Chao Phraya Express Boats, Bangkok
I would readily admit that taking the Chao Phraya Express Boat along Bangkok's famous Chao Phraya River was kind of confusing to me at first. But once I sorted that out, it was actually a very convenient manner of travelling along the river.
You will first need to know that there are actually a few different lines, denoted by their flag colors. The basic local line (no flags) will stop at every pier, while the colored ones will skip over some piers. Details can be found here.
For example, if you are planning to get from the Central Pier (also known as Sathorn Pier, where Saphan Taksin BTS Station is located) to Tha Tien Pier (where Wat Pho, Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is located) you can either take the local line, or the Orange Flag Express Boat.
Based on the fare chart, it cost 11 baht on the local line, and a flat 13 baht for the Orange Flag Express Boat. The return trip however, will cost 13 baht on the local line, while still remaining 13 baht for the Orange Flag Express Boat. You can also time manage your trips in advance as they keep a pretty accurate schedule.
Note that there will be 2 platforms at the piers. If you are going leftwards, then please wait on the left platform and conversely, on the right platform if you are planning to go rightwards along the river. Otherwise, if there is nobody on the correct platform, the boat heading towards your intended direction will not stop and will bypass the pier.
Another thing to note is that there are 2 kinds of piers. One is for the Chao Phraya Express Boats that move along the river, and another is for you to take the 2 baht ferry boat across the river. You can identify which is which quite easily, since the ones for the Chao Phraya Express Boats will have 2 distinct side-by-side platforms for the purpose mentioned above.
The Chao Phraya Express Boats are a cheap and efficient way to travel to various sights along Bangkok’s Chao Phraya river.
There are several lines, connecting various piers along the river, and you can find a definitive route map here:
I was staying in Chinatown during my visit to the city in September 2007, so my nearest ferry pier was Pier #5: Ratchawong (also called Ratchavongse). All of my journeys on the express boats either began or ended here.
Usually, I would catch the boat from Ratchawong to either Pier #8: Tha Tien (the pier to disembark at if visiting Wat Pho) or Pier #9: Chang Luang (for visiting the Grand Palace). From Pier #8 it is possible to catch a connecting cross-river ferry to Wat Arun, a crossing which takes just two minutes.
I could never quite understand the pricing system of the boats. I was always charged 13 Bahts (approx. 0.20 GBP) when travelling from Pier #5 to Pier #9, but charged 18 Bahts (approx. 0.30 GBP) when traveling the shorter distance between Pier #5 and Pier #8. Either way, the fares are very cheap.
The journey time between Pier #5 and Piers #8 and #9 was roughly 10 minutes.
The boats arrive and leave from the piers very quickly. You have to get straight on and off or the boat will be gone before you get chance! The boats can seat perhaps 70 or 80 people, but all the seats were taken on all of my journeys, so I had to stand up at the back of the boat. There is a special standing section at the back right hand side which is reserved for monks.
At Pier #5, tickets are purchased from a small desk prior to boarding the boat. However, when traveling back from Pier #9, I paid a conductor who came around the boat collecting fares.
The Chao Phraya Express Boats are an efficient means of transport to many major sights, and a great, cheap way to see the city from the river!
There are various types of boat identified in color flags. Boat service on the Chao Phraya River connects Bangkok with the northern neighbouring province of Nonthaburi, starting from the Tha Nam Non Pier and ending at Saphan Taksin Pier (Sathorn).
Boat (no flag) stop at all pier, has a minimum fare of 8 baht.
Rapid boat (orang flag) has a fare of 10 baht all routes.
Express boat (yellow flag) stop at only on crowded and main piers. www.chaophrayaboat.co.th
The Express boat has a fare of 15 baht all routes. After rush hour, these boat are used for tourist purpose. There are guide boats for travellrs with guide to give information about the riverside.
The boat with blue flag, is the fastest stopping only on 3 pier, ThaNamNon Pier, Siriraj Pier and SaphanTaksin (Sathorn) Pier.It has a minimum and maximum fares from 25-35 baht. (For trial period, it just newly had this type)
Boats run daily from 06.00 A.M-06.40 P.M.
Chao Phraya Express Boat Co.,Ltd. www.chaophrayaboat.com
Star Cruises www.starcruises.com
Andaman Princess www.andamanprincess.com
Ocean Princess www.oceanprincess.co.th
River King Cruise & Jak Kaew Boat www.riverkingcruise.net
River Side Bangkok www.riversidebangkok.com
Thai River Cruise www.thairivercruise.com
Thai Marine Leisure www.thaimarine.com
(date took the express boat - Feb. 12, 2004)
Tha Tient - Sapan Taksin & vice-versa
Tha Tient pier is a walking distance to Wat Pho & Wat Pra Kaew while Saphan Taksin Pier is near to Saphan Taksin Station (sky train)
Boat fare - THB 15
One of the fast way for moving in BKK. It begin at Nonthaburi pier and end at Wat Ratchasingkhon pier.
The boat begin from 6AM-6PM daily.
It 'll drop by flag as follow;
Green flag - stop every piers.
Red flag - Stop some piers.
Yellow flag - Express boat ,just stop only main piers.
I think this transportation 's a good way for sightseeing BKK also.
The express boat on the Chao Praya River goes up and down the various piers for just 4 to 10 baht.
If you get yourself a map of the piers you will see that a lot of them are close to a temple or one of the other attractions Bangkok has to offer.
Daily Standard Express Boats
All day from 6:00-18:40.
Every 20 minutes
The river taxis are a great alternative to the roads. Traffic is awful in Bangkok. If you want to go in the northern part of the city and see Wat Pho, Wat Phra Kaew, dusit park or some others it's faster to take a river taxi up the Chao Phraya. Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho are right near the river. Other sites, such as Dusit Park-you can take a river taxi to Tha Thewet pier and then a tuk tuk from there.
There is a faster river taxi, that hits the main attractions-Chao Phraya Express. More expensive, but it's possible to get a day pass. Local river taxis cost just a few baht.
For a little bit more, but a lot of fun -you can take a longtail boat. It's usually 40-120 baht. Depending on route and such. You can also hire these guys to take you to the barge museum or a khlong tour. They go quite fast and you will get a tiny bit wet. Great when you are hot and tired. Since it's going fast -you will keep hitting the river (bump bump thud noises). They will appropriately slow down near other ferries/boats and the Thai coast guard is nearby.
Boat trip is interesting even for us Thais.Many people go to work by express boats every morning.(for myself,unfortunately i'm too lazy to walk from pier to busstop so I take a boat just ocassionally)
Anyway,by boat.Even you don't have plan "where to go" you can jump in and buy ticket to somewhere (wherever it takes) It's nice already seeing people,their activities along the great river of Bangkok (even once during APEC summit,our PM placed very huge and ugly canvas to hide those old wooden houses as if he was sweeping dust and keep it under a carpet)
Taking public express boat is cheap ( you won't pay more than 30 Baht each trip) and nice.I usually take a boat up tp Nonthaburi where you can visit "Koh Kred" or Kred island.Small island in Nonthaburi where once it was Mon settlement.Nowadays,Some Mon families still living there and it's biggest pottery village in town.Ideal for relaxing weekend.(during weekday it will be too quiet,some restaurants and shops are closed)
Remarks : Express boat doesn't go direct to Koh Kred but you will off at "Nonthaburi pier" then you can hire taxi,tuktuk or take a bus to "Pak Kred" and walk a bit,cross by furry (3.50 baht each) that's it.
Daily Standard Express Boats
All day from 6:00-18:40.
Every 20 minutes
Fare : up to 20 baht something
Special Express Boats (Monday-Friday)
During rush hours
From 6:00-9:00 and 12:00-19:00
Fare : up tp 20 baht something
(NO FLAG) Stop every pier
More information you can call "Chaopraya Boat" Co.( or known as "Supatra" Co.) or check their website
These are Daily Standard Express Boats running all day from 6:00-18:40, every 20 minutes or so. You can find the stops and itineraries at the website below.
Fare 4-10 baht, depending on the distance.
The BTS station to connect with the boats is Saphan Taksim, the end of the Silom line.
Update. September 2011
*** 15 Baht for Regular and 30 Baht for Express Boat (Blue Flag - Phar Arthit to Saphan Thaksin)
Fare Increaded from April
14 Baht for Orange Flag-Yellow-Green-No Flag (Saphan Thaksin~Phra Arthit up to Nonthanburi/Pakred or vice versa) Be aware, ticket counter at the piers will ask you for 25 Baht which is for EXPRESS (Blue Flag Boat which only perates between Saphan Thaksin to Phra Arthit Pier) Just wait no more then 15-25 minutes for the Orange Flad Boat and pay after get on board.
Avoid Traffic, get to the Sathorn Pier in 15 minutes and a short walk from there if you wish to go Silom.
Wonderful Sight seeing. Comfortable and Cheap
Starts at 06.00 from Nontahnburi Pier from AM till 07.00 PM
Route Map can be seen at the web sitementioned below
Boat Type: Single Deck
Capacity: 60 Persons every seat have inflatable raft if needed in emmergency.
Length: 27.00 m
Width: 3.50 m
Depth: 1.50 m
We took Chao Phraya Express to visit Wat Phra Keow, because it helps you to avoid traffic jams (although they are even worst at afternoon hours). We arrived at Saphan Taksin by Skytrain and from Sathorn Pier, we took, almost by chance, Chao Phraya Express. We were hurried to take it, so I was afraid that we had got into some of those very expensive touristic boats that go up and down the river. The men at the desk tried that we paid a ticket for the whole day (it cost 100 bahts), but we were planning to do a single trip, so we declined this fare. Single ticket cost 18 baths and you buy it at the boat. There is a person who gives indications through a loudspeaker about the sites at each stop (in English). Be aware of what you see around, and set your camera ready.
Cogimos el Chao Phraya Express para visitar Wat Phra Keow, porque ayuda a evitar los atascos (aunque son peores por la tarde). Llegamos a Saphan Taksin en Skytrain y desde el Muelle Sathorn cogimos, casi por casualidad, el CPE. Nos metieron prisa para que subieramos, asi que me temi que nos habiamos metido en alguno de esos barcos turisticos carisimos que van rio arriba y abajo. Los hombres del mostrador intentaban que comprasemos un ticket de todo el dia por 100 bahts, pero teniamos pensado hacer solo un viaje, asi que no aceptamos esta tarifa. El billete simple cuesto 18 bahts y lo compras dentro del barco. Hay una persona que va dando indicaciones por un altavoz (en ingles) sobre los sitios a los que se accede desde cada parada. Ve mirando el paisaje desde el barco y ten la camara preparada.
For only 75 Bht (approx. $2.00), purchase a ticket to board the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat, which will provide you with a one-day opp to visit all the sites located on or near the Chao Phraya River, including the Temple of the Dawn, Wat Pho, the Grand Palace, etc.
Just note, however, that the tourist boat stops running at 3pm, so you'll have to take a Chao Phraya Express Boat back as it stops running later (7:30pm).
There are so many things to see along the Chao Phraya river.This makes it perfect for a day trip away from the Bangkok roads.The Chao Phraya River Tourist Boat visits 10 pier for a sightseeing tour of some historical sites of "Old" Bangkok.The tour starts at Sathorn at Taksin Bridge. You can buy a 100 baht unlimited all day river pass at Sathorn,Maharaj,Phra Artit,Siam,Nana & Taksin Bridge BTS Station. The ticket does not include admissiun fee to the various places.
Many of the hotels offer cruises at all times of the day up and down the river. I'm not sure of the cost as I've never taken one. But a day on the river can be beautiful!! Also many of them offer sunset cruises. How romantic would that be??
My favourite means of transport in Bangkok was the boat over the Chao Phraya River. It is much more fun and a lot cleaner than the bus, tuk-tuk or taxi. It is not always the best idea ofcourse, since the stops are only along the river, but if you have to go from one place close to the river to the other, try it sometime! You can also hop on many buses and even the skytrain at many of the stops to continue your journey.
The boats are long, fast, and normally colored white with a red stripe. Fares vary slightly according to the destination, they're between 5B and 10B, and if I remember well, in busy hours they have one price. Boats seem to come around every 20 minutes, start at 5.30am and the last boat leaves each end at 6pm.