A mean of transportation and a terribly cheap way to discover this particular side of Bangkok city, the Chao Phraya express river boat is definitely a must do. As always travellikeaboss.com offers you to learn how to use this service and do it with confidence! Like a boss.
Let’s talk about an alternative. When I researched how (where) to get into the boat, many offered long tail boat service “1h we will go to this and that place… No shopping, only 1200 Baht”. If you don’t mind paying 100 times too much and get the opportunity to buy some probably overpriced stuff along the way, it could be an interesting activity for you. By the way you can bargain it for about 800 Baht. Now the Express boat: The service has different lines identify by the flag (no flag, green, orange, yellow and the blue flag Tourist boat).
How to get started: The nearest pier from Khao San road is N13 Phra Arthit. ท่าเรือพระอาทิตย์
Look for this signs:
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This narrow alley will lead you to the pier. A lady is selling tickets, but you can also just get inside the boat and pay the ticket collector.
There are 3 different lines available here at this pier:
Blue flag Chaopraya Tourist boat
- Operate from 10:00 to 16:30
- Departure every 30 minutes
- Route: from pier N13 to Cen, interchange with BTS Saphan Taksin S6
- Fare: 40 Baht for 1 way or 150 Baht for day pass
Orange Flag Boat
- Operate from 6:00 to 19:00 everyday
- Departure every 5-20 minutes
- Route: from pier N30 to S3
- Fare: 15 Baht
No Flag Boat
- Operate only weekday Monday to Friday 06.20 – 08.05 and 15.00 – 17.30
- Departure: morning every 20 minutes, afternoon every 25 minutes
- Route: every piers
- Fare: 10, 12, 14 Baht depending on the distance.
I recommend you to use orange flag boat to start. For most sightseeing take a boat heading south or on the left side (N13 to CEN).
Some interesting pier along the way:
- N9 Tha Chang ท่าเรือท่าช้าง: Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew
- N8 Tha Tien ท่าเรือท่าเตียน: Wat Pho
- N5 Rajchawongse: Chinatown
- CEN Satorn: Interchange with BTS Saphan Taksin S6
You may also just take off at any pier and take the next boat back. If you can’t see the pier sign, like when it’s very crowded.
The pier N13 will be next after N12 (next to the bridge and on the left hand side of the river) and then the boat cross the river to N13.
The CEN pier is easy to identify: it’s a bigger pier, under BTS and car bridge and many peoples will take off there.