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Atthough many of Bangkok’s khlong have been paved over, there is still plenty of transport along and across the Chao Phraya and up adjoining canals.


River ferries

The Chao Phraya Express Boat Co ( www.chaophrayaboat.co.th) operates the main ferry service along the Chao Phraya. The central pier is known as Sathorn, Saphan Taksin or sometimes Central Pier, and connects to the Skytrain’s Saphan Taksin station. Each pier is numbered from Sathorn, and ferries run four stops south to Wat Ratchasingkhon (S4), though tourists rarely use these. Much more useful are the services running to and from Nonthaburi (N30) in northern Bangkok; the maps in this book show the piers and their numbers. Fares are cheap and differ by distance from 10B to 34B. There are four different services, differentiated by the colour of the flags on their roofs. To avoid an unwanted trip halfway to Nonthaburi be sure to keep an eye on those flags.

Local Line (no flag) The all-stops service, operating every 15 to 20 minutes mornings and evenings.

Orange Express Stops at N1, N3, N4, N5, N6, N8, N9, N10, N12, N13, N15, N18, N21, N22, N24, N30. The most common service, departing every five to 20 minutes depending on the time of day.

Yellow Express Stops at N3, N5, N10, N12, N15, N22, N24, N30. Departing every five to 20 minutes depending on the time of day.

Blue Express Nonthaburi express, stopping N10 and N30 only. Just a couple of services in the morning 7am to 7.30am and evening at 5.35pm and 6.05pm.

A special tourist boat runs between Phra Athit and Sathorn every 30 minutes between 9.30am and 3pm. A one-day pass for unlimited travel costs 120B. There is also a boat that connects Tha Phra Athit with the Royal Barges Museum in Thonburi every hour from 10am to 3.35pm for 50B.

All this is best illustrated in the small, folding maps that detail routes, prices and times and are sometimes available at ferry piers – ask for one – or on boards at the piers.

There are also dozens of cross-river ferries, which charge 3.50B and run every few minutes until late at night.
Khlong boats

Canal taxi boats run along Khlong Saen Saep (Banglamphu to Ramkhamhaeng) and are an easy way to get from Banglamphu to Jim Thompson’s House, the Siam Sq shopping centres (get off at Th Hua Chang for both), and other points further east along Sukhumvit – after a mandatory change of boat at Tha Pratunam. These boats are mostly used by daily commuters and pull into the piers for just a few seconds – jump straight on or you’ll be left behind. Fares range from 7B to 20B.
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On Saen Saeb Canal
Boats depart daily every 15 minutes from 5.30 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. The fare is 5 to15 baht depending on the distance. Boats start from Sriboonruang Temple, then dock at Bangkapi Market, The Mall Department Store, Klang Temple, Ramkhamhaeng University, Thep Lila Temple, The Mall III, Klong Ton Bridge, Chan Issara II, Thong Lor, Soi Soon Wijai, Mai Chonglom Temple, Prasanmit University, Asoke Bridge, Nana Nua, Withayu Bridge, Chid Lom, Pratunam, Huka Chang Bridge, Baan Krua, Charoen Phol, Bo Bae and Panfah Leelard Bridge. Boats return along the same route. The total traveling time is about 1 hour. Passengers with onward tickets need to change boats at Pratunam.

On Lard Prao Canal
Boats depart daily from 5.30 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. with a fare of 7 to 15 baht per person depending on the distance. They start from Saphan Mai near Ying Charoen Market, then dock at Chaengwattana, Bang Bua, Senanikom, Arpapirom, Lard Phrao Temple, Pracha Uthit, Thai-Japan, Klong Ton, Sukhumvit 71, Mahaboot, Prakanong and return along the same route. The total travel time is about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Feeder buses, depart from the Royal Thai Air Force to Ying Charoen Market, with a fare of 3 baht per person. The daily service runs from 5.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m.

Long-tail Boat
In Bangkok, long-tail boat services are available at many piers along the Chao Phraya river, offering different routes, such as those from Khlong Bangkoknoi to Bangyai, and from Khlong Bangphrom to Khlong Bangramat. The fares depend on the distance of the route, roughly from 10-20 baht. Most boats are in service from 6 a.m. to 9.30 p.m.

There are also cruise services along numerous canals which form an extensive network of waterways around Bangkok. Some popular places that you can go for a cruise by boat are the Damnoen Saduak floating market, the Temple of Dawn, the Royal Barges Museum and various Buddhist temples. As tourists, you are advised to ask for the fares from more than one pier before making a decision to assure that you will be charge at an appropriate rate.

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