Hate the Bangkok Traffic? The Chao Praya River is Your Friend.

Chillin' on an Express Boat...

I love Bangkok.  It is one of the most amazing cities I have ever experienced.  But as with most great cities, traffic is a problem. One way to get around this is to get creative with your choice of Bangkok transportation. One of my favorites is the Express Boat on the Chao Praya River. It is fast, it is fun and there’s an amazing view of the city. Here’s a video I put together on the basics plus a few steps below on how to get from A to B using this form of Bangkok transportation:

1) Decide where you want to go.  Each of the stops are both numbered and named and there is a map of the river at each stop.  Express Boats go very regularly so there won’t be much of a wait (an average of 5-10 minutes)

This screen shot was captured on my phone while we were on the river...

2)  Board the Express Boat quickly when it arrives.  You have to be ready exactly when the boat arrives or you will be left behind.  As you can see from the video, the staff are loud and adamant about the fact that they are on a schedule.  Don’t mess with them.  Just board and move into the boat as quick as you can unless you want to get yelled at.

3)  Pay your fare.  Depending on where you are going you will pay 10 – 30 baht (the upper end is just over $1.00 USD).

4)  Enjoy the ride. The Express Boat has offered me the best panoramic views of Bangkok so far.  Even as pure sight seeing, this is a lot of fun (and cheaper than other more touristy tour options).

5)  Keep track of where you get off.  As you approach each stop, look out for the sign with the name of the stop and the number.  This way you won’t miss your stop.

6)  Hop off quickly.  As you can see from the video, hustle is key on the Express Boat.  Get with the program and make sure you don’t hold up the line…



Bjorn Karlman

Bangkok, Thailand


8 thoughts on “Hate the Bangkok Traffic? The Chao Praya River is Your Friend.”

  1. Really Fun, I took one myself in the last trip, but beware of pick pocket! I once took a taxi boat across the River from Thammasat University (Ta Prachan) to Siriraj Hospital; when I came back the purse that i held tight was slashed and smaller purse inside was gone. Don’t know if the skilled pick pockets are still around and trained the next generation. :)

    1. Hi Wanee! Thanks for the cautionary tale. We notices signs RE pickpockets around Wat Pho. It was interesting, the sign said they were “Non-Thai pickpockets”…

  2. You’re making this stuff look better than the French Riviera. haha

    I like tip 3 the best. If you don’t do this in certain parts of the world, you might get tossed out of the boat. Interesting how you’ll find this part of traveling when you get to India. Owning a ticket does not in any way guarantee you a seat – it guarantees you’ll be along for the ride but where that will be is totally upto to circumstances, God. You’re going to have many divine realizations. haha

    Keep up the great photo-journaling work Bjorn. Keep hopping! (fast and out of those boats)

    p.s. any issues with feedburner? Not getting your posts by email of late.

    1. Vishnu! You are making me so nervous about India!! Hahaha!! All I’m saying is that as long as I can have Indian food every day I’ll put up with creative transportation:)
      I’m sorry to hear about the email issue… I just checked and you are definitely on the email list. I’m using MailChimp… I AM supposed to be using your gmail, correct?

    1. Dude, you of all people are shaping your life to do the same (as in take off and travel) very soon. I am very excited for you, brother. Way to pick a mobile profession:)

  3. Oh, what a wonderful trip down memory lane! I lived overseas for seven years on three different continents, but my favorite time by far was my three year stint in Thailand. I could smell the klongs and the incense reading your posts and looking at your photos. That was many years ago for me, but a part of Thailand is in my soul to stay. What a great adventure you and your wife are having. I look forward to reading more.
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    1. Galen! What an honor to have you visit CultureMutt! I did not know that you used to live in Thailand. I am sure you would be a great Wat tour guide… I can already tell that the experiences I am having here will always be with me. Were you able to befriend any monks when you were here?

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