Chao Phraya River

Cruising along the Chao Phraya River
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.
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Adrift in Bangkok
Sure, the Chao Phraya river is teeming with nonylphenols, 2-naphthylamine and a steady influx of gnarly wastewater. But it's also the beating heart of the city, both the sparkling, mirage-like new Bangkok, and the grimy, exuberant old one. For the price of a soda the Chao Phraya River Express Boat provides one of the best sightseeing opportunities you'll find.
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Take the River Taxi-- to Nowhere
A great way to see a lot of the flavor of Bangkok is to take the Chao Phraya River Taxi up and down the line. It's cheap, you see the sights and sounds of Bangkok, and you also get to see the locals in their commute. I stayed on until we hit the the outermost stops-- not a tourist in sight.
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Bangkok by Night
Atop one of the city's tallest buildings, Bangkok at night looks serene and calm, a far cry from the hustle and bustle in its streets. Nowadays there are plenty of rooftop bars around the city that allow visitors a similar view. One can see the Chao Phraya river in the foreground.
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Chao Phraya River, Thailand