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Bangkok's River Transportation

Bangkok Transport | Getting around in Bangkok
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Bangkok was once known as the "Venice of the East" because of its abundance of waterways that have long been used as a means of getting around. Numerous longtail boats, river taxis and large waterbuses.

Bangkok's River Express and canal boats offer an inexpensive mode of transportation. They are unaffected by the infamous traffic jams that plague Bangkok, are far quicker taking than the same trip by road. What's more, several of Bangkok's major attractions are easily accessible via the waterways of Chao Phraya River.

Chao Praya River Express

The River Express boats ply regular routes up and down the large Chao Phraya River, with about 20 main stops. For a mere 10 Baht or less, you can get to just about any destination. You would do best to avoid the rush hours, as the river express boats tend to get incredibly crowded.

The River Express runs a service specifically for tourists. It features the "Chao Phraya Tourist Boat, and only operates at the pies that are of particular interest to tourists. While the tourist service costs more than the regular River Express service, the comfort and convenience may be well worth your money.

The River Express boats are typically white in color, and sport a red band.

The service begins at 5.30 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m. when the last boat leaves. You can buy your ticket at the pier or on the boat. The different piers along the routes are clearly marked in both Thai and English, making it pretty easy for you to know when to get off.

Canal Boats

The Khlong Saen Saep is a similar express boat service to the River Express, and it operates along the Saen Saeb canal. It runs an 18km route along this canal, with 100 boats in operation.

Its service hours are from 5.50 a.m. to 8.30 p.m. In the morning, the canal boats run every 10 minutes. In the afternoon, they run every 20 minutes and every 15 minutes in the evening.

A key difference between the two services is that the Khlong Saen Saep runs more frequently and utilizes long-tail boats that each seats 40-50 people. It is also a bit more expensive, with fares ranging from 8-18 baht.

The canal boats are not very popular because they relatively difficult to get into, and a misstep can land you in the dirty, smelly water of the canal

Tickets can be purchased aboard the boat. The Longtail boats are also available for charter.


Last Updated: 20 May 2008


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