Exploring Bangkok by boat is a fantastic way to get a glimpse into the timeless charm of the city. You can experience the role of Bangkok’s many waterways, which dates back to ancient times. With majestic sites and attractions lined up on both banks of the Chao Phraya River, getting around Bangkok by boat is a popular option among first-time travelers to the city.

Using the extensive network of boats and ferries might seem complicated and requires a bit of research. Our Bangkok Rivers, Canals and Klongs Guide has a list of important points to help you navigate the city’s waterways during your vacation.

Important points about waterways in Bangkok

Bangkok’s waterways are divided into 3 parts:

  1. The main Chao Phraya River
  2. Klong Saen Saeb – cuts across Bangkok city from east to west
  3. Klongs of Thonburi – a network of canals on the opposite side of the river

There are 6 main types of boats:

  1. River taxis (also called Express Boats)
  2. Long-tail boats
  3. River-crossing ferry
  4. Canal boats
  5. Private river cruise
  6. Hotel shuttle boats

photo by Slleong (CC0 1.0) modified

There are 5 types of Express Boat River Taxis:

  1. No flag (Local Line) – stops at every Pier
  2. Blue Flag Line (tourist boat) – stops whenever you want
  3. Orange Flag Line – stops at the main piers
  4. Yellow Flag Line – large express boat for commuters
  5. Green Flag Line – express boat for commuters

Long-tail boats are like tuk-tuks on water. These narrow yellow boats can be rented privately. You can negotiate the cost with the driver, but we highly recommend booking a tour for convenience.

Sathorn Central Pier is directly in front of Saphan Taksin BTS Skytrain Station, providing shuttles from riverside to the rest of the city.

Willy Thuan | Compulsive Traveler