In my opinion the heart of Bangkok is the mighty Chao Phraya River. The first time I visited I stayed at a hotel on the banks of the river and I got to know the area well through daily riverboat rides. Even though Bangkok can be chaotic, there’s a certain peace I always find on the river. It’s also the easiest and fastest way to get around town with dozens of conveniently located river taxi stops.
Be careful though, there are a lot of riverboat tourist scams in Bangkok. Ignore the large, shiny signs advertising express rides and instead opt for the much cheaper river taxi—the way locals get around town. Be sure to check out the signs and figure out in advance how much you’ll have to pay. Tickets are paid for onboard and it’s smart to have your money ready when the ticket taker stops by your seat. For a cheap and easy way to see Bangkok from the water, there is no better option.