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Map interpretation

Prior Bangkok

1. Ban Becot [Ban Pla Kot] - A warehouse called "Amsterdam” was built in 1636 on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, 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. Gijsbert Heeck noted in 1655 in his diary:
"The place called Amsterdam
has a large, strong wooden warehouse made of thick, heavy beams and planks lashed together and covered with tiles. It sits on many poles
about half a man’s height off the ground, so that the rice and other dry wares can be preserved better (against moisture creeping up from
below). Teak and other timber is usually abundantly available here, and this is why old ships are often sent here to be repaired and given a
completely new hull, because it can be done here at less cost (even as compared to Batavia). Last year the yacht Worcum was built here
(completely with Siamese wood). This is a very able warship, which was among the others commanded by Mr. Hulft, as mentioned before.
Next to the warehouse lay a good quantity of sappan-wood prepared as cargo for us, as well as several heavy beams between thirty and
forty feet long, and more than a hundred lighter beams, and much wood for houses and the like, fit to send to Batavia."
2. Tolhuijs [Customs House] - Rather a registration office than a customs house, situated at the mouth of Khlong Nang Bang Kreng in Pak Nam
(Samut Prakan), about two miles and a half from the mouth of the river, upon its left bank. The ship captains needed to disembark and register all
names and goods at this checkpoint. Guns needed to be landed prior to proceed upriver. After registration a passport (tarra) was obtained to
proceed further to Bangkok or Ayutthaya. The office as well as the two guard houses on both banks at the mouth resorted under the Chao Phraya,
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
second customs house was in Bangkok at the confluence of the Chao Phraya River and Khlong Bangkok Yai, opposite the Thonburi Fortress in the
location were is today Wat Kanlayanamit. The third customs house was situated near Wat Prot Sat in Khanon Luang sub-district, south of Ayutthaya.
3. Ban Tianphia [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. Gijsbert Heeck noted:
"...Ban Chao Phraya, a small village at the mouth of the river where all in- and out-
going shipping must halt on the king’s order and pay toll."
4. Prapedan [Phra Pradaeng] - Phra Pradaeng was a fortified town at the beginning of the Ayutthaya period. In the reign of King Songtham (reign
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).
5. Ban Terays


6.  Bancock [Bangkok] - Gijsbert Heeck noted: "Very early in the morning, with its beautiful, pleasant weather, we arrived at Bangkok. This
is a fairly large place with many houses facing each other, but all are rather shoddily built on high stilts, of which the posts, beams, walls,
and other necessary parts were made only of bamboo, which is a thick Indian cane, and were covered with coconut palm leaves or attap.
Many of them had only walls made of mats of straw or the leaves of katjangs together with such coconut palm leaves. The priests,
however, had wooden buildings, covered with tiles, though these were also on stilts because of the soft, marshy ground. [Despite the
wetness of the ground,] this area was quite fertile, with coconut palms, orange trees, lemons, bananas, areca nut palms, and the like. For
this reason this is one of the best-known markets (or as they say pasar) on the whole river, bringing the king annually a large income from
trade duties. Business is conducted mainly on large and small boats."
Above Bangkok
7. Ban Troij
8. Talatquan - Wrongly indicated as Talat Khwan instead of Talat Kaeo. Gijsbert Heeck noted:
"Before midday we came in the place called
Talat Kaew. This is a fairly large town. It too has a famous daily pasar or market for all kinds of wares, set up (like at Bangkok) in some
small and larger boats, and also in some houses built over the water especially for this purpose. There was a lively crowd. Here we bought
many watermelons and areca-nuts and betel-leaf for the boat coolies or rowers."
and "In Talat Kaew there also lived some Chinese who
made their living by cloth-dying."
9. Ban Paij [Bang Phai] - Bang Phai District on the Chao Phraya River right bank in Nonthaburi Province.
10. Ban Noij
11. Talatquan [Talat Khwan] - Talat Khwan District in Nonthaburi.
12. Ban Trit [Pak Kret] - Gijsbert Heeck noted:
"Near evening time we passed a large place named Pakkret, some ten leagues distant from
Ayutthaya. It, too, had a good bazaar or market with boats (as described earlier). We also noted that (as in most villages) there were a
number of Chinese with their families, who (astounding as it may seem) are able to make a living anywhere - they certainly are a subtle,
diligent, and very industrious people."
13. Trit Noy [(Khlong Lat) Kret Noi] - Shortcut canal dug in the 17th century 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". Gijsbert Heeck noted:
"In the afternoon we arrived in the
Small Mosquito Passage, so named because of the masses of mosquitoes (these are gnats) that dominate here. It is a branch of the same
[Chao Phraya] and shortens the route a little, but it is not suited for large vessels because of its narrowness. There is a little fortress,
white and square, at one side of its entrance. The fort has low walls and in our eyes is hardly defensible. As far as we could see there were
neither soldiers nor guns to put into action. It had no buttresses or battlements. In short, it was built there as display rather than as
deterrent. We guessed it to be situated about fourteen leagues or half-way to the town of Ayutthaya."
14. Ban Lauw
15. Ban Lauwma
16. Ban Leeuw
17. Ban Kitsiengh [Ban Kra Chaeng] - Mueang Pathum Thani District in Pathum Thani Province.
18. Ban Pactret Jaij [Ban Pak Kret Yai] - Village at the mouth of Kret Yai (Large Bend)]. In 1608, King Ekathotsarot (reign 1605-1610/11)
ordered Khlong Lat Kret Yai dug in a loop of the Chao Phraya River from Wat Kaitia below Sam Khok until Wat Makham in Ban Klang,
Pathumthani. The loop was transformed into two canals being Khlong Bang Phrao and Khlong Bang Luang Chiang Rak. The journey reduced from
18 to 7 kilometers. Gijsbert Heeck noted:
"After sunset we entered the Large Mosquito Passage, another branch of the river, but fairly wide.
On the right-hand side we passed a large and rather flat island occupied mostly by people who, originating from the river Pegu, [and
becoming more numerous,] had begun to move in here. It is said that the first ones came overland from the back country and (with the
king’s permission) settled on this island, subsisting by growing rice and plantations, raising animals, and engaging in other farming
activities. The land here is quite suitable for this kind of work, because of the wide flat fields and sparse trees."

19. Pegus dorp [Peguan village / 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. Gijsbert Heeck noted: [As we traveled]
"beyond the Small Mosquito Passage, we
had gradually seen fewer temples and pyramids, and in this region we saw none at all. We guessed therefore that the Peguans were of a
different belief, or too were poor to afford them, but we have not yet been able to learn the actual reason"
[for the lack of temples].
20. Ban Gieuw [Ban Ngiu] - Sam Khok District in Pathum Thani Province.
21. Ban Tankhet
22. Ban Clangh [Ban Klang]

23. Ban Tranh
24. Ban Lauw

From Bang Sai        

25. Ban Taey [Bang Sai] - Bang Sai District of Ayutthaya Province.

26. Ban Eijdap [Ban Dap] - Bang Krasun in Bang Pa-In Dstrict of Ayutthaya Province.
27. Ban Troo
28. Ban Phaij
29. Ban Theeuw
30. Ban-kedam - Village near one of the old mouths of the Pa Sak River, before the river was canalized to the east side of Ayutthaya.
31. Banphij [Ban Bang Phi]
32. Canon of Tolhuijs [Customs 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" and by the French "Tabanque".


33. Hollandze Logie [Dutch Lodge]
34. Tianpiataij [Wat Chao Phraya Thai] - today called Wat Yai Chaiya Mongkhon.
35. Portugal quartier [Portuguese settlement]
36. Nieuwe kerk [New Temple] - Probably Wat Choeng Tha.
37. Barkelang kerk [Barcalon or Phra Klang's Temple] - Kaempfer has another position for this temple (See IMapKaempfer1)

38. Elephants Theatrum [Elephant Kraal]


[0] Kaart van de rivier van Siam, van de Zee tot aan de Stad Judia. - Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, Verzameling Buitenlandse Kaarten Leupe,
nummer toegang 4.VEL, inventarisnummer 266.
[1] Terwiel, Barend Jan (2008) - A Traveler in Siam in the Year 1655: Extracts from the Journal of Gijsbert Heeck - Silkworm Books.
Interactive map of the Chao Phraya River from the Gulf of Thailand until Ayutthaya made by VOC mapmaker Isaac de Graaff in the period
1690-1743. Catalogue Title Leupe: "Kaart van de rivier van Siam, van de Zee tot aan de Stad Judia." Groot 0.52 - 0.37 El. Nationaal Archief, Den
Haag, Verzameling Buitenlandse Kaarten Leupe, nummer toegang 4.VEL, inventarisnummer 266.  The map has been annotated with the
observations of Gijsbert Heeck during his visit of 1655. The manuscript is kept at the Dutch National Archives in The Hague and filed under the
name "Nieuwe Aanwinsten 1903, No XV." [1]
Interactive map & text by Tricky Vandenberg
Last update April 2019