Khlongs - Canals, Bangkok
We walked along this pretty canal from near Wat Kalayanamit, then found a bridge across so we could walk to Wat Arun. This canal is not really a canal. It was part of the original Chao Phraya River till a false section of the river was dug in order to avoid this loop. It is one of the prettier stretches of canal/river. You can travel along it by local boat I believe. There were certainly many long tailed boats around in this area.
The klongs in Bangkok are incredible. Bangkok was once referred to as the Venice of the East. If you take the ferry to the northern most stop. N30 - Nonthaburi, you can hire a thaistyle long boat and go on a tour around the klongs. You will see life on the klongs, as it has been for hundreds of years!
Here is my Bangkok page on my hobby site: Bangkok Travel Guide
You can easily arrange canal tours that will take you deep into the “back waters” of Thon Buri, located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River.
We didn’t plan on this exactly but after visiting with a little store owner just outside of the Royal Barges Museum we ended up taking an impromptu “tour” and really it was a treat. We had the entire boat to ourselves and we both enjoyed the little look at the lives of those that still live and work along the canals.
We went at dusk and there were many people out and about on the canals taking relaxing boat rides in the cool evening air. Houses line the shore line and people were congregating at they’re wharves and winding down at the finish of another long hot sunny day. Many waved at us and smiled and chuckled as we motored by them.
Many of the houses were built on piles hammered into the muddy bottom of the canals and some were quite ornate, decorated with wildly colorful flowers and brightly painted homes and outbuildings. There was an assortment of boats tied up to wharves and it’s quite apparent that the canals are still a vibrant focal point of some that live along they’re shores. Depending on the route that your boat would take you’ll even travel by one or two of the many Wats that serve so many of the smaller neighborhoods that exist throughout Bangkok.
If you really would like a little insight into how the people of Bangkok area lived quite some time ago…and still do today, you really should take some time to explore here. It’s a simple lifestyle here on the canals and seemingly free of big city trappings. In any event taking a boat tour through some of the canals of Bangkok is a GREAT WAY to slow it down a little and relax!
Many companies offer this tour and unfortunately because of my experience I can’t recommend one in particular.
The guy that we got hooked up with didn’t have a card and as this was arranged quite hastily by the store owner where we were relaxing after seeing the Barges Museum. The cost was minimal and again I apologize that I can’t tell you more details regarding contact info or cost. Roll the dice..and find out for yourself. I think you’ll enjoy a look at the canals and life along the shores.
We took a boat from Ratchawongse - to Thewes - and passed a flower market - but came upon this amazing local market on a klong - which just had the most incredible foods - some of which were fairly unappetising! I have been back to this market several times - and never cease to marvel at it! Makes Western supermarkets look pretty damned boring!
If you fancy walking around an authentic wet market and see how the savvy Thai shopper gets the veggies, fruit and meat then Khlong Toey is the place for you. It is best in the mornings as that is when the activity happens, and the produce is fresh.
Not for the fainthearted "I only shop for cling film wrapped sirloin at the hypermarket" brigade. Here you get the guts and entrails hanging out, the legs and feet lopped off before your very eyes, heads on spikes and all sorts. Superb. Serial killers of the tourist fraternity could organise tours to this shrine of carcasses, death and destruction. Yes, it's all so fresh it is often half alive (the fish and little animals, like frogs, that is).
The fruit is nice and colourful and well laid out. Very well laid out. And to watch the stall holders nattering away and doing what they do makes this a great photo safari. Bring a peg for your nose. Each evening around 6.30pm it kicks off as the price discounting goes into overdrive to get rid of that nasty, awful, old stuff ...all of one day old.
Rama IV Road. If you start at Silom / Ram IV intersection you pass Lumpini Boxing Stadum on your left. Then you go through and under the Rama IV expressway overpass, keep going for another 800 yards and bingo... it is the sprawling market area on your right. Ask a taxi "Ta-lay-clong-toe-eeeee" and you're there!
Soi Ton Son runs parallel to Soi Lang Suan (joining Chidlom with Lumpini Park at Soi Sarasin).
Tis a loverrly and little and quaint is Soi Ton Son. A leafy avenue bordered by a now derelict khlong - one of Bangkok's old canals - with the obligatory motorcycle taxi ranks and food stalls. As it is a quiet avenue it also has a few decent condominiums and old 1930s Bangkok houses, the latter now upgraded to boutique offices. The soi provides many of the office workers who booze and nosh it up in the up market restaurants and bars on Soi Lang Suan and Soi Sarasin.
The Ton Son Gallery is open Thursday through to Sunday, lunchtime until early evening, (it says 7.00pm though the staff are usually pretty relaxed). It is worth a look to see modern Thai artists display their works. And for more than a few bob you can buy the stuff.
Very handy if you are in the area and need the oasis a peaceful air-conditioned private small art gallery provides. A mini mini Tate, and nowhere near Saatchi proportions. But Bangkok does not really have large self actualizing galleries so these petite nobbles of private displays have to suffice. A time out for twenty minutes if you are in the area.
Go with a mate, and maybe afterwards hit one of the restaurants / bistros on Sarasin / Lang Suan for an afternoon of wine, beers and hor d’oeuvres. Or use it as a pre-evening kicking off point before trekking the Suan Lum Night Market.
Soi Ton Son runs parallel to Lang Suan, the street that joins Lumpini Park to the Central Department Store on Chidlom. Also very close to Suan Lum night bazaar and some great eating places.
The small home communinits on the Chao Phraya River are normally missed by visiters to Bangkok. These communities appear as old wooden shanty type homes right in the river up some of the less traveled canals. They are very interesting to check out! Great for photo journalism too.
Hire a river taxi and cruise around for an hour or two. On the out-of-the-way canals, you'll get to see lots of the most friendly Thai people waving to you from their houses on the water. On the main river, you'll be able to see some of the incredible contrasts in Bangkok.
Trip by Boat in Bangkok, close to the grand palace and chinatown, in the golden mount, you can see many times the small river or channel, very dirty but fun...
it cost only 9baht per person, and is the fastest way to go to world trade center.there are some routes in all channel, and this one cross ahead jim thompson house. the coolest activity in bkk
Hire a water taxi and take a tour around the klongs. You'll get an insight into how people live on the riverbank and see the city from water level. It's a very different world from the commercial centre.
I had to do a double take before I realised this was a monitor lizard, like the ones we saw in Lumphini Park last April, and not a crocodile swimming along this khlong near Wat Arun.
The boat trip on the Chaophraya river is marvelous, inspite of the rainy day - from an elephant ride through the djungle - over to a boat trip in many parts of Thailand.
Don't hesitate to rent a boat and go for a tour on klongs. You really have the feeling to get into locals' life! This is really a good experience!
Take a boat trip along remaining canals (klong). There are only some canal left and most of them are on the west bank of Khao Phaya river.