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Bangkok - Central Pier - The tourist trip boat on the Chao Phraya River from Sathorn (Taskin) Express Boat Central Pier.
We took the tourist trip boat on the Chao Phraya River in October 2007 and again in March 2008 and found that the tourist trip boat on the Chao Phraya River takes visitors through Bangkok on a 'leisurely' sightseeing cruise circuit stopping at ten piers along the way, where you can disembark and embark at will all day. The tour takes in many of Bangkok's historic sites and we have listed the piers in a south to north direction, the way you travel first.
The Chao Phraya River Tourist Boat runs every day from 09.30 to 16.00, departing every 30 minutes from Sathorn (Taskin) Express Boat Central Pier, close to the Skytrain Station S6 - Saphan Taskin.
You can purchase a day pass for 100Bht that allows unlimited trips between any of the 'tourist' piers for the day. (This excludes admissions fees to the various places visited). You'll be given a complimentary schedule (worth 55Bht) for the Chao Phraya River tourist boat. Please take note of the timings as you don't want to miss the last boat, but if you do, don't worry you can use your day ticket to travel on any other Chao Phraya River Express Boat that is on the same route. You will also be given a sticker that saves you being asked for your ticket every time you embark during your day on the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat river cruiser.
TIP - Do not be conned by touts as you approach the Central Pier telling you that the service has been suspended! They are only trying to sell you a dearer boat trip that will not be anywhere near as good.
- Central Pier (Taskin): Start here at the ticket office. (Tickets are also sold at Sathorn, Maharaj, Phra Arthit piers and the BTS [Bangkok Transit System] Tourist Information Centers at Siam, Nana and [Saphan] Taksin Bridge BTS Stations.)
- Express Boat Pier N 1 (Oriental): First stop is near the world renowned Oriental Hotel made famous by a whole string of famous writers like Ian Flemming, Joseph Conrad, Somerset Maugham and John Le Carre. Dress tidy and you may be in time for afternoon tea (any time of day)!
- Express Boat Pier N 3 (Si Phraya): Charoen Krung Road (New Road), the 'main' tourist street in central Bangkok, only a short walk from the pier, runs parallel to the river, the oldest road in Bangkok laid down in 1861.
- Express Boat Pier N 5 (Ratchawongse): Here you get in to Bangkok's Chinatown (Yaowarat), for a different aspect of old Bangkok, the smells and sights are definitely of the Orient. Established by disestablished Chinese immigrants in 1782 when King Rama I established the new capital in Bangkok.
- Express Boat Pier (no number) 'Princess Mother Memorial Park': A tourist trip boat pier only, near a small park of the same name. The pier and park were developed in memory of Somdet Ya, the Princess Mother, mother of King Rama IX, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the present Monarch.
- Express Boat Pier N 8 (Tien): Close to Wat Po, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha and home of the National Thai Massage School, an old style Ayutthaya temple. A couple of hundred metres walk further upriver is the Grand Palace. You can catch a local ferry across to the beckoning Wat Arun here too.
- Express Boat Pier 'Maharaj' (no number): Another tourist pier; from here you can visit The National Museum, Wat Mahathat, The Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the old city and Rattanakosin.
- Express Boat Pier N 10 (Wang Lang, Siriraj or Pran Nok): On the Thonburi bank near the Siriraj Hospital, with a number of interesting medical museums located within
the hospital grounds, one not to miss is the National Forensic Medicine Museum for budding CSI's amongst you! The first public hospital in Thailand, built at
- Express Boat Pier N 13 (Banglumpoo, Phra Arthit): At the confluence of the Chao Phraya River and Banglumpoo Canal (Khlong) the most northerly stop where the boat winds. The old Bangkok Fort Phra Sumen is nearby, built in 1783 in the reign of King Rama I (recently restored), worth a walk round one of the only two remaining forts of eight of that era. There is a ferry service between Express Boat N 13 Banglumpoo and the Royal Barge Museum pier, a tourist pier, across the river in Thonburi but you must return to Pier N13 to rejoin the tourist trip boat circuit and return on your southward course. The Khao San Road is within easy walking distance.
Items annotated (TAT)
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