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Most great cities are associated with memorable rivers. They are characteristic of life giving water, fertile soil deposits and panoramic views pleasant to live by. The Chao Phraya is no different, yet it has its own allures.
This water highway is a massive expanse as it flows through Bangkok. It is unmissable for the visitor, since it is often the most efficient way to move about the royal temples and palaces, which can be further away from the major public transit rails of the metro and BTS. The river not only is the quickest way between many attractions, but it is a non stop place for ferries of all sorts to bring travelers and everyday citizens up and down the cityscape.
Cost of a Ride:
There are many different operators on the waterways, it depends what kind of ride one is looking for. There are more traditional boats which offer a pleasure cruise for couples and families with direct taxi service for higher fares. Most tourists opt to go with the express boats. Day passes are the most popular type of ticket at 150 baht. The series of stops along the river is marked out, but unloading and offloading can be a bit informal and last minute, so be sure to stay in line and move when necessary. Single journey rides can be from 15 to 30 baht depending on the line and number of stops. The operating hours are between 05:00 in the morning and 19:00 each night. Boats come and go around every 10 minutes. The Central Pier is the main spot to interchange with the BTS sky train.
Things to see:
The boat ride itself will be a tourist encounter, likely you will be traveling with a handful of people from across the world. Additionally you can run into locals and colorful monks. Temples, the Grand Palace and traditional river houses on stilts are just some of the wonders one can see. The naval dockyard, traditional customs house and the floating markets further inside the canals are other wonders awaiting. The royal barge museum is worth exploring as well as Ko Kret, an island in the river which has a tradition of pottery. The river is also the quickest way to reach Ayutthaya the former capital. The blaze of the electrified city, its palaces, highways, hotels and temples is something really special to see at night.