Around Chao Phraya River
In Bangkok the Chao Phraya has always been a major transportation artery for the local population. A complex network of ferries and water taxis transport locals and tourists alike to major sites up and down the river. This water transportation system is usually the most effective way to get around Bangkok whose streets are densely congested with traffic from cars and bicycles.
Different boat lines are demarcated by the different colors they each have on their flags. These colors also correspond to different routes that the boats take, the best boat line to choose is that of the, “orange line”. The orange line covers all major tourist areas around the Chao Phraya River.
In addition to the orange line, there is a special blue flagged, “Tourist Boat”, which as the name implies makes a special effort for tourists to stop at important sites and also offers commentary in English. This boat charges extra though for this accommodation, 150 baht for a day pass. So we recommend sticking to the orange line route that goes in basically all of the same places for less money.
Much more fun though is hiring a traditional long-tail river taxi. These are available at any major pier. These do come at a price though, and tourists are generally charged a handsome amount of money for the trip. But these taxis are great for the more memorable and private experience they can bring to those willing to shell out a little extra cash!
This district also hosts some of the best nature reserves you could ever find on planet earth. This area contains the graciously beautiful, “Bang Kachao” nature reserve. This conservation area lies within an oxbow of the Chao Phraya and is just adjacent to the southern riverbank districts. This park with its green belt of forests and wildlife allows an excellent window into the workings of Mother Nature unrestrained in one of the most fascinating places in the world.
But stepping out of Mother Nature a bit and walking on back into commercial life, another stop that can not be missed along the famed boardwalk is the, “Asiatique the Riverfront, named in reference to the river itself; this is the largest waterfront shopping area, stretching across a 300 m long boardwalk. This shopping park opens daily from 5pm to midnight. The easiest way to get here is by a free shuttle boat near Saphan Taksin or to take the BTS station.