Sawasdee torn chao (good morning), all!
Getting around in Bangkok can cause you a headache, be it by the crowd, the traffic or the heat.
Today we’re introducing you to another way to get around in Bangkok
If BTS and MRT are already too basic for you, we recommend you check “ruea” out.
Ruea is Thai word for boat.
Because of so many rivers and canals down here in Bangkok, there’s no surprise why one of the traditional transportations here doesn’t look further from boat.
In the past when roads were not properly constructed, people connect through canals.
If you have a chance to watch a Thai movie or series that takes you back to early twentieth century, you’ll see antagonists living in a house by the river, with a private pier and rowing to temples or meeting others.
There are two main types of boat services in Bangkok.
One lets you travel along the biggest river, Chaophraya and the other goes through San Saeb canal.
Today we’re talking about the latter.
Khlong Saen Saeb (Saeb Saeb canal) was built in the reign of King Rama 3, back in 1837, to connect the Chaophraya river to Prachinburi river.
The boat is operated seven days a week, from 5:30am-8:30pm on weekdays and to 7pm on weekends.
And the coolest thing is that there’s a stop nearby our hostel!
Along the canal, there are two lines of service: Golden Mount (western) line and NIDA (eastern) line.
What’s great is the two lines connect right in the downtown at Pratunam pier, where you can easily access Central World, Pratunam area, Chitlom, Ratchadamri as well as make land connections to other areas.
The Golden Mount line starts from Pratunam to Panfa Leelard, right in the Old Town area where you can take a walk to see attractions like the Golden Mount, the giant swing and democracy monument (and also stop by for the famous pad thai pratu phi).
Other stops in the line include the following:
Hua Chang, which you can exchange to BTS Ratchathewi and access BACC and MBK.
Baan Krua Nua, in soi Kasem San 3, 5-minute walk from Chao! Yippy!
Sapan Charoenphol which can connect you to one of the shophouse eatery hub, Bantadthong Rd.
Talad Bobae, a vibrant hub of wholesale garments.
The NIDA line takes you way further.
Starting at the same pier, the eastern line goes parallel with Phetchaburi Rd. and makes a turn at Khlong Tan to the canal parallel Ramkhamhaeng Rd.
You can take advantage of the boats going in the area trains can’t actually do.
Wat Mai Chong Lom station, for example, is the closest drop-off to RCA (if busses doesn’t count), once a popular nightlife area though now still vibrant.
Tip: Film lovers can take this opportunity to visit House cinema, an independent cinema that usually picks indy film to screen.
Or get off at Prasarnmit and Ramkhamhaeng university piers for university tours.
Asoke pier is also a good way to explore Asoke from the other end. (Thonglor, too, actually.)
Not only do the boats set you free from Bangkok’s traffic nightmare, but they also are cheap. The rates are just between 10-20 baht per trip.
An adventure awaits!