After your guide has fetched you in the hotel lobby, walk to the nearest BTS station and take the skytrain, which is undoubtedly the swiftest way to get around, with direction to the river. There are more than 30 piers along the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, however, the best pier to start the river tour is Sathorn pier where we board the express boat to get off at one of Bangkok's oldest areas - China Town. The Chinese were moved to this area in 1780 so that the King could build the Grand Palace. The street is lined with ubiquitous goldsmith shops, sharksfin and birds nest restaurants, shops and vendors selling Chinese herbal medicine, dried mushrooms, and many other things that often can be defined by a local only. During your stroll through the small alleys, you can try and enjoy a cup of Chinese tea with the local merchants. Get onto a Tuk Tuk, a motorized rickshaws so named because of the sound of their engine and an unofficial national symbol of Thailand, and ride to Pak Klong Talad, the biggest wholesale and retail fresh flower market in Bangkok. The majority of flowers found here are destined to be woven into "phuang malai" - garlands and used as offerings. Some will be offered to images of Buddha inside temples or on the shrines of private homes. Others will find their way to ancestor spirit shrines, spirit trees, or one of the countless dedications to Hindu gods like Brahma and Indra.
Cross the river with the ferry and walk to Santa Cruz Church (locally known as Wat Kudi Jeen, see outside only). Nestled among old houses on the river banks and newer buildings inland, the reddish dome of the old Catholic church is a prominent landmark on the riverfront. Descendants of the early Portuguese Catholics built the first Santa Cruz Church in 1770 after the fall of Ayutthaya. Hidden within one of the alleys nearby the church is where you'll find a pastry originating from Portugal that has been in production for over 200 years. Use your nose and follow the scent of these treats to the charcoal ovens where they are made. Take a break at Thanusingha bakery house and enjoy some of the tasty Portuguese sponge cakes that go well with a hot cup of coffee.
Afterwards take the ferry back to the other side and head for lunch at a local restaurant near the pier. Another Tuk Tuk ride will take you to the gates of Wat Pho - home to more Buddha images than any other Bangkok temple and sheltering one of the largest Buddha in Thailand. Cross the river once more with the ferry to visit the enchanting Wat Arun. When the sun rises, light reflects on its porcelain facade, creating a pearly glimmer at the start of a new day. Up close, you see shards of colorful ceramic and stucco and glass mosaic work plastered over the walls and up its prangs, or Khmer-style towers. Afterwards return to you hotel.