kanchanaburi and arrangements were made to settle
them. A large number of them were given Sam Khok as area of settlement.
   
Ban Phactrit Iay
Treet
Bantankhet
Bansjeuw
Ban Frangh [Ban Frang] - Mentioned also on the De Graaff and Valentyn map.
Ban Clangh [Ban Klang] - Mentioned also on the De Graaff map.
   
17. Long Island - This island still can be more or less visualized and stretches out over three sub-districts of Ayutthaya and one sub-district of
Pathumthani. The most southern point of the island lies in Thai Ko sub-district (Lit. Rear of Island), while the most northern point is situated in Mai
Tra sub-district. The western passage was largely silted, while the middle part of the island disappeared under water partly in Ban Ma sub-district
and completely in Khok Chang sub-district. Kaempfer noted:
"On the tenth in the morning we came to a small Island washed by two arms of
the River where there are several temples and habitations of the Talapoins."
   
From Bang Sai

Bantrey [Bang Sai]

16. Templa [Wat Yi Pa] - The monastery is likely the still existent Wat Yi Pa, mentioned on François Valentyn's map of 1726 situated west of Wat
Bang Sai and the mouth of the Noi River.

Banlauw
   
30. Templa Anuui Sacrificy [Wat Chumphon Nikayaram at Bang Pa-In]. Kaempfer noted:
"Having made two leagues we arrived at the famous
temple Banihijn, by foreigners called the Golden Pagod. Every year, when the water is highest the King goes thither with great pomp and a
numerous attendance to perform his devotion, and to make his offerings to the Priests. The common people call this solemnity Ktinam, that
is to say, the Cutting of the water, from an erroneous tradition they have, that the King on that occasion cuts the water with a knife in
order to make it fall."
The position were Kaempfer indicates the "Templum Annui Sacrifici" or the Monastery of the Annual Sacrifice is Wat Bang
Khian in Bang Krasun at present.
   
Ban Eydap [Ban Dap in Bang Krasun sub-district of Ayutthaya]
Ban Phay
Bantroo
Ban Thew
Banmac
   
Bankedam - Village near one of the old mouths of the Pa Sak River, before the river was canalized to the east side of Ayutthaya.
   
Chinese Island - Ko Phra or Monk's Island in Ban Pho sub-district today.

Ban Phy

Canon or Custom House - The customs house was located near Wat Prot Sat in Khanon Luang sub-district, south of Ayutthaya. It was the largest
tax station of the four stations around Ayutthaya, which controlled incoming and outgoing sea vessels. At the customs houses goods were checked
for prohibited items and weapons as prescribed by law, urgent dispatches were sent to the capital, and import and export duty was collected from
ships coming and going to and from the capital. The customs house was called by the Thais "Khanon".
   

Ayutthaya

18. Phukhao Thong - Kaempfer noted: "The first is the famous Pyramid Pkah Thon or Puka' thon, which stands on a plain one league North
West of the City. It was built by the Siamites in remembrance of a great victory obtained in that place over the King of Pegu, whom they
killed and defeated his numerous army, thereby freeing themselves of the subjection they were under to the Peguans, and restoring their
ancient liberty. It is a bulky, but magnificent structure, forty odd fathoms high, standing in a square taken in with a low neat wall. It
consists of two structures which are built one upon the other."

19. Arm of the river running towards the Pyramid Pukathon (Bang Kaeo River)

20.The large river Meinam, as it encompasses the city (Lopburi River)

21. Arm of the river called Klang Namja - Still existent canal with its origin at Khlong Takhian near Ban Prakan (called Lam Rang Prakan before -
the area is at present called Pak Kran) and its mouth at the Noi River near Ban Klueng (called Khlong Ban Klueng in that area). The canal is
mentioned on Valentyn, de Courtaulin and Coronelli's maps.

22. Arm of the river called Klang Patnam Bija (Khlong Pak Nam Bia also called Khlong Suan Phlu)

24. The church and palace of Mr. Louis the Metropolitan Bishop (St Joseph's Church) - Kaempfer noted:
"opposite to that side of the River,
where it lets out the branch Klang Nam Ja the Metropolitan Bishop Mr. Louis had caus'd a stone Palace to be built, together with a fine
Church, which is now lock'd up since his Imprisonment. The Roman Catholick Ecclesiasticks in Siam have assur'd me, that there live above
three thousand six hundred Christians in the neighbourhood of Judia, who are past seven years of age, and have been admitted to the
Sacrament."

25. Palace of the Querry of the Kings elephants (Rear Palace) - Kaempfer noted: "The third and last Palace is smaller than any of the two, and
situated in the West and least inhabited part of the City. In this lives at present a Prince of the Royal Palace of the Blood, and it is call'd the
Palace of the Querry of the of the King's Elephants, the said Prince being the Conductor and Elephants. Manager of the Elephant, which
carries the King."

26. Palace of the Prince royal (Front Palace) - Kaempfer noted: "The second palace, call'd the foremost Prince Royal palace, is situated in the
North East part of the City towards its extremity. It is of a square figure, but not near so large as the first. It was the ancient place of
Residence of the former King's, but at present, in 1690, it is inhabited by the Prince Royal, who is twenty years of age."

27. Royal Palace - Kaempfer noted: "The first is the new palace built by the late King on the north side towards the middle of the town. It
consists of a large square, with several sub-divisions, and many buildings, which according to the Chinese architecture are adorned with
many roofs, and frontispieces part of which are gilt over. Within the walls of the Palace as well as without, are to be seen long stables, in
which some hundred of elephants stand in a long row magnificently harnessed."

28. The Courts of Berklam’s temple (Wat Pradu & Wat Rongtham) - Kaempfer noted: "The other remarkable curiosity is a double square
pyramid, joining together, and situated not far from the city towards the East; each square contains several temples, convents, chapels,
columns, pyramids and other buildings of different forms. They are separated by a canal, and are each enclosed with a fine wall."

29. Camp of the Portuguese (Portuguese settlement) - Kaempfer noted: "On the opposite side of the River stands a village inhabited by a
Portuguese race begot on black women, and farther down stands a Church, dedicated to St. Domingo to which belong the Fathers of the
Dominican Order. Behind it stands another small Church, which is kept by two Fathers of the Order of St. Austin, who with the foresaid
three Dominicans live peaceably together in a house built of reed. Not far from hence, on the same plain, stands a Jesuit Church named St.
Paul, after the chief Church at Goa, belonging to the Fathers of this Order, who through all Asia are better pleased to be called Paulins
from that church than Jesuits."
Interactive map & text by Tricky Vandenberg
Last update April 2014