Sunday, October 6, 2013

Bangkok by boat - Chao Phraya Express and Khlong Boats

See the locations of piers on Chao Phraya Express and Khlong Boat Google Map. Change to Skytrain at Central Pier Sathorn

Chao Phraya Express Boats

Picture by marhas
A boat of the orange line (orange flag) arrives at Tha Thien Pier - opposite to Wat Arun


Picture by marhas
Getting out and in


Picture by marhas
Quite a lot of people already inside. But you will find some room somehow.


The River Express Boats, going up and down Chao Phraya River, are a great way of getting around in Bangkok. You are often quicker than going by taxi. The boats start at 5.30 in the morning and run until 6 pm. Look at the official website of Chao Phraya Express Boats with timetable and also connections to Bus- and Skytrain-Lines. Here you can see some piers and attractions nearby. Here you can see the lines and their connections with Skytrain, Metro and Railways on Chao Phraya Express Google Map.


How to get the right boat
First it seems to be a little bit difficult to get the right boat. You have to learn: There are ferries, that just cross the river. Then there are different River Lines: The ones without a flag stop at every pier, its the local line. The express boats with yellow, red/orange, blue and green-yellow flags do not serve all the piers. Here you see, which piers they serve Which colour stopps where. At the piers there are two platforms: if you want to go to the left side of the Chao Phraya, you go to the left platform, to the other side you go to the right platform. If you miss the correct plattform, the boat doesn't stop. And if you see a pier with only one platform, it's the one for just crossing the river.

There is also a service for tourists: The "Chao Phraya Tourist Boat", more comfortable boats that serve only the piers with tourists points of interest. And of course the tickets cost more.


Boats in the Khlongs and Ferry Services

But there are more bangkok waterways: On both sides of Chao Phraya River you find many Khlongs.

Boat service along the klongs:

Bang Rak Yai and Nonthaburi
From Tha Chang pier you can get a boat on Klong Bangkok Noi - Klong Bangkok Yai to Bang Yai, a district in Nonthaburi. The boat leaves every half hour from 6.30 a.m.-11-00 p.m. You need 50 minutes to Bang Yai. This scenic route passes by Thai-style houses, waterside temples, the Royal Barge Museum and Khu Wiang Floating Market, which operates only in the early morning between 4.00 am and 7.00 am.
In Bang Rak Yai you go to Wat Sao Tong Hin Pier and take a taxi boat to Nonthaburi (4 a.m. to 8 p.m.). You move on Klong Om and need 15 to 20 minutes.
From the Phibul Songkhram 2 Pier in Nonthaburi to Klong Om: Through some of Nonthaburi's famous durian plantations and by some classic Thai-style houses. Boats leave every 15 minutes.

Ko Kret
From Pak Kret you can travel to Ko Kret, a Small island in the Chao Phraya River. A ferry leaves Wat Sanam Nua, some steps from Pak Kret Pier, from 6.00 a-m.-9.00 p.m. On the island you find a pottery village and some Wats.

Klong Mon
From the Si Phraya pier boats to Klong Mon leave every 30 minutes between 6.30 am and 6.00. You pass temples, orchards and orchid farms.

Thonburi
From the Tha Saphan Phut Pier at the Memorial Bridge in Chinatown boats leave every 15 minutes to Klong Bang Waek in Thonburi (from 6 am to 9.30 pm).

Klong Saen Saeb
See the locations on Khlong Saen Saeb Express Boat Google Map
Change from Saphan Hua Chang Pier to Rachathewi Skytrain Station; Change from Asoke Pier to Petchaburi Metro Station.
Why get stuck in the heavy traffic on Bangkok streets? A more fast way to get to many attractions is the water Taxi: longtail boats on Klong Saen Saeb. If you live in a Hotel or Guesthouse near Khao San Road its quite near: The Golden Mount line runs from Phanfa Bridge to Pratunam Pier. Here you can change to Nida Line. Useful Piers: Tha Phanfa (Banglamphoo), Tha Saphan Hua Chang (near Jim Thompson's House and MBK shopping), Tha Pratunam (off Ratchprarop road near the World Trade Center), Tha Asok (off Asok road, Sukhumvit Soi 21, and off Soi Ekkamai, off Sukhumvit road.
On Klong Saen Saeb you can travel as far as to Min Buri. You change from Nida Line at Wat Sri Bunruang. From Wat Sru Bunruang there is now a free boat service to Minburi Market. On Weekdays the boats run every 15 minutes from 6 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 7.30 pm. During the weekend the boats run every half hour. There are 14 piers along the route. The boat stops, if you give a signal.
More on Canal Boats
Read also: Fast and malodorous: Bangkok's "khlong" boat network

Here you see Maps and stories about some Khlongs:

Khlong Bangkok Yai and Google Map of Klong Bangkok Yai

Khlong Bang Khun Tian and Google Map of Klong Bang Khun Tian

Khlong Phra Khanong / Khlong Prawet Burirom and Google Map of Khlong Phra Khanong and Khlong Prawet Burirom

Here you see a Map of Klongs and attractions.


Rent a boat

You like to discover the Khlongs on your own? Then you can rent a boat (with captain of course). You find it at piers as Tha Chang, Tha Saphan Phut, Tha River City, Tha Rachini, Tha Oriental, Central Pier, in front of Wat Arun or at Nonthaburi Pier. At central pier I have been offered one hour for 1200 Baht, at Tha Chang Pier the hour costed 1000 Baht.


More informations about boat trips in the klongs: Cruise on Klongs and Wisarut Bholsithi writes about the ferry system



And now look at this video about Chao Phraya River Express and Klong Saen Saep Water Taxi:

And here, what you see from Chao Phraya River: Video

And a Klong Tour: Video

Water Taxi from Wat Saket to Pratunam Pier: Video

Touring the Black Waters - Greater Bangkok by boat: video




Discover more in Bangkok:
Your Guide to Bangkok


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