Travel from the capital’s western reaches to the old quarter by boat on a new canal service launching today that’s free for the next six months.
The new canal taxi route begins at Bang Wa Pier – beside the extremely busy BTS Bang Wa – and stops at one more pier along the way before hitting three along the Chao Phraya River – the Memorial Bridge, Rajinee and Chang piers. Those looking to make the return trip will have to hold their hours because, for now at least, the route is only one way.
Bangkok has in recent years looked to reestablish some of its once-plentiful water travel options as unknotting automobile traffic proves elusive. Current canal taxi services run along khlongs Saen Saep and Phadung Krung Kasem.
The government hopes the route will provide an alternative means of travel for commuters, according to government spokesman Lt. Gen. Werachon Sukondhapatipak.
“The new boat route is being provided under a policy initiative by Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-o-cha,” the bureaucrat said, dutifully.
All five stops are here on this one handy map that can be imported into some GPS apps such as Google Maps. Click any blue location to view descriptions and photos of each pier.
A City Hall rep said this morning she wasn’t sure if the route would run both ways down the line.
“There will be not be boats available for passengers on the route back from Tha Chang Pier. I’m not sure if they plan to implement this later,” Otuma Makpol of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s boat transportation department told Coconuts Bangkok this morning.
The new ferry service operates 6am to 6pm daily from the Bang Wa Pier. Boats leave every half hour during peak times (6am-9am, 3pm-7pm) and hourly otherwise.
Preview the route in this breathtaking, city-made POV video: