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Bangkok River Transport

Bangkok River Transport

How to get around Bangkok by boat

Bangkok River Transport

 

Bangkok River Transport

Bangkok River Transport consists of the Chao Phraya Express BoatBangkok Tourist Boat & the new Boat 4 U. They all run up and down the Chao Phraya River stopping at piers that give easy access to Bangkok’s riverside Tourist Attractions. This includes the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Chinatown, National Museum and Khaosan Road. The Bangkok Tourist Boat also gives access to Bangkok’s luxury riverside hotels and connects with the BTS Skytrain at Saphan Taksin. There are also, cross-river ferries, private long-tail boat, and shuttle boats operated by riverside hotels. If you get around Bangkok by boat you get to see the city’s skyline & famous sights from a different perspective. 

Chao Phraya Tourist Boat (Blue Flag)

Bangkok River Transport
Chao Phraya Express Tourist Boat

The Chao Phraya Tourist Boat or Blue Flag Boat Bangkok is a special tourist boat. It runs between Sathorn Pier (Saphan Taksin) and Phra Arthit Pier (Khaosan Road) stopping at 9 piers which give access to nearby tourist attractions.

Blue Flag Boat Fares

The Blue flag boat fare is 60 baht for a single trip ticket. There are three passes available. Number one is valid for a full day from 09.00 – 20.30. It costs 300 baht. Number Two is valid from 09.00 – 17.30 and costs 200 baht. Number three is valid from 15.00 – 20.30 and costs 200 baht. A Tourist Boat ticket counter is at each pier on the route. You get a free route map with your ticket. The Blue flag boat service operates daily between 09.30-20.30 and the frequency is every 30 minutes. The service extends to Asiatique between 16.30 and 20.30.

Chao Phraya Tourist Boat Route

Bangkok Tourist Boat
Tourist Boat Pier Stops

Bangkok Tourist Boat Timetable

Tourist Boat Bangkok Timetable
Tourist Boat Timetable 1

Chao Phraya Tourist Boat Bangkok Timetable
Tourist Boat Timetable 2

Boat 4 U – Hop On Hop Off

Boat 4 U is a Bangkok river transport service. It is a new tourist boat running in direct competition to the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat. The service is almost identical with similar boats, timetables & ticket prices. 

Bangkok River Transport
Boat 4 U

The service is operated by Chaophraya River Line. It runs between Sathorn Pier and Phra Pin Klao Pier, near Khaosan Road. The stops are Iconsiam, Llong 1919, Yodpiman River Walk (for Flower Market), Wat Arun, Tha Chang (Wat Pho & Grand Palace), and Prannok.

Bangkok River Transport
Hop On Hop Off

Tickets are 60 baht (single trip), 200 baht (24-hour pass), 300 baht (48-hour pass), 400 baht (72-hour pass). There are ticket booths at all of the route piers. The service operates every 30 minutes between 09.00 & 19.00 daily. The 72-hour pass is good value if you planning to spend a few days traveling up and down the river. The disadvantage is that it does not run to Chinatown or Phra Arthit Pier for Khaosan Road. You will have to cross the bridge to get there.

Bangkok Tourist Boat
Buy Tickets Here

Chao Phraya Express Boat (Orange Flag)

The Chao Phraya Express Boat is the most used Bangkok river transport service. It is like a bus service on the water. It operates on the Chao Phraya River running up and down via different routes. There are five lines which are color-coded designated by a flag flying on the boat. The colors are Orange, Blue, Green, Yellow and no color which is known as no flag.

Chao Phraya Express Boat Map

River Transport in Bangkok
Chao Phraya Express Boats Route

Orange Flag Boat

The best Bangkok river transport for tourists other than the Blue flag boat is the Orange flag boat which operates between 06.00-19.00 daily running between Nonthaburi (north) and Wat Rajsingkorn (south) and stops at all the major tourist areas. The Green, Yellow and no flag boats only run during morning and evening rush hours Monday – Friday and are mainly used by local commuters.

Bangkok River Transport
Chao Phraya Express Orange Flag Boat

Orange Flag Boat Fares

Tickets are 15 or 20 baht depending on which pier you board at. You buy them either at a ticket counter/conductor at the pier or from a conductor on the boat. Keep your ticket for the entire journey. At all piers, you will find separate counters or tables selling tickets for the Orange and Blue flag boats. Service frequency is every 5-15 minutes depending on the time of day.

Orange Flag Boat Bangkok
Orange Flag Ticket Counter at Sathorn Pier

Bangkok River Transport – Blue Flag Boat vs Orange Flag Boat

The advantages of taking the blue flag boat are that it’s more comfortable, operates longer hours, has more seats, an open upper deck & is less crowded. There is an English-speaking guide who points out sights along the route and announces each stop in English. There is also usually an open deck at the front of the boat where a limited amount of people may sit. Some boats also have an open upper deck.



Booking.com

 

Altogether a more tourist-friendly experience. The disadvantage is that it’s more expensive, and the service is less frequent than the Orange flag boat.

Bangkok River Transport – How to use the Chao Phraya Express Boat

How to use the CHAO PHRAYA EXPRESS BOAT in Bangkok ( Co van Kessel Guide )

 

Bangkok River Transport Piers

Phra Arthit Pier

Phra Arthit Pier is a five-minute walk from Khaosan Road. The Chao Phraya Tourist Boat & Chao Phraya Express Boats stop here. Note that the Boat For U tourist boat does not stop here but across the River at Phra Pinklao Pier. When approaching Phra Arthit Pier note that each access point has a desk selling private boat tours who will try to fast talk you into hiring an expensive private boat rather than taking the tourist or orange flag boat. 

Phra Pinklao Pier

The Pier for the Royal Barge Museum.

Thonburi Railway Station Pier

Thonburi Railway Station is 600 meters from the Pier. You catch the train to Kanchanaburi from there. Siriraj Hospital with its famous Museum is next to the Pier. You can also walk to the Royal Barge Museum from here.

Tha Chang Pier

To take the Orange Flag Chao Phraya Express Boat to the Grand Palace, you will need to alight at Tha Chang Pier. Watch out for pickpockets, scammers, overpriced fruit stalls and dodgy tuk-tuk drivers offering 50 baht tours.

Tha Maharaj

The Chao Phraya Tourist Boat stops at Tha Maharaj. A Riverside Mall containing cafes & restaurants. The Grand Palace & National Museum are a 5-minute walk away. The Orange Flag boat does not stop here but at Tha Chang which is 400 meters away.

Wat Arun

The Pier for Wat Arun temple.

Tha Tien Pier

If you are visiting Wat Pho you use Tha Tien Pier. Tha Tien is also the stop for Museum Siam. There are several Riverside Boutique hotels & nice rooftop bars along the riverside. To get to Tha Tien you need to get off at Wat Arun and take the cross-river ferry.

Pak Khlong Talad

Pak Khlong Talad is the Flower Market. Yodpiman River Walk has cafes, restaurants, and some small shops.

Ratchawong Pier Chinatown

Ratchawong Pier is the Pier for Chinatown. It’s a 5-minute walk to Yaowarat Road & Sampeng Market.

Lhong 1919

Lhong 1919 is a newly opened Chinese Heritage Center including boutique-style shops, cafes, restaurants, a museum, and The Mazu Shrine.

Nearby: The Mazu Shrine

River City Bangkok

River City Bangkok is the best place for Thai antiques & art. It is also the departure point for most evening Chao Phraya dinner cruises. The nearest piers to River City are Si Phraya Pier & Marine Department. 

Nearby: River City Mall. Holy Rosary Church. Siam Commercial Bank. Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel.

IconSiam

Icon Siam is Bangkok’s new riverside mega mall. Both the Bangkok Tourist Boat stop here as does the Orange Flag Boat. Icon Siam Pier provides free shuttle boats to Sathorn Pier, Ratchawong Pier Chinatown, & Si Phraya Pier next to River City.

Sathorn Pier

Sathorn Pier connects with the BTS Saphan Taksin Station & the free Asiatique Shuttle Boat. All of the hotel shuttle boats drop and pick up passengers at Sathorn Pier. 

Nearby. The Mandarin Oriental, Shangri-La hotel, Assumption Cathedral, OP Place

 


 

 

Bangkok River Transport – Combined Ticket

You can buy tickets for the Bangkok Tourist Boat at the pier. There is also an exclusive combined Bangkok Tourist Boat – Tuk-Tuk Hop ticket for exploring both on and off the river. You have to buy this one online.

 

 

Bangkok River Transport – Cross River Ferries

If you need to just cross the river using Bangkok river transport there are ferries that run as a shuttle between opposite sides of the river at certain piers.

Tha Chang to Wat Rakhang

Tha Chang to Wang Lang

Pak Khlong Talad to Wat Kanlayanamit

Tha Tien Pier to Wat Arun

Si Phraya to Klongsan

Sathorn to Tha Pepsi

The fare is 3-5 baht. Entrance is by a turnstile connected to a booth where you buy the ticket.

Bangkok River Transport
Cross River Ferry

Long Tail Boat Bangkok

For private Bangkok river transport, you can hire your own long-tail boat for either a tour or a single trip. At most piers, you will find touts or official operators offering river and Thonburi side canal tours. You will need to negotiate the fare with the operator if they are not an official service.

 

 

Long Tail Boat Price

The long tail boat price can be expensive with hire rates between 1000 – 2000 baht for a 2-hour tour for a group of 4. Tha Maharaj and Yodpiman River Walk have permanent long-tail boat tour counters offering fixed prices. Smaller piers do not advertise prices so you will need to bargain. Watch out for touts who will try to overcharge you.

Long Tail Boat Bangkok
Private Hire Boat

Sathorn Pier to Asiatique 

Sathorn Pier to Asiatique
Asiatique Shuttle Boat

The Sathorn Pier to Asiatique shuttle is a free service that departs from Sathorn Pier next to Saphan Taksin BTS station to Asiatique every 15 minutes from 16.00 – 23.30 daily. 

Bangkok River Transport
Sathorn Pier to Asiatique Timetable

 

Bangkok River Transport – Hotel Shuttle Boats

River Transport in Bangkok
Hotel Shuttle Boat

The Riverside area is home to many of Bangkok’s finest hotels. The Mandarin Oriental, Peninsula, Shangri-La, Chatrium, Anantara, Siam, Sheraton, and Millennium Hilton are all on the riverside. They offer free shuttle ferry services to the Sathorn Pier connecting with the BTS Saphan Taksin station. After 16.00 they also run complementary boats to Asiatique.

The service is for hotel guests but anyone can use them. Check with your hotel for operating hours. Generally, they run from early morning until 23.00.

Bangkok River Transport
The Peninsula Hotel Shuttle Boat

Bangkok River Cruise Daytime

If you would prefer to take a daytime luxury cruise along the Chao Phraya River there are several to choose from. Apart from a sightseeing cruise, there are sunset cruises and even a cruise upriver to the ancient capital of Ayutthaya.

 

Bangkok Dinner Cruise

Taking a Bangkok Dinner Cruise on the Chao Phraya River is a popular evening activity. There are a number of cruises to suit all budgets and tastes. Details below.

 

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