Thailand's royal barges made their initial appearance during the reign of Narai the Great, king of Ayutthaya, who sent a flotilla of such boats down the Chao Phraya River to greet and escort a visiting delegation from the court of Louis XIV of France. Occasions featuring the appearance of the royal barges are rare, if only for logistical reasons, but the barges may be viewed in a drydock museum maintained by the Royal Thai Navy on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya in Bangkok.