Thursday, 31 March 2016

Navigable waterways in Bangkok

Navigable waterways in Bangkok

Currently there are three waterways in Bangkok used for public transport:

Chao Phraya Express Boat
(name of the company, I don't see where the "express" is, other than lines that don't stop at all piers being faster than those that do)

A great way to travel along the river and to see sights from the river. The various lines run from Rat Burana (Big C) (S4) ราษฎร์บูรณะ in the south via Sathorn (CEN) สาทร up to Pakkred (N33) ปากเกร็ด in the north.

Details about the lines here:

Memorial Bridge = Saphan Phut (N6) สะพานพระพุทธยอดฟ้า has been abandoned and replaced by Pak Klong Talad (N6/1) ปากคลองตลาด (through Yodpiman ยอดพิมาน shopping and restaurant complex), information that has not made in into maps and guidebooks yet.

update aug2017: Memorial Bridge N6 is in operation again after renovation

Khlong Saen Saep Express Boat 
(name of company)

A traffic-jam-proof way to travel along Saen Saep Canal. During rush hour very crowded and I advise against using it if you are fragile; getting on and off is no fun. Noisy engine. Totally unsuitable for tourism, you sit low and they pull up a tarpaulin to protect passengers from splashing water. Most of the canal has a walkway on either or both sides, can be used for walking or mocy.

Panfa Leelard (W4) ผ่านฟ้าลีลาศ in the west, compulsory change at Pratunam (CEN)  ประตูน้ำ, Wat Sriboonreung (E22) วัดศรีบุญเรือง in the east.

Update Sep 2016:
During rush hour, it's best to board at Pratunam in order to get a seat when going for longer distances (I often take the boat to The Mall Bangkapi, about 50 minutes). At the end of the boat, still so much noise from engine that I decided to put in earplugs (or alternatively headphones without music), but recently sat behind the captain, much less noisy despite similar distance from engine.   

Update Nov2016:
Saen Saep canal new stop E13-1 

Phasi Charoen Canal Boat

Runs in the Thonburi side of Bangkok from
P1 Pratunam Phasi Charoen Pier
P1 Pratunam Phasi Charoen Pier  (eastern end) to 
P15 Phetchakasem 69 Pier (western end)

I have been on part of it, a pleasant ride would be suitable for tourism, but there is not much to see along the way. 

A great article is here:
Phasi Charoen Canal Boat tour a different face of Bangkok


Bangkok Noi, Bangkok Yai, Dao Khanong, Prawet Burirom and Mahasawat Canal

These are all navigable, but you have to rent a boat. Tour suggestions in the brochures quoted below.

I have done the Mahasawat Canal tour (in Nakon Pathom province) with friends, but there is nothing I could add to below article:

Bangkok Travelbug November 15  
Mahasawat Canal boat tour Nakhon Pathom October 29, 2015

Rangsit Canal
(Pathum Thani province) There are piers along the canal.

Phadung Krung Kasem Canal คลองผดุงกรุงเกษม
Is navigable and has piers, was used for shuttle boat from Hua Lampong railway station to market near Government House last year:  

update sep2016: 

River and canals

Language note: A river is a natural waterway and a canal a man-made waterway

The course of Chao Phraya river has been shortened several times in histroy, and what are no Bangkok Noi and Yai canal was the former Chao Phraya river:


I wonder why the bend around Bang Krachao บางกระเจ้า (lower end of above map with 1874 canal) has not been shortened. What used to be a peninsula is now an island (satellite image and traveling there), but the connection by water cannot be used by boats (sluice gates). Klong Toey port is in the middle of the bend, a canal would not shorten way from ocean to Klong Toey port.

Books and brochures about Bangkok waterways

There is a book Bangkok Waterways An Explorer’s Handbook by Warren and Lloyd, Asia Books 1989, 94 pages,
ISBN 981-00-1011-7; 
covers only Chao Phraya and Thonburi canals

and quality brochures available for free at tourism office (three that i know of, two English, one Thai, with pretty much the same information presented slightly differently) 

update: got two more aug2016


Part of the information from the brochures is online here: 

General information for all waterways here:

(text formatting problem font and size in this post)

Copyright 2016 ChristianPFC


  1. some remarkls:
    1.that outer bend has-of course-not been straigtened as otherwise the sea-and tsunami etc. woudl have free enter to big city BKK. In modern times Euro/s like the Dutch or Germans would build a sea-barrier there if done.
    There is also or is the try-out now finished? a weekend only extension on Kl. Sn Sp to MINburi, with the intent to run it daily later on, connects at bangkapi outer and.
    That Pasi Charoen boat was used by some cheapo Chinese tourgrioups when I used it once last year. Would that invoke enough of the usual SWD-G-Th uproar about cheapo's misusing the free things of the BKK or Thai govmt? Like the free buses and trains?
    I also read there would be a soon to start NEW canal boat service organised by the BMTA on I think Klong Onnut, from near BTS northbound-a lot of illegal slum-housing bult in that canal (or is it river after all?) would have been demolished for that, so expect all kinds of furious protests.

    1. That weekend only extension of San Saep would also help in getting to Kwan Riam Floating market.

  2. The Phadung Krung Kasem Canal boat service seems to be permanent now, every day:


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