Rattanakosin Island is a historic area in the Phra Nakhon District in the city of Bangkok, Thailand. It is bordered by the Chao Phraya and canals were dug to serve as moats for the originally fortified city centre. Situated on the eastern convex bank of a meander in the Chao Phraya River, the island is the site of the Grand Palace and Bangkok's City Pillar Shrine, among other places of historical significance.
Before Bangkok became the capital of Thailand, the capital city was Thonburi. The old city straddled the Chao Phraya, but was mainly settled on the western bank where the royal palace and other institutions were situated. The eastern bank was mostly home to Chinese and Vietnamese (forced) settlers.
When Phutthayotfa Chulalok established himself as king, he re-established the capital on the eastern bank, relocating the prior settlers to the area around Wat Sam Pluem and Wat Sampheng. (The area is now Yaowarat, Bangkok's Chinatown.) Fortifications were ordered to be rebuilt, and canals extended to form moats around the fortified city. The inner moat, created by connecting Rong Mai Canal and Talat Canal, is now known as Khlong Khu Mueang Doem (lit. old city moat canal).
Khlong Rop Krung (canal encircling city) was merged from Bang Lamphu and Ong Ang Canals. The area enclosed by Khlong Khu Mueang Doem and the river is referred to as Inner Rattanakosin, while Outer Rattanakosin refers to the originally less developed area between the two canals. Two further small canals known as Khlong Lot (tube/straw canal) connect the inner and outer moats.
- "Bangkok Walking Tour: Rattanakosin Island". National Geographic. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
- Websites "Rattanakosin Island". Retrieved 14 October 2012.
- "Rattanakosin Island Bangkok History & Tourist Attractions". Thailand's World. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
- "ประวัติความเป็นมา (History)". ศูนย์ข้อมูลเกาะรัตนโกสินทร์ (Rattanakosin Island Information Centre) (in Thai). Silpakorn University. Retrieved 9 December 2011.