Chao Phraya Express Boats, Bangkok
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.
The Chao Phraya Tourist Boat provides the opportunity to see Bangkok from a whole new perspective, many attractive spots to visit such as the Temple of Dawn, Chinatown, the Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho, The Grand Palace and many more attractive places. For a 100 baht for a day pass it is a steal and you dont get stuck in traffic.
The Chao Phraya river cuts right through Bangkok, and it is a central element of the transportation system. A fleet of swift taxis ply the river up and down all day long, cutting off around nightfall. But it is a terrific way to get close to the downtown area (and all the shopping and culture that it holds), as well as move up to the sights of the King's Palace and Wats Pho and Arun.
It is not necessarily the most luxury of ways to travel, as it is used by Thai residents on their daily commutes. To accommodate as many people as possible, the ticket takers try to pack you in, and during the rush hours it can be overflowing with people. But, it is a slice of real life of Bangkok, away from taxis and air conditioned rides, you are traveling amongst kids going to school, business men on their way to the office, families to the market.
Beyond a means of transportation, a trip up or down the river is a travel experience of itself, a highlight reel of the sights from the banks of the Chao Phraya. If you can grab a seat, relax and let the smell of the river and the skyline of the city wash over you. And for about 7-20 bhat, you can't find much better of a deal in the city.
This is one of Bangkok's most scenic, and cheap transport options. You'll find 4 boat lines; ie 2 express lines (yellow/orange flag), the local line (no flag) and the tourist line.
Depends on destination, so keep in mind the cost is about 10B to 25B,...
NO MORE !!!
The local boat operates from 6am to 7.30pm and stop at all piers. The Tourist Boat is from 9.30am to 4pm, find Tha Sathon and the 10 major sightseeing piers (included Tha Chang, Tha Phra Athit etc. ).
The Chao Phraya River is the Life Blood of Bangkok and in ancient siam, most thai people in the bangkok area lived in river areas in the river and it's tributaries into klongs. the chao phraya river is enjoyed when you have a day or night dinner cruise around this mighty river or an ayuthaya with chao phraya river cruise tour. you can ride around the chao phraya river via booking a chao phraya river tour from your tour company or ride one of the boat express lining the river and these are:
Chao Phya Express Boats
:: Express Boat - Local Lines (No Flag)
run Monday-Friday from Wat Rajsingkorn to Nonthaburi during 06.00 am.-18.00 pm. and departure every 20 minutes; the fare range from 10 to 14 Baht.
:: Express Boat - (Orange Flag)
run daily from Wat Rajsingkorn to Nonthaburi during 05.50 am.-19.00 pm. and the fare 15 Baht.
:: Express Boat - (Yellow Flag)
run Monday-Friday from Sathorn to Nonthaburi ;and Ratburana (Big C) to Nonthaburi during 06.10 am.-19.30 pm. and the fare 20-29 Baht.
:: Express Boat - (Blue Flag)
run Monday-Friday from Sathorn(Taksin) to Nonthaburi(Pibul 3) during 07.00 am.-18.25 pm. and the fare 24-34 Baht.
Bangkok's history has evolved along the banks of the Chao Phraya River and its adjoining canals. Winding its way through the heart of the city, the river continues to play an important part in daily life. Every day you see commuters, saffron robed monks and school children speeding by on fast river taxis, overtaking the heavily laden rice barges making their sedate journey upriver.
The Chao Praya Express Boat Company operates an additional tourist boat service that stops at ten major piers and provides access to attractions like the Grand Palace, Wat Po and the Royal Barge Museum. You can buy a day pass for 75 baht with departures every 30 minutes from Sathorn Pier. Incredible value with guide and drinking water included. One of the piers at the end (Tha Sathorn) links with the Skytrain terminus, so even if your accomodation is away from the river, it's still within easy reach.
From the Ratchatewi BTS Skytrain Station (right next to the Asia Hotel) walk towards the canal (towards Siam Discovery or MBK Shopping Center or National Museum) and you'll have to go across a short bridge. Just below the bridge after you've crossed over the canal to the other side, you'll see a canal boat stop /platform where provided it's before 7pm, you can catch the canal express ferry to the end of the line which is the stop below the Golden Temple Mount. The canal fare is only about 12 bahts and from there it's about an 8 minute walk to KSR. You'll have to cross the very busy Rachadaemon Boulevard and the short street to KSR is quite narrow. Since you say, 'we', it's probably best to take a taxi back at night, especially late a night since buses can be scarce. Make sure it's a licensed meter taxi.
As to what to visit, it's a human farang zoo! No loss of spectacles in KSR. Tons of shopping too amidst all the small shops and arcades. Lots of places to eat but I like the seafood places along Pra Athit annex or at the other end, pass the Vieng Tai Hotel are a few big al frescoe dining places that's setup for the night. Lots of pre-cooked dishes but right next to it are a couple places that have fresh porridge with all sorts of 'add on' meats, fish, veggies,etc.
I can highly recommend taking the express canal boat ( did it to Jim Thompsons house ) , these things are an experience!!
Only cost 8Baht per person. Caught it near the golden mount and the conductor even told us when to get off ( you have to be quick, they don`t hang around for long).
Cheap, cheerful and an experience to last a lifetime!
The Chao Phraya River Express operates boats which follow a regular route up and down the Chao Phraya River within the city. Fares range from 6 to 20 BAHT