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.

    1

    Wat Worachanyawas (S2) and Wat Rajsingkorn (S3)

    Reasons to come:

    • Low-key temple complexes serving local communities

    Lines: local, orange

    • History
    • Photo
    • Budget
    2

    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, Millenium 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

    • Photo
    • Budget

    photo by Chainwit (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    3

    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

    • Couples
    • History
    • Photo

    photo by Ken Marshall (CC BY 2.0) modified

    4

    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

    • Shoppers
    • History
    • Photo

    photo by David McKelvey (CC BY 2.0) modified

    5

    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

    • Shoppers
    • History
    • Photo
    • Budget

    photo by David Jones (CC BY 2.0) modified

    6

    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

    • Shoppers
    • History
    • Photo
    • Food
    • Budget

    photo by trungydang (CC BY 3.0) modified

    7

    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

    • Couples
    • Families
    • History
    • Photo
    • Food
    • Nightlife
    8

    Tha Chang (N9)

    Reasons to come:

    • A leafy old enclave brimming with atmosphere and King Rama V-era shophouses
    • Maharaj Road's sidewalk 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 pedestrianized market in front of the pier

    Lines: local, orange

    • Families
    • History
    • Photo
    • Budget
    9

    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

    • Couples
    • History
    • Photo
    • Budget
    10

    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

    • History
    • Photo
    • Nightlife
    • Budget
    11

    Phra Pin Klao Bridge (N12)

    Reasons to come:

    • Southern Bus Terminal
    • The Royal Barges Museum

    Lines: local, orange, yellow, green-yellow

    • Couples
    • Families
    • History
    • Photo
    12

    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

    • Shoppers
    • History
    • Photo

    photo by Rangan Datta Wiki (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    13

    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

    • Couples
    • Families
    • History
    • Photo
    • Nightlife

    photo by David McKelvey (CC BY 2.0) modified

    14

    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 meters, 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

    • Couples
    • History
    • Photo
    • Budget

    photo by Globe-trotter (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    15

    Nonthaburi (N30)

    Reasons to come:

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

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

    • History
    • Photo
    • Budget

    photo by mohigan (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    16

    Kiak Kai (N21)

    Reasons to come:

    • Krung Thon Bridge
    • Riverside Bangkok hotels

    Lines: local, orange

    • History
    • Photo

    photo by dsin_travel (CC BY 2.0) modified

    Willy Thuan | Compulsive Traveler

    Start planning your trip

    Maps