1820’s – Oriental Commerce

“Oriental Commerce, Or, The East India Trader’s Complete Guide Containing a Geographical and Nautical Description of the Maritime Parts of India, China, Japan, and Neighbouring Countries … with an Account of Their Respective Commerce … (1825)”
by William Milburn, Thomas Thornton

At the head of the Gulf of Siam is the great River Meinam, which empties itself into the sea by several mouths, forming a number of small low islands, which cannot be seen above three leagues off; but it is rather more elevated at the E. branch, by which it may be known. This is the best navigable channel, although the bar, partly composed of hard sand and partly of soft clay, has on it only 8 or 9 feet at low tide; there are 17 or 18 feet on it at high water, spring tides. Just beyond the bar there is an extensive mud flat, which does not injure a ship taking it. The entrance of the river is in latitude about 13° 30′ N., and longitude 101° 15′ E., and the anchorage is to the S. of the bar, about 3 or 4 leagues off. Ships intending to proceed up the river, ought to procure a pilot. A short distance within the bar, on the E. bank, there is a town called Paknam, where all vessels proceeding up the river, land their guns, ammunition, &c. From hence the navigation is safe to Bankok, and it is said still higher, and the soundings regular from 6 to 9 fathoms, mud. Ships may anchor close to the shore in 4 or 5 fathoms.