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Three Countries In Ten Days: Chao Phraya Express Of Bangkok

October 23rd, 2009 by

Our Ayutthaya Day Tour really left us tired but giddy with all the new adventures that we experienced.  It was definitely fun exploring the grounds of the Bang Pa-in Summer Palace.  It was enriching seeing the temple at the Wat Yai Chai Mongkhol.  We could not believe that we saw the famous large Buddha head image on a tree at the Wat Mahathat.  From here, we even visited and took all the photos that we wanted at the Wat Pra Si Sanphet.  When we felt like it could not get any better, our driver Phan drove us to see the highly popular huge leaning Buddha at the Wat Lokayasutharam.  We did not notice the terrible traffic jam as we slept in the taxi the entire trip back to Bangkok!  Phan just woke us up after almost three hours to let us know that we were back to our hotel.

Onboard the Chao Phraya Express Boat

The best thing about booking a room in a nice and comfortable hotel is that you do not have to worry about anything after a long and tiring day.  You can decide to relax by the pool, soak away the strain in your muscles in your bathtub or order delectable room service and have dinner by candlelight.  All these you can have and more so make sure that you reserve a room in any of the reputable hotels in Bangkok like the Banyan Tree Hotel Bangkok.  My partner and I decided to try the pool at our hotel to freshen ourselves.  It was scorching hot in Ayutthaya that we immediately relished the cool pool water.

Traveling Onboard the Chao Phraya Express Boat

We woke up the following morning all set for yet another fun-filled day.  Our hotel was strategically located near the BTS (train) station and the river boat line.  Since we’ve already tried the BTS several times, we decided to try a little bit of adventure onboard the Chao Phraya Express Boats. After having our fill at the breakfast buffet, we packed our bags and started our short walk to the boat terminal.  In no time at all, we were purchasing our tickets for our Chao Phraya Express Boat ride.

Chao Phraya Express Boat Pier

The Chao Phraya Express Boat Company Limited or CPEX was established in September 1971 by Khunying Supatra Singhulaka.  It was mainly the Harbor Department that gave the right to CPEX to be the provider of transport service at the river for passengers.  Of course, CPEX operates all these years strictly following policies by the Thai Government when it comes to transportation service.  Currently the operation of CPEX covers a total distance of twenty one kilometers between Nonthaburi and Ratburana.  The Sathorn Pier in Sathorn district provides a connection to the BTS Skytrain.  One can catch any of CPEX’s 65 boats and can choose from the 50 regular sized boats or the 15 super sized boats.  At each time, boats are capable of transporting up to 200 passengers.  Based on the company’s records, almost 40, 000 passengers ride with them every single day with a whopping total of 11 million passengers annually.

The number of people that patronize the boat service at the Chao Phraya River can speak for how effective this mode of transportation is.  Traveling by boat in Bangkok is definitely a fantastic way to see the sights most especially since a huge number of major tourist attractions in Bangkok can easily be accessed by the river.  A lot of locals would recommend this mode of transportation mainly because of the infamous traffic jam in the city.  Think of it this way, traveling on a boat is simply like traveling on a bus that runs along the river.  These boats travel up and downstream every single day at different time schedules so it is very convenient. But what my partner and I really love about these boats is that riding in them will not cost you an arm and a leg.  It is one of those cheap thrills!   You can go to a number of destinations by paying only 15 Baht to 30 Baht.  It is possible to purchase daily unlimited tickets and travel the entire river as much as you want.  The cost of these unlimited tickets is about 150 Baht.  It is also safe as all seats on all boats have individual life jackets.  Boats also have floating loops installed all around the passenger’s cabin area and all these can be used in case of emergency.  Thailand provides extra service to tourists by assigning a person on duty for customer assistance.

My partner and I excitedly hopped into one of the boats and referred to our Chao Phraya River Map to plot our day’s activities.

(To be continued…)

Note:  Chao Phraya Express Boats operate starting at 6:00 am until 7:30pm on weekdays.  On weekends and holidays, operating hours start at 6:00 am until 6:40pm.

One Response to “Three Countries In Ten Days: Chao Phraya Express Of Bangkok”

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