Small Teak Boat Canal Adventure

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How to Take a River Boat

There are a few different kinds of boat on the Chao Phraya River and you get on them at the each pier.  Here is how you can distinguish them.

Orange Flag Boat  ,   photo from

Orange Flag Boatphoto from

1.  Chao Phraya Express Boat  (Public Boat)

Who will get on this boat?

This is a good alternative to taxis and buses if you want to avoid a traffic on the roads.  There are many locals use this boat for their commute, it is packed during the rush hours.  If your hotel is located in Sukhumvit area, take BTS train to Saphan Taksin Station and transfer to the boat (pier is located West side of the Station). 

Where can we go?

Here is the link to all the boat route map (all the stops)

Major Tourists' Site:

  • Khao Saan/Ranbutri Area ------------------------------------------------- Phta Arthit Pier (N13)
  • Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew (Emerald Buddha Temple)---Tha Chang Pier (N9)
  • Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha Temple) ----------------------------------- Tha Tien Pier (N8)
  • Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) ----------------------------------------------  Tha Tien Pier (N8) transferred to a ferry, see below 

What are the differences between boats and how do we distinguish them? 

Match the color marking on the map at the pier and the flag at the back of the boat to see if the boat you see is going to stop at the pier that you want to go.

Most Common boats for tourists:

  • Orange --- operate daily, 15THB*
  • Blue (tourist boat) --- daily, stops on demand, 40 THB single trip or 150THB one day unlimited, see below for the details.

More Common for commuters:

  • Yellow--- operate rush hours on weekdays, 20/29THB depending on destination
  • Green--- operate rush hours on weekdays,13/20/32THB depending on destination
  • No flag --- weekdays, rush hours, local, 10/12/14 THB depending on destination

* Operating hours from 6:00am to 7pm, leaving Wat RajaSinghkkorn Pier.

Where can we purchase the ticket?

If you see someone sitting at the desk or if you don't see them you can simply pay the fear to the ticketing person with orange polo-shirt uniform on the boat.

2. Tourist Boat (Chao Phraya Express Boat, Blue Flag)

One day ticket - 150THB ,  photo from ( chaniga91ท่าเรือ)

One day ticket - 150THB, photo from (chaniga91ท่าเรือ)

Who will get on this boat?

This boat is for tourists.  It is less crowded compared to other Chao Phraya Boats but a bit slower than the other express boats.

Where can we go?

It stops at the major tourists's site.

Here is the link to all the boat route map

What are the differences between boats and how do we distinguish them? 

There is a separate lines to this boat and English sign of "Tourist Boat".  Blue flag.

Where can we purchase the ticket?

You can purchase the ticket at the Sathorn Pier (BTS Skytrain Saphan Taksin Station) or Phra Arthit Pier.  The booth opens 9:30am to 4:00pm.

The boat service starts from Sathorn Pier at 9:30am and ends 6:40pm at the Asiatique Riverfront Night Bazaar.

2. River Crossing Ferries

Who will get on this boat?

Locals who live other side of the chao Phraya River (Thonburi side).

Where can we go and from which pier?

Ferry leaves approx. every 1  5min. average ,  photo from

Ferry leaves approx. every 15min. averagephoto from

  • Wat Arun --- Tha Tien Pier
  • Wan Lang Market --- Wat Lakang Pier
  • Suriraj Hospital Museum --- Wat Lakang Pier

Where can we purchase the ticket?

Their piers are separate from the Chao Phraya Express Boat and they are usually located right next to each other.  The fare is 3 or 3.50THB and you have to pay before proceed to their pier.

Long Tail Boat  , photo from commons.

Long Tail Boat, photo from commons.

3.  Long Tail Boats

They used to be called "River Taxi" in old days when they still carry local Thais to their riverside/canal-side homes.  Now they have become tourist boats and you can get on one from the major river piers like, Saphan Taksin Pier, Tha Chang Pier, and Tha Tien Pier. There is a sales person at the desk and will try to negotiate a price with tourists.  Price changes depending on seasons and how you haggle with them.

Typical Slow Boat come with solid roof,   photo from

Typical Slow Boat come with solid roof, photo from

4. Slow Boats

These boats are relaxing to cruise along the river and the speed is relatively slow.  For booking, it is similar system to the long tail boats, you can negotiate the hourly fee and stop(s) with a sales person at the pier.

5. Rice Barges

There are many rice barges on the river, but only a few are original and retrofitted.  Tour companies use them for a multiple excursions to Ayutthaya and private lunch or dinner cruise.  

6. Hotel Boats

Many riverside hotels use their shuttle boats to pick-up their guests from Sathorn (Central) Pier (at the BTS Skytrain Saphan Taksin Station).  For the people who wants to experience a small ride to your hotel, the shuttle boats available for:

  • Mandarin Oriental
  • Peninsura Hotel
  • Ramada Menam Riverside
  • Hilton 
  • Anantara Riverside
  • Royal Orchid Sheraton
  • Chatrium Riverside
  • Shangri-la Bangkok Hotel
  • Praya Palazzo (Boat from Phra Athit Pier)

7. Dinner Cruises

Dinner cruise sounds good for many tourists.  There are many to choose from and it is not easy to find the best match to yourself.  Many of them starts their route from the River City, reached by Chao Phraya Express Boat.  Get off at Si Phraya Pier.  Here is one of our recommendation:

8. Other Boats you might see on the river (not for tourists)



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