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There's more to see around the pier next to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel than just the obvious. In addition to the hotel, here's some other sights nearby:
- East Asiatic Company
- Right on the river at the pier are the buildings of the Dutch East Asiatic Company (EAC). Founded in 1897, EAC is still one of the world's leading trading companies. These beautiful Venetian-styled buildings were built in 1901. There's been talk of turning them into an up-scale shopping arcade.
- Oriental Plaza
- On the other side of Soi Oriental from the EAC is the world-renowned Oriental Hotel. The hotel was originally built in 1876, but its place in history is largely due to the Sarkies Brothers who acquired it and rebuilt the hotel in 1887 to bring it up to the standard of their other hotel properties - the E&O in Penang and Raffles in Singapore. Two towers were added in the 20th century, which unfortunately detract a lot from the hotel's charm, but apparently not enough to stop it being voted the world's best hotel year after year. The Oriental Plaza shopping arcade lies north of the hotel's parking garage. It's of the same era as the hotel and the EAC buildings, and is worth a look.
- Assumption Cathederal
- Built in 1910, primarily by the French community, Assumption Cathedral sits in a small square isolated from the main streets. The outside is a rather simple romanesque facade which reveals a very rich rococo interior.
- Thai Home Industries
- Old-style shop selling local handicrafts. Right on the alley leading off the pier.
- French Embassy
- The French Embassy faces the river right next to the Oriental Hotel. The Embassy is the second oldest in Bangkok, after the Portuguese. The French sent their first ambassador to Siam in the 17th century. The embassy has been expanded many times over the years, but has recently been restored to something close to its original form. However, its generally not open to the public.
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