Singapore to Bangkok and Return
Bangkok, the capital of Siam, is reached in about five days by steamer from Singapore, in the Straits Settlements. It is located about twenty miles up the Menam River, and presents the interesting combination of a thriving European community and an oriental court, still keeping up the oriental formalities of bygone centuries. The city lies very low, but is quite picturesque, — a sort of tropical Venice. More than half of the population live in floating houses, or houses raised upon poles, on or along the banks of the numerous canals and short arms of the river. This is a precaution against inundations, which are of common occurrence here, owing to the low surface of the region. Many of the waterways referred to are overarched by trees, with old temples and palaces peeping out here and there.
Besides the Royal Palace, the most interesting objects in Bangkok are the wats or temples, and these are numerous and gorgeous. Among them are the temple at the mouth of the Menam, Wat Sahket, or Golden Mount, Wat Nun and Wat Sutat.
Apart from Bangkok, there is little to detain the traveler in Siam. It is possible to make one's way up the Menam and Meiping Rivers to Chiengmai, the second city in the country, and the center of the great teak -wood industry; but this journey occupies several weeks, and there is little or no game, and not much else of special interest to be seen en route.
Strange to say, the inhabitants of Siam are very fond of bicycling, and the queen of Siam is frequently seen riding, accompanied by her maids of honor.