Chao Phraya River ferries
a fast and convenient crossing

By Eric Lim

Chao Phraya ferry plying between Bangkok and Thonburi

Chao Phraya River ferries provide crossings to Thonburi less the traffic jams, sometimes the ferry boats take you right on the doorstep of the historical site you are visiting. These ferry boats are also a chance to observe the daily lives of people who live on one side of the river and work on the other.

Office workers, students, housewives and traders selling their wares make use of these ferry crossings in their daily commuting, the more mundane and hum-drum aspect of river life.

Some of the ferry piers are collocated with the regular boat piers others are strictly ferry piers.

Though the ferry boats in the Rattanakosin area see a number of tourists, most of the commuters on Chao Phraya River ferries are local residents. 

Fare increase - Chao Phraya River ferries 

With effect from 25 June 2008, the fares of ferries at small piers on the Chao Phraya River with less than 5,000 passengers per day will be raised. The new fares will be 3 - 4 baht, depending on which ferry you take. It was previously 2.50 - 3.50 baht. 

The last fare adjustment was in 01 August 2005. 

Fares for six ferry routes operating from crowded piers will remain unchanged. These are: 

  • Chang Pier - Wat Rakang Pier

  • Chang Pier -Wang Lang Pier

  • Phra Chan Pier - Wang Lang Pier

  • Phra Chan Pier - Railway Pier

  • Phra Chan Pier – Phra Pin Klao Pier

  • Phra Pin Klao-Thon Buri-Phra Nakhon

Let's look at some of the Chao Phraya River ferries upriver, starting from the one nearest the Sathon Pier. Note that piers with codes and in this colour are piers for regular boat services and ferries. Piers in blue are strictly ferry piers.

Sathon Pier Besides the regular river boats services, the Sathon Pier also has a ferry service to cross over to the Thonburi bank. By doing so you can avoid the traffic congestion at the Taksin Bridge. 

Ferry point at Sathon Central

Si Phraya Pier The Si Phraya ferry pier is between River City and Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel. Don't confuse this pier with the N 7 Si Phraya river pier which is south of the hotel.

This ferry pier goes across to the Klong San market and the pier of the same name just next to the Millenium Hilton. Klong San market is a local bazaar that sells a variety of clothing, footwear, watches, dolls etc. 

Chao Phraya ferry from Si Phraya to Klong San market

Ferry operating hours: 0430 – 2130 hours daily

N 7 Rajinee Pier From this pier cross over the canal to the Pak Klong Talad Pier, a ferry pier that provides crossings from Pak Klong Talad Pier – Santa Cruz Pier – Wat Kalayanamit Pier and back.

Bangkok legacies: Santa Cruz Church Wat Kalayanamit Kuan Yin Shrine andKuan Yu Shrine

Ferry operating hours: 0430 – 2130 hours daily

N 8 Tien Pier behind Wat Pho.

N8 Tien Pier – Wat Arun Pier 

Tien Pier ferry to Wat Arun

Bangkok legacies: Wat Arun, the famous temple of dawn

Ferry operating hours: 0500 – 2300 hours everyday

N 9 Chang Pier behind the Grand Palace. The Chao Phraya ferries berth at separate pontoon piers next to the main pier. There are two ferry boat services here.

N 9 Chang Pier – Wat Rakhang Pier 

Ferry crossing at Chang Pier to Wat Rakhang

N 9 Chang Pier – N 10 Wang Lang Pier (Siriraj)

Bangkok legacies: Wat Rakhang, Siriraj Medical Museums Bangkok Noi Museum

Ferry operating hours: 0500 – 2300 hours everyday

Maharaj Pier is a private tourist pier. A ferry boat service is provided for patrons of the Supatra River House Restaurant and Patravadi Theater across on the Thonburi bank. The Chao Phraya River tourist boats stop here too.

Phra Chan Pier is only for Chao Phraya River ferries. The regular Chao Phraya River boats don't stop here. There are three ferry boat services here. The ferry operating hours vary slightly from service to service. 

Phra Chan ferry pier

Phra Chan Pier – N 10 Wang Lang (Siriraj) (0500 – 2100 hours)

Phra Chan Pier – N 11 Railway Pier (0600 – 2000 hours)

Phra Chan Pier – N 12 Phra Pin Klao Pier (0600 – 2000 hours)

Bangkok legacies: Royal Barge Museum Bangkok Noi Railway Station

Like the riverboats that ply along the river, the Chao Phraya River ferries play an important role in the daily lives of residents on both banks of the river and a useful means of transport for visitors.

To return to Bangkok river cruise. 

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