Are you going on holiday to Bangkok Thailand? You’ll want to spend some time exploring the old waterways that run through Bangkok. Below we give you the lowdown on what to see and do on Bangkok’s waterways.
Although nowhere near as prominent as they once were, Bangkok’s waterways are still very much alive and serve a purpose in keeping the commercial life of the city running. During the 19th century the waterways were a primary means of transportation for most people in Bangkok as horse drawn carriages were reserved for royals.
Aside from the main Chao Praya River that still runs through Bangkok today, several hundred smaller canals were dug to form an intricate waterway infrastructure in Bangkok. Although most of the smaller waterways have long since been paved over to make way for roads and buildings, The Chao Praya River is still very busy with both human traffic and merchandise carrying barges.
Travelling on Bangkok’s Waterways
A trip down the Chao Praya River is a very interesting way to see Bangkok and there are a few options if you want to do this. Thee are several companies offering guided tours of the river with running commentary in English and a host of other languages. Alternatively you may like to hire your own long tailed water taxi at a rate of about 500 Baht per hour which can be negotiated with any water taxi driver on an individual basis.
Water Taxis on Bangkok’s Waterways
There are several piers located along the Chao Praya River at various points throughout Bangkok from where a water taxi can be hired. Two popular places for tourists are the Chang ferry pier near the Grand Palace and the pier at the River City Shopping Complex.
What to see on Bangkok’s Waterways
The obvious advantage of riding along Bangkok’s waterways is that you get a view of both sides of Bangkok from the river. There are also hundreds or quaint little wooden houses on stilts doted along the banks of the river where people live. Perhaps the most interesting thing is to just observe local people living their daily lives and seeing how integral the River is to the life of the city. If you have time there is an excellent floating market located at Damnoen Saduak which is about 80 km south of Central Bangkok and takes an hour or so to get to.