Chao Phraya Express Boat

Chao Phraya Express Boat

A river boat service in Bangkok, Thailand

Also see: FAM tour of Thailand

My Heritage Walk of Rattanakosin Island, Bangkok started with a ride in the Khlong Saen Saep Express Boat and ended with a ride in the Chao Phraya Express Boat.

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Boats in Chao Phraya River, with Wat Arun in the background, Bangkok

No trip in Bangkok is complete with a boat ride in the Chao Phraya River. There are plenty of options starting from luxurious sun set cruise, which comes with a gala dinner to tourist boats with English speaking guides.

Chao Phraya Express Boat, map and route (Source: www.chaophrayaexpressboat.com) (Click to enlarge)

Chao Phraya Express Boat, map and route (Source: http://www.chaophrayaexpressboat.com) (Click to enlarge)

But if you want to experience Bangkok like the local do have a ride at the Chao Phraya Express Boat. All you need to do is to be careful and watch your step when boarding and disembarking as they don’t stop at the pier for long.

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Sinage of Phra Arthit Pier

An amazing assortment of boats sail up and down the Chao Phraya River from luxurious cruise ships to large cargo vessels.

They are coupled with tiny boats ferrying people across the river. The express boat runs up and down the river covering an approximate length of 21 km which includes 33 piers.

The boat covers major tourist along the river, which includes The Grand Palace (Pier: Tha Chang), Wat Pao and the Temple of Reclining Buddha (Pier: Tha Tien). Bang opposite the Tha Tien Pier is Wat Arun the Temple of the Dawn. The southern most pier of Wat Rajsingkorn provides access to Asiatique, Bnagkok’s most unique riverfront, which doubles up as a night market with exciting street food.

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Phra Arthit Pier, Chao Phraya Express Boat, Bangkok

The Phra Arthit Pier provides access to the Khao San Road. Backpackers and budget travellers are drawn here by some of the cheapest accommodation and travel deals in Thailand.

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Rama VIII Bridge from Phra Arthit Pier, Chao Phraya Express Boat, Bangkok

The express boat service along the Chao Phraya River also connects with the Bangkok’s BTS Skytrain. The Sathorn (Taksin) pier provides access to the Saphan Taksin BTS Station on the Silom Line.

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Boat arrives at the Phra Arthit Pier, Chao Phraya Express Boat, Bangkok

The Chao Phraya Express boat are identified by their flags. The blue flag represents the tourist boat and operate for a short distance with stops at limited piers of tourist interest. They are slightly cofmortable than the rest and comes in with English announcements.

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Wang Lang Pier

On the other hand the slowest and cheapest boats comes with out a flag and stops at every pier.

The orange, green and yellow flag boats are something in between and have limited stops.Among the three orange have the most stops while yellow have the least.

The orange boat is the most recommended for tourist as they stop in all major piers of tourist attraction.

Tickets are sold in the pier and purchased before boarding the boat. The ticket sellers hardly speak any English so it is best to carry a bilingual map. In spite of that mentioning the type of boat sometimes becomes extremely difficult.

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Wat Rakhang Kositaram

My Heritage Walk of Rattanakosin Island ended at the Santichaprakan Park, which houses thePhra Suman Fort, one of the four surviving forts of Bangkok. (Also see: Fortification of Bangkok).

After a brief rest at the Santichaprakan Park it was time to hit the Chao Phraya Rive on an express boat.

Maps indicted the Phra Arthit Pier, which also provides access to Bangkok’s backpackers’ district of Khao San Road, was just next to the Santichaprakan Park.

But it was difficult to locate as the signage was covered by festoons and banners of roadside eateries. A passage through a market leads to the Phra Arthit Pier, offering grand view of the Rama VIII Bridge on the northern side.

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Memorial Bridge and Phra Pokklao Bridge (behind), Chao Phraya River, Bangkok

At the counter got a 15 baht ticket of the orange flag boat and the boat soon arrived. As the stop was short I quickly boarded the boat, which headed south to the Sathorn (Taksin) pier, which provides access to the Saphan Taksin BTS Station on the Silom Line.

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Amazing assortments of boats, Chao Phraya River, Bangkok

It was bit crowded but soon manged a window seat. The majority of the passengers were locals, The boat was fast and stops were very short, with people boarding and disembarking with amazing agility.

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Chao Phraya Express Boat (Orange Flag) at Sathorn (Taksin) Pier

The Chao Phraya River had an amazing assortment of boats from luxury cruise boats sailing next to tiny boats ferrying passengers across the river.

Cargo boats make their way up and down the river with a wide variety of cargo and every thing happens under the watchful eye of the patrolling Royal Thai Navy boats.

The boat journey also provides an interesting view of Bangkok’s ever growing skyline, and provides a faster means of transport minus Bangkok’s notorious traffic jam.

Sadly it was a short journey (about 45 mins) and it was soon over. I got down at the Sathorn (Taskin) Pier, which was connected to the Saphan Taksin BTS Skytrain Station on the Silom Line.

After changing trains at the Siam station I got down at Nana (BTS Sukumvit Line) and walked to Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 11 Hotel, my place of stay in Bangkok during my FAM tour of Thailand.

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Thanon Krung Thonburi Bridge from Sathorn (Taksin) Pier, Chao Phraya River, Bangkok

Note: I visited Thailand as part of a FAM trip organized by Tourism authority of Thailand (TAT) and Thai Airways.

Special Thanks:

  • Aso Lori (TAT, New Delhi) and Sajid Khan (Thai Airways, Kolkata)
  • My fellow FAM participants Amit Sachdev (Unique Air Travels), Sanjay Kr Kothari (Just Holidays), Vandana Arya (Gainwell Leisure Holidays), Piyush Banerjee (Discovery Holidays), Asif Alim (Neptune Holidays) and Nandini Gangully (T2, The Telegraph)
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