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Using Boats to Get Around Bangkok

One of the more distinctive ways of travelling within Bangkok is to use the city’s boat services and here are some insights into the different options that are available.

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What You Should Know

The Chao Phraya River runs through the city and is connected to smaller canals called “khlongs”; it’s along these waterways that you can enjoy transport by boat. Keep in mind though that there are different kinds of boats for the river and the canals. The piers are easy to access for those based in Sukhumvit apartments with properties including the likes of Citadines Sukhumvit 11 Bangkok being close to BTS Skytrain stations too which add to the convenience.


Bangkok riverboats are run by the Chao Phraya Express Boat company and feature express and local lines; interestingly, the lines have different coloured flags which is how passengers can recognise which one to take. The orange flag is for boats that stop at the main piers; a green flag denotes an express boat for commuters and a yellow flag which is a large express boat also for commuters and both stop at certain piers. If a boat doesn’t have a flag, it’s a local line which stops at every pier.

Tourists Boats

Another part of the Chao Phraya Express Boat service is the tourist boat which can be identified by its blue flag. It runs daily from around 9:00am to 7:00pm and includes offering guided tours which will be great for first-time visitors. They stop at the main piers where you can visit key tourist attractions and the good thing is, you can buy a one-day river pass and hop-on and hop-off other blue-flag tourist boats.

Canal Boats

Providing a captivating way to gain insights into local life, canal boats can be found along major canals such as the Saen Seab Canal which runs through areas of the Old City. Unlike boats that operate on the river, those on canals don’t have a fixed schedule and the frequency between vessels can range from 5 to 20 minutes. Keep in mind they can get crowded during rush hour when seating can become scarce.