The Chao Pharaya River plays many roles in Thai life and in fact it is regarded as the principle artery of the nation! Much of Thai history can be traced along the banks of the Chao Phraya River. As it flows, the river carries with it the history and culture of the country. You can take the boar ride/service which takes you to all the 9 piers providing access to Bangkok's most famous attractions. Like the Rattanakosin Island Historic Area which was settled during the Thonburi and Rattanakosin eras. Old temples, palaecs and communities along the river banks tells us the livelihood of the poeple and had led to the birth of civilisation.
Getting off at the last BTS Sky Train stop on the Silom line, the Saphan Taksin station we arrive at the Phraya river.
It is very cheap to travel on the river if you stay with the usual tourist boats which leave every 10 minutes or so. Choose the stop you want to go to including Grand Palace, Wat Po the Museum, Temple of Dawn, Snake farm, Royal Barge museum or Orchid farm. Alternatively you can just go for the ride and get other boats to bring you round the different canals (khlongs) leaving the river. On the weekend you should go to the floating market on the khlongs. We paid 400 baht for an hour on the khlongs, incl. the floating market, which was not too expensive.
Not only do you see some amazing buildings and boats on your journey you will also see the day to day lives of Thais working and living on the river.
Watch out for touts may offer you a trip in a long boat for over 100 times the price of the larger boats. These touts are likely to take you somewhere you do not want to go.
The Chao Phraya River is the major river of Thailand, pass through 9 provinces from Nakhon Sawan, the province in lower part of northern region, to central region, pass through Bangkok, and end at gulf of Thailand, approximately distance 360 km.
I always like to travel by boat, its always enjoyable thing to do. I like to see life along the riverside, its so real Thai life. The long river pass through many provinces, has played a major role in the lifestyles, culture and traditions of the people along it. You can feel it by yourself, just making a trip along the Chao Phraya River or even along canals. In day time, a trip can be made with small long-tail boat to visit canals where you can see typical and life-style of the people with water way along the canals. The old way of living in the past, people depended mostly upon river and canals transportation. Nowadays, the most transportation people use is by roads, but canals are still used. Beside those, you will see typical old houses, temples, and the way people buy and sell things. In the evening you can make a special dinner on the river cruise and enjoy the view of Bangkok at night.
Take a dinner cruise along the Chao Phraya river .The River Side hotel cruise cost about 120 baht per person for the cruise.Even better you can order Thai or Chinese food cooked to order on board and drinks.On the boat there are two sections to sit, the air-con room with a live band or on the deck.
The boat leaves at around 8 pm from the hotel which is located near Krung Thon bridge. The boat heads towards Khrungthep ( Rama 8 ) bridge passing many well know landmarks and bridges along the way. As you go along the river begins to really take on another life after dark and when the boat pass the Temple Of Dawn all lit up ,your in for a treat!
We brought our own extra large "duty free"Black label .So a jolly time was had especially when the boat went under one of the many bridges...some you could almost touch....Whooo.....
One of the most fun and cheapest ways of getting around central Bangkok is by express boat along the Chao Phraya River. The 21km route is served by 65 boats and operates between 6:00 am to 7:30 pm on weekdays and 6:00 am to 6:40 pm on weekends and holidays. Current prices are from 9 baht (Local line for distance within one zone) to 30 baht (for green-yellow flag trip on its entire route from Pakkret to Sathorn), depending on the type of boat and the distance travelled. I took the service a couple of times from the BTS Skytrain station at Saphan Taksin which is near the Sathon pier to Phra Pin Klao Bridge pier in order to get to the Southern Bus Station instead of getting a taxi through the centre of Bangkok. It's also a very scenic trip as you pass by the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, churches, Wichai Prasit Fort and some temples along the way.
You definately should take a tour on the river Chao Phra while you're in Bangkok. It's very cheap (I cannot even remember how little it cost) and there are many boats. The only thing to remember is to be QUICK when going on/off as the skipper and staff are very eager to move along fast.
We went to the river by the SKytrain to Taksin station and then went by boat up to the Golden Palace and Wat Pho
I explored Bangkok by myself and found the Express boat a good cheap and fast way to get around the city. Myself, I preferred to buy a 13tb ticket rather than the "One day 150bt tourist ticket" for the Tourist Boat. The Tourist Boat ran between Central Pier and Phra Arthit Pier and included 10 stops. From Central Pier, it began at 9.30am and from Phra Arthit Pier, it began at 10am. I found that my sightseeing days began before this Boat was operating and that I didn't want to visit all the sights on the one day, plus, if I wanted a good look, I would have run out of time. Just catching the normal boat and by paying 13tb, I found it to be much more economical for what I wanted to see and do. It is a great, cheap way to see the sights of the city from the river. Its interesting, and I think everybody should at least do it once. There is a timetable at each wharf with what colour flag boats that stop at your Pier. It is very easy to follow. You pay when you are on the boat. The boats were crowded everytime that I caught one.
The listed website is very good. It has a route map and tells you the fares and all the information you need before your trip to Bangkok
We travelled along this river several times during our visit, the first time on a Rice Barge tour which was very pleasant as we had Thai food and drinks as we cruised along the river for an hour or so. The second time we took a longboat and this stopped several times to allow us to visit various sites. This boat had a powerful engine and was very fast, a bit of excitement. The river has constant traffic, be it barges hauling rice and other products to and from the ocean port, ferries, longboats etc etc. From the river you get a great impression of the city, the fabulous riverside hotels and apartments, and the developing high rise buildings, however you will see that there are several large apartment buildings completed around 2000 which have not yet been occupied.
If we consider Bangkok as a show, in my opinion, the main star would be Chao Phraya river. You can spend hours just looking this lively, fresh, ever-changing stage. Cargo ships and bus-boats mix with luxury cruisers. At banksides you can admire some of the most luxurious hotels in Thailand, the most beautiful wats and all kind of scenes of everyday life, for example, people hanging their laundry. There are also smaller wats along the river (apart form Wat Arun, Wat Phra Kaew or Wat Po), which are accesible from piers stranded along the bankside. Travelling along the river is both cheap (18 baths each way) and fast (you avoid Bangkok traffic jams, which are sometimes terrible). There are also little boats which only cross the river
Si considerasemos que Bangkok es un espectaculo, en mi opinion, el rio Chao Phraya deberia ser la estrella. Puedes pasarte horas solo mirando este escenario siempre cambiante, vivo y fresco. Cargueros y barcos autobus se mezclan con cruceros de lujo. En las orillas puedes admirar algunos de los hoteles mas lujosos de Thailandia, los templos mas hermosos y todo tipo de escenas de la vida diaria, por ejemplo, residentes colgado su colada. TamBien hay templos mas pequenhos a lo largo del rio (aparte del Wat Arun, Wat Phra Kaew o el Wat Po), que son accesibles desde los muelles diseminados a lo largo de la orilla. Viajar por el rio es barato (18 baths cada trayecto) y rapido (te evitas los atascos de Bangkok, que son terribles a veces). Tambien hay pequenhos barquitos que solo cruzan el rio de una a otra orilla
A visit to Bangkok would not be complete without a trip on the river. It gives you a different perspective of the city.
I especially enjoyed the canals off the river,
where people live right on the waters edge.
Very serene and peaceful, nice break from
the chaotic traffic in Bangkok.
Rent a longtailboat with captain and let him show you the lovely river.
See how lots of people live here. Houses on the water and children swimming there. Feed the big fish with bread. This is a great experience. Amazing views on temples and a lovely museum with beautifull royal longtailboats.
I love going for a trip on the Chao Phraya Express Boat. For one thing it is a real boat used by locals to get around and to and from work and while lots of tourists use it, it does not exist just as a tourist attraction the way some sights do. (If you have ever been to the horrific floating market and taken photos of the tourists, taking photos of the tourists you will know what I mean.) For another thing there are no traffic jams when you travel by boat. Also it is a great way to cool down and you pass some wonderful sights. You can use this service to get to the Grand palace and Wat Pho (Tha Tien pier), the sky train(Sathorn Taksin pier), the Oriental Hotel, China Town, River City.
There are different boats depending on the colour of flag the boat is flying. The different boats have slightly different end points and stop and start at different times. They also have slightly different prices, though all are pretty cheap. We normally paid around 14 baht a trip.
One point to note is that the boats stop running around 7pm, some routes even earlier so don't try to use them too late on.
At some piers you have to buy your boat ticket in advance; at others you pay on the boat. If you buy it in advance, the ticket seller will want to check it and tear it so it cannot be used again.
If you get on a very crowded boat, move down inside rather than standing at the back. People get on and off at almost every stop, so if you move inside, you will generally end up getting a seat.
First time visitors ought to see the bustling lifestyle along river and canals of Bangkok. In addition to longtail boats, it's possible to hop on the government sponsored tourist boats at certain stops, which are quite cheap. They start at Saphan Thaksin BTS station and end at the Royal Barges stop. Highly recommended.
Also, there are numerous cross river ferries that costs only 3 baht one way.
If you wants to avoid the traffic, Chao Phraya is the solution.
You can see many temples jumping on Chao Phraya Express, one of the easiest and cheapest way to do. You can also visit the klongs, the little cannals around BKK. Just rent a private long tail boat for 300bht a couple during one hour. Dont pay more than this.
A cruise along Chao Phraya River at night is one of the best scenic river cruise.
Many interesting sights and buildings along Chao Phraya have been lit up at night.
Several restaurants and hotels along the river provide several cruises to choose from.
Take the BTS to Taksin Station and take a min walk to the jetty.