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Chao Phraya River Pier Guide

Bangkok Waterways

We compiled this guide to Bangkok waterways to highlight some of the most interesting piers found along the Chao Phraya River Express boat route. From temples and wet markets to unexpected enclaves, there's plenty to discover along the 21-km-long river.

Of the 5 lines that ply the water, the orange flag boat is your best bet as it operates all day. After the morning rush hour, boats come every 20 minutes until around 4pm when other lines kick into action, with boats appearing more frequently. If you're completely confused by the melee, another more comfortable option is the tourist boat, though these only come every 30 minutes.

Wat Worachanyawas (S2) and Wat Rajsingkorn (S3)



Reasons to come:

Low-key temple complexes serving local communities

Lines: local, orange

Sathorn (Central Pier)



Reasons to come:

Saphan Taksin Skytrain (BTS) Station
Silom Road
Sathorn Road
Hotels including Shangri-La Bangkok and lebua at State Tower
Shuttle boats to hotels like The Peninsula Bangkok, Millennium Hilton Bangkok, Menam Riverside Hotel, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Bangkok and Bangkok Marriott Resort & Spa.
Shuttle boat to Asiatique the Riverfront

Lines: tourist, local, orange, yellow, green-yellow, blue

Oriental (N1)



Reasons to come:

The colonial atmospheres and period architecture of the old Western quarter
The venerable Mandarin Oriental Hotel Bangkok, an excellent place for literary nostalgia and afternoon tea on the Author's Lounge
OP Place, an upmarket antiques arcade housed in a period building
The French Embassy

Lines: tourist, local, orange

Si Phaya (N3)



Reasons to come:

River City, a modern shopping complex selling pricey antiques
Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers
Bustling Charoen Krung Road
Bangkok Folk Museum

Lines: tourist, local, orange, yellow, green-yellow

Rachawongs (N5)



Reasons to come:

Chinatown, one of the city's most evocative and historic enclaves (walk up Ratchawong Road)
Offbeat shopping: used amulets, Guan Yin statues, gold, and Chinese medical herbs
Sampeng Lane, a charismatic alley lined with cheap clothes, food and household items
Wat Mangkon Kamalawat, a Chinese temple with Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian shrines

Lines: tourist, local, orange, yellow, green-yellow

Location: Chao Phraya

Memorial Bridge/Saphan Phut (N6)



Reasons to come:

Saphan Phut Night Market
King Rama I Monument
Sampeng Lane, a narrow old alley lined with cheap clothes, food and household items
Pahurat Road/Little India, the Indian enclave famed for its Hindu iconography and fabrics

Lines:
tourist, local, orange

Tha Tien (N8)



Reasons to come:

Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
Cross-river ferry to Wat Arun
Dried seafood market found along a parade of King Rama V-era shophouses
Restaurants and bars overlooking Wat Arun

Lines: tourist, local, orange

Tha Chang (N9)



Reasons to come:

A leafy old enclave brimming with atmosphere and King Rama V-era shophouses
Maharaj Road's pavement market selling everything from used Buddhist amulets and phallic charms to old religious texts and false teeth
The city's most venerable temples (Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Mahathat)
The Grand Palace
The National Museum
Sanam Luang, the old, oval-shaped Royal park
Authentic local food at the pedestrianised market in front of the pier

Lines: local, orange

Maharaj Pier



Reasons to come:

The iconic Grand Palace
City's most venerable temples, including Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Mahathat
National Museum
Sanam Luang, the oval-shaped royal park

Lines: tourist

Wang Lang (N10)



Reasons to come:

Patravadi Theatre, a riverside playhouse staging traditional/modern performing arts
Wat Rakhang Khositaram, an ancient Ayutthaya temple with 5 bells inside
Siriraj Hospital

Lines: tourist, local, orange, yellow, green-yellow, blue

Phra Pin Klao Bridge (N12)



Reasons to come:


Southern Bus Terminal
The Royal Barges Museum

Lines: local, orange, yellow, green-yellow

Phra Arthit (N13)



Reasons to come:

Phra Athit Road's tree-shaded atmosphere, hip shophouse boutiques and cafes
The nearby backpacker area of Khao San Road (10-minute walk)
Banglamphu clothing market
Wat Chana Songkram
National Art Gallery
Santiphap Park
Phra Sumen Fort

Lines: tourist, local, orange

King Rama VIII Bridge (N14)



Reasons to come:

Bank of Thailand Museum
King Rama VIII bridge
Samsen Road – home to guesthouses and a few decent live music bars
Kin Lom Chom Saphan, a relaxed open-air restaurant overlooking the river (Samsen Soi 3)

Lines: local line

Thewet (N15)



Reasons to come:

To make merit by releasing fish into the river
To witness the feeding frenzy as people feed catfish beneath the pier
To visit the lively wet market beside the canal (walk 100 metres, turn left over the footbridge)
To get to the nearby Royal district of Dusit (Wat Benchamabophit, Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall).

Lines: local, orange, yellow, green-yellow

Nonthaburi (N30)



Reasons to come:

Nonthaburi, a charming provincial town
Koh Kret, the nearby Mon tribe island

Lines:
local, orange, yellow, green-yellow, blue

Kiak Kai (N21)



Reasons to come:

Krung Thon Bridge
Riverside Bangkok hotels

Lines: local, orange


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