One of the charms of Bangkok that has attracted lots of tourists (as well as locals like us) is cruising along Chaopraya river sightseeing the unique Bangkok riverside houses, old buildings and temples.
Travelling via Chaopraya tourist boat is one of the most popular and convenient way to have our riverside tour. These are some of the best things we like for Chaopraya tourist boat.
- Save time – no traffic jam! The boats are on time, making it easy to plan your journey.
- During the relatively short travel time, time even goes faster on the boat as you enjoy the riverside views .. so you’ll feel that it’s very quick to get from one pier to another.
- Chaophraya tourist boat covers many must-visit tourist spots that you can reach by getting on the pier and a few minute walk.
- There’s a tour guide on each boat that gives you information of sightseeing places as the boat cruise along the river so you get interesting insights and some history. ANd the tour guide speaks English! They’re also very friendly and knowledgeable so you can ask them questions as well.
- it’s a fun activity for kids. Though it’s not easy, but it’s a great experiential way for them to learn what is a “boat”, “river”, “water”, “pier” etc.
- Value for money! 150 THB per person unlimited ride for 1-Day is very good price gven the fact that there are so many tourist spots that you can visit in 1-Day especially if you’re not travelling with a kid.
Another question that a lot of people may be wondering is whether should we bring kids on the boat?
Honest question from me after we’ve taken our 2years 3 months little girl on the boat with us .. I’d say yes and no .. why?? it really depends on how safety / cautious are you. I would say that Chaopraya tourist boat doesn’t have the safety standard that some boats in other developed countries have. It doesn’t have proper bars/ door at the end of the boat (where people get on and off the boat). There’s no seat belt. I saw life jacket on the boat but no one is using it, probably it’s for emergency.
1-Day trip ticket comes with English edition travel guide. There are many tourist attractions along the Chaopraya river. More details in the link below.
(click the link above for higher resolution map)
The main pier to begin your Bangkok river cruise journey is “Central Pier” (or Sathorn Pier) which is the main pier for all routes.
++ How to get here ++
By Car : there’s a parking in Soi Charoenkrung 52. Plenty of parking space. All-day rate is 50 THB. Only <5 minutes walk to the Central Pier.
By BTS Sky Train : Get off at BTS Taksin and 5 minutes walk to the Central Pier. (Alternatively you can take taxi to BTS Taksin. BKK taxi is relatively cheap. If you’re travelling with a kid, it could be quite convenient but note that BKK traffic can be very bad even on some Saturdays/ Sunday, so if it’s not too troublesome to use the Sky train, we’d recommend BTS 🙂 )
Whether you come by train or bus, you’ll reach this same entrance at the Central Pier. And you can buy the ticket at this blue color ticket counter.
Boarding the boat now 🙂 🙂 after waiting for less than 10 min.
++ Ticket ++
You can buy the ticket at a ticket counter (by cash) at Central Pier then queue up to board the boat which comes very often during the day. There’s also single journey tickets. However if you’re planning to have more than 2 stops including coming back, buying Chaopraya 1-day trip ticket is most recommended with flat rate 150 THB/person for unlimited journeys.
++ Routing & Piers ++
The Chao Phraya Tourist Boat provides service to 8 piers, access to Bangkok’s most famous attractions. The journey starts from the Central pier adjacent to BTS Saphan Taksin Station s6 and proceeds up the river, stopping at 8 pier and returns back to Central Pier on the same route. You can freely get on and off at any pier to explore the beauty of sites in surrounding areas.
|1. Sathorn Pier|
|(connection with BTS Skytrain at Saphan Taksin Station)|
|2. Oriental Pier|
|3. Si Phraya Pier|
|4. Rajchawong Pier|
|5. Tha Tien Pier|
|6. Maharaj Pier|
|7. Wang Lang Pier|
|8. Phra Arthit Pier|
++ Timetable ++
++ Tips for family travelling with kids ++
- If you’ve tried cruises/ boats in other more developed countries before such as Hong Kong/ Singapore, our Bangkok Chaopraya tourist boat would be a little far from that standard to be honest. After bringing our 2-year old on Chaopraya river cruise for our first time, we don’t really recommend it for babies or toddlers below 1 or 1.5 year old. The boat is quite small (for about 90 passengers). The engine is quite loud, too loud for babies. Our 2-year old girl was quite ok with the noise as she enjoyed the views and this whole new experience for her.
- Boarding and getting off the boat, there’s no proper bridge/ platform between the boat and the pier, basically the boat and the pier are manually connected with staff holding teh rope and all passengers quickly get on/ off the boat, unlike if you travel on some bigger ferries, there’ll be proper platform which looks & feels safer. It was not that scary though as the staff seems to be quite experienced and very fast in controlling all passengers to get on/ off the boat. But as mentioned earlier, if you’re familiar with other more proper cruise in more developed countries, you may feel that this one is not so safe.
Taken this pic from the boat while approaching the Yodmiman Riverwalk’s Pier (Tha Pak Klong Talad)
- Not stroller friendly — If you need to use stroller, you can bring it and board the boat but there’s no designated area on the boat to park your stroller so you may have to fold it and place near your seats. In addition, boarding the boat is not so safe so you should hold your baby and not put him/her in the stroller while boarding the boat.
- If the baby/toddler still use the baby carrier, it’s recommended to use. More suitable and convenient compared to stroller as the parents’ hands can be free and easier to balance yourselves on the boat. Having backpack for baby stuff would be more convenient.
- Getting on & off the boat is very fast and the staff would be there ensuring everyone is fast! For us with a kid we feel a bit pressured and too fast pace for us LOL. Anyway, good thing is that the boat is really on schedule according to the timetable provided.
We didn’t manage to stop at many places as we like as we started the journey quite late at 2pm. So we only went to Yodpiman (Tha Pak Klong Talad) and Tha Maharat. Only 2 locations + late lunch, we came back to Central Pier at 6pm already. So we’ll definitely need to go back there again 🙂 The tour guide on the boat recommended us that we can do 9 temples tour in one day by Chaopraya Express Boat (and just buy 1-day ticket).
Some more pictures from our day-trip
.. this is the best looking Pier in our opinion .. looks nicer than the Central Pier!
Check out the directory of restaurants and shops in the official webpage links below.