Most tourists never think about taking a boat ride through the Chao Phraya River (Mae Nam Chao Phraya) in Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok), but for those who have, the experience is unlike anything else. Due to the incredible scenery, the Chao Phraya River is often referred to as the 'Venice of the West' for a reason.
You may think the river Chao Phraya looks beautiful from afar, but you'll find it's much more than a river once you see it in person. The river is one of Bangkok's most impressive and vital places, with its famous floating markets, nearby temples, and palaces. The Chao Phraya River area offers breathtaking views that you can either enjoy by taking a boat ride or walking along its banks. Getting away from Bangkok's traffic jams is also the best way to get around the city.
If you want to have an excellent time while visiting Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok), then you should definitely take a cruise on the Chao Phraya River or walk its banks. So what are you waiting for? Let's start to get around!
Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok) is undoubtedly affluent, with many breathtaking thrills given to it by nature itself. The Chao Phraya River is one of its priceless wonders, glowing across the city with a jewel that seems never to vanish.
The Chao Phraya River is inherently linked with the identity of Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok) and its improvement. Cutting across nearly all of its areas, the river serves as the city's main body of water and a tourist attraction in its own right, with many iconic milestones strewn along the banks.
This river is also one of the country's most significant waterways for transport purposes. Many boat services run across these waters, and long-tail boats are famous for river transport and rice barges. Small canals and larger vessels encompassing container ships can also be seen docking at Khlong Toei Port.
A boat tour is also a fantastic way to absorb the many interests on the beautiful Chao Phraya River banks. Historical temples and structures beautifully mix with buildings, modern glass, and steel structures, making a tour down the river a true pleasure.
The Chao Phraya River is the third largest river in Thailand after the Mekong and the Salween.
The Royal Barges Museum includes four Royal barges and stores a collection of colorful, ornately decorated historical ones. The long and slender boats are used during the Royal Barges Processions on the Chao Phraya river. These processions have been held for centuries for Royal ceremonies, important Buddhist events, and coronations.
When Bangkok was made the new capital of Siam, the King ordered many forts built to protect the city against invaders. Phra Sumen fort, completed in 1782, is one of only two remaining today. The fort is located in Santichai Prakan park next to Phra Athit pier on the Chao Phraya river bank.
Holy Rosary Church, another Roman Catholic church built by the Portuguese, is on the banks of the Chao Phraya river. Also known as Kanwa church, the Gothic-style cream-colored building features large arched entrances, gilded ceilings, and beautiful large arched windows inlaid with stained glass.
On the Chao Phraya riverbanks is Bang Khun Phrom Palace, an exquisite European-style palace constructed at the start of the 20th century. Today the main building, a beautiful Baroque-style mansion, houses the Bank of Thailand Museum.
Not far from Wat Pho is Pak Khlong Talat, and you will see Bangkok’s largest flower market. Walking past endless rows of flower stalls, visitors will enjoy the variety of colors and smells. Vendors sell flowers like orchids, lotus, jasmine, roses, and garlands for temple offerings.
You can get to the Chao Phraya River by taking the BTS Skytrain to Saphan Taksin on the Silom line. Take Exit 2 and head towards the Central Pier or the Sathorn Bridge Pier. Here, you will start your journey to the Chao Phraya River.
The Chao Phraya River is particularly known in Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok) for its many canals. Having become the stunning beauty of the capital, the river is used as a waterway where many water buses or water taxis called Long Tail navigate daily.
The Chao Phraya River is also known as the River of Kings. It is set by four major tributaries, including the Ping, Wang, Yom, and Nan Rivers. It was and still is a very significant waterway for the people of Central Thailand. Many people call the banks of the Chao Phraya River their home.
Others use the river to get to and from work barely every day. And for someone, it is a way of life and, ultimately, their primary source of income. You can see people's traditional livelihoods while exploring the incredible history by visiting the Chao Phraya River.
A few tens of kilometers from its mouth, the Chao Phraya River crosses Bangkok, where popular floating markets were held that could only be found outside the capital, such as Damnoen Saduak.
The cities located along the river are, from its source to the mouth: Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Chainat, Singburi, Ang Thong, Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok), and Samut Prakan. Most of these cities have played a significant historical role.
Some of Bangkok's most notable temptations are on the mighty Chao Phraya River banks. The four must-see attractions easily accessible from the river are Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), and Wat Arun. Be warned, however, that these are tourist hot spots.
Along the Chao Phraya River, don't forget to view the sunset. You can connect for free from Sathorn Pier to Asiatique Pier. 'ASIATIQUE The Riverfront' rebuilt old warehouses into a tourist attraction and shopping lifestyle. There are restaurants, bars, clothing stores, and souvenir shops. And a giant Ferris Wheel that is considered a landmark where you can go up to see the river at night in a bird's eye view.
The Chao Phraya River area is among Bangkok’s most beautiful places to see and enjoy while you walk. As in the last centuries, life was centered around the river; many of Bangkok’s historical sites and most beautiful temples are found on the river banks. The river breeze makes the area a little more relaxed than the city.
There is a constant flow of traffic on the river. Barges carrying heavy loads move gradually upstream while people commute to work on the riverboats. Try Thai food in one of the riverside restaurants and watch large schools of catfish waiting to be fed.
Sathorn Pier is the easiest way to start your trip because it is a port that can connect to all ship lines and is a connection point to BTS Saphan Taksin.
If anyone comes to this area, they must not miss finding tasty food in the 'Bangrak area,' where there are old restaurants to check in along the Charoen Krung route, including the market next to the mall Robinson with dazzling food in the evening. Those who are a little more diligent can walk to the new creative spaces like TCDC or Warehouse 30.
Another great way to see these canals, though on the pricier side, is to go on a dinner cruise. You do not have to get on and off a boat, and you have the option to sit inside with air conditioning if you can not handle the heat. A few options include the Chao Phraya Princess Cruise, Loy Nava Dinner Cruises, and the Grand Pearl Luxury River Cruise & Dining Experience.
Most cruises start at about 6 pm and last for a few hours. Mostly you should expect dinners to start at about $40 for a romantic evening spent on the Chao Phraya River.
It is best known in Bangkok for its famous canals, floating markets, and boat taxis, including the Chao Phraya Express. It is a stunning beauty in the capital and a real experience to test during a stay in Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok).
The Chao Phraya River originates at the confluence of the Ping and Nant Rivers in Nakhon Sawan in the north of the country and flows south to empty into the Gulf of Thailand. Its 372 km in length ranks among the most important rivers in Thailand.
Chao Phraya River (Mae Nam Chao Phraya) in Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok) is a great and magical river in Thailand. Golden temples, modern skyscrapers, and wooden houses - all that is reflected by the river. The Bangkok river bus, a cheap and friendly ferry, is the best way to enjoy the river.
Open 24 Hours | Monday to Sunday
Pak Nam Pho Sub-district, Mueang Nakhon Sawan District, Nakhon Sawan 60000
+66 (0) 2 226 4672
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