วันเสาร์ที่ 21 มีนาคม พ.ศ. 2552

Boats and Ferries in Bangkok

Information On Boats And River Cruises Iin Bangkok and Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand could be considered the Venice of the Orient. Some may argue that that is what it is called, but I don't think Venice would like the comparison. Bangkok also sits on the Chao Praya river which means The River of Kings. Both offer a means of getting around Bangkok and can lead to some very interesting places

Klongs / Canals

Bangkok has a maze of canals that allows travel around the city to be fairly possible. In fact, it's how I used to get to work but now that there is the skytrain and the underground I can see no reason for taking the canal.

Canals in Bangkok and Thailand are called Klongs and there are many of them but they are now so dirty and polluted that you really want to stay away from them unless they are slightly out of the city and take you to the snake farm, royal barges and the floating market.

Canals or Klongs in Bangkok, Thailand Some Klongs are cleaner than others.
Klongs / Canals are not very clean

Some are cleaner than others

It is quite often that you can see dead animals floating in the canals and so you really don't want to have that kind of water splashing over you. However, there are still some canals that splinter off from the Chao Praya river and these canals are "cleaner" and not bad to travel on.

The main and best known Klong is Klong San Sap and it's possible to travel all the way from Bangkapi to Banglampoo which is fairly close to the grand palace and only a few meters away from the Golden Mount temple.

To take one of the canal boat services that run through the center of Bangkok, you need to find a pier stop and wait for one of the boats to pull up to the pier going in your direction. When it stops you let everyone get off first and then VERY carefully get into the boat and pay the ticket collector the small fee for the journey.

You might need to change boats at Pratunam but you'll need to ask someone about this when you get on the boat. However, unless you have a real burning desire to travel on the world's largest toilet / sewer I recommend that you chose other modes of transport for getting around the city.

River Cruises & Ferries in Bangkok

Other boat rides can be had on the Chao Praya river. The Chao Praya or "River of Kings" is Bangkok's main river and is still a hub of life and it can be very interesting to grab a table at The Oriental, Shangri La and other river side hotels and just watch life on the river go by.

Take the bangkok river cruise from Saphan Taksin to Grand Palace
Boats often get busier in the evenings
The river cruise that costs 18 Baht

General ferry boats

One trip I highly recommend is the boat trip from Taksin bridge and then go up the river to the Grand Palace, passing Wat Arun ( Temple of Dawn ), Oriental Hotel and some other temples and places of interest. This river cruise is a simple boat bus that you get on and get off at the various stops.

Catch the boat at Taksin Bridge, pay 18 Baht per person ( assuming you get off at The Grand Palace ) and enjoy a cool ride up the river.

There are other river cruises that offer a similar ride but they charge 100 Baht per person, so avoid paying too much and take the same boat that the Thais use.

Getting on and off the cruises.

Hotel Ferries in Bangkok

A number of the hotels that line the river operate free faerry services that will pick you up and take you to their hotel or their restaurants. The Oriental Hotel, the world famous Thailand hotel, for instance has a restaurant on the opposite side of the river from the actual hotel. To catch this ferry, you need to go to The Oriental and make your way to the river side restaurant of the hotel. The Oriental has a nightly buffet and so you'll need to walk past all the mouth watering food on display and wait at the very small pier and a splendid looking Thai style boat will pick you up and take you to the other side of the river and to the other restaurant.

The Penninsula Hotel in Bangkok also offers this service as do some others, but my favourite is to take the Marriott Hotel and Spa's ferry that will pick you up from Taksin Bridge and take you for a 15 minute ride, down the Chao Praya to the splendid Marriott hotel which is home to a number of restaurants.

A temple along the Chao Phaya river, Bangkok, Thailand Wat Arun
One of the temples along the river

Take the boat on a sunny days is you can.