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“The Voyage—First Impressions of Siam; and of Bangkok, its Capital—Reception in the Palace—The Two Kings of Siam.
On the 27th April, 1858, I embarked at London, in a sailing ship of very modest pretensions, in order to put in execution my long-cherished project of exploring the kingdoms of Siam, Cambodia, and Laos, and visiting the tribes who occupy the banks of the great river Mekong.
I spare the reader the details of the voyage and of my life on board ship, and shall merely state that there were annoyances in plenty, both as regards the accommodation for the passengers and the conduct of the captain, whose sobriety was more than doubtful.
We arrived at Singapore on the 3rd September. The census, taken in May, 1859, of the population of this beautiful and flourishing settlement, gave the following results.—Total, 81,792, of whom only 450 were Europeans, and 1995 Eurasians, or of a mixed race, such as Indo-English, Indo-Portuguese, and Indo-Dutch. The Chinese numbered 50,043, the Klings 11,735, and Malays 10,880; the women belonging to these races being computed at no more than 3248, 963, and 3700 respectively. The remainder of the population was composed of Bengalese 1236, Burmese and Siamese 14, Bugese 916, Javanese 3408, and Arabs 117.
There are in the island 13 schools, 70 temples or pagodas, 13 hotels and taverns, 26 pawnbrokers, 87 spirit-merchants, 144 houses licensed for opium-smoking, and 11 houses for the sale of a peculiar spirit unknown in France, but which is extracted from rice, and known under the name of arrack. The fishing-boats number 750. Facilities for locomotion and traffic are provided by 589 public carriages, 1180 passenger-boats, and 600 carts for the transport of merchandise.
In addition to the population of Singapore itself, the islands in the immediate vicinity, and forming a part of the settlement, contain 1500 inhabitants, making the entire population of Singapore and its dependencies nearly 83,000. I made only a short stay there, my chief object being to gain information respecting the country I was about to visit. On the 12th of the same month, after a very monotonous voyage, we arrived at the mouth of the river Menam, on whose banks Bangkok is built. A vast sandbank here bars the entrance of large ships, and compels them to go eight or nine miles farther up the gulf, and discharge their cargoes at great additional  expense. Our vessel, however, only drawing eight feet of water, passed without much difficulty, and anchored at Paknam in front of the Governor’s house, whither the captain and myself proceeded without loss of time, in order to obtain the necessary permission to continue our route.”
|Title:||Travels in the central parts of Indo-China (Siam), Cambodia, and Laos during the years 1858, 1859, and 1860 Volume v.1|
|Author:||Mouhot Henri 1826-1861 and Mouhot Charles|
|Dimensions:||6.1 x 9.2 x 0.80 inches - Hardcover|
|Weight:||1.5 pounds -Hardcover|
|Dimensions:||7.4 x 9.7 x 0.70 inches Paperback|
|Weight:||1.2 pounds - Paperback|
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