In 1857, Henri Mouhot traveled to Indochina to conduct a series of botanical expeditions for the collection of new zoological specimens. His initial requests for grants and passage were rejected by French companies and the government of Napoleon III. The Royal Geographical Society and the Zoological Society of London lent him their support. On 27 April 1858 Henri Mouhot and his King Charles dog, Tine-Tine, sailed from London for Bangkok via Singapore, a journey that took four months.
Below are some of his sketches from his journey to Bangkok
River-level view of the Chao Phraya looking
downstream from a point immediately north of the Grand Palace,
redrawn from a sketch circa 1860. The phra prang of Wat Arun rears
up larger-than-life from the west bank. Smoke columns rise from a
brace of buoys which, it appears, demarcate an area before the
Grand Palace which was not to be used as an anchorage. This
particular view, variously retouched, appeared in several later
publications; in one, the buoys become steamships!
Mid-river Port of Bangkok; redrawn from a sketch circa
1860. The odd-looking structure on the far shore is the facade of the
Catholic church which stood in the long line of mills, commercial
houses and consulates fronting the east side of the Chao Phraya
south of the city proper.
The Chakri Palace: a detail of the portico circa 1860.
Source: Mouhot, H., During the years 1858, 1859, and
1860 London, 1864