Bucketlist Travels logo

Travel bucket list idea:

Boat tours of Bangkok

  • Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

  • Bucket List Experience

Last updated: 11 February, 2024

A trip down the Chao Phraya River or Bangkok’s many khlongs (canals) is the best way to get under the city’s skin. Seen from the water, a wholly different Bangkok reveals itself: kids dive-bombing from rickety bridges, elderly ladies doing laundry, and croc-sized monitor lizards lazing in the sun.

One of the most enjoyable (and cheapest) boat rides is the public San Saeb Express, which connects the gleaming city centre to Bangkok’s historical heart, passing by stilted shanties and glittering temples along the way.

On the other end of the spectrum are the snazzy dinner cruise lines, such as Suppaniga Cruise, which combine fabulous Thai food with spectacular sunset views of Rattanakosin’s riverside temples.

Logistics

Price from: £3
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 4+
When: All year around
Duration: 30+ minutes

Getting there & doing it

The Central Pier connected to the Saphan Taksin BTS station is the main transport hub for public transport boats running up and down the Chao Phraya River. Opt for one of the comfortable (but pricier) sightseeing boats if you’re planning to make frequent stops along the way or board a regular express boat for single trips. The Central Pier is also a good spot to arrange private long tail boat trips through the canals north of the river.

For the San Saeb Express boat option, Tha Hua Chang wharf is a handy boarding point if you’ve visited the Jim Thompson House. Tha Pratunam is a good pier if you’ve been shopping at Central World. At the other end of the canal, your final stop will be Tha Saphan Phan Fah, near the Golden Mount and a good departure point for exploring the older parts of Bangkok, including Pra Nakhon, Rattanakosin and Banglamphu.

Boat tickets start at £3, dinner cruise from about £30 per person.

When to do it

Both the San Saeb Express and the Chao Phraya River lines run 7 days a week, year-round. They can get very crowded during rush hour in the mornings and early evenings, so you’ll want to avoid travelling long distances with them during these times.

The upscale dinner cruises, including Suppaniga Cruise, follow their own timetables. Check their websites for the latest updates and boarding points.

Who to go with: organised tours

6

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Discover Bangkok's Temples and Travel by Longtail Boat on River of Kings

  • Bangkok

Feel like a king on the River of Kings, gliding through the waters of the Chao Phraya River on a longtail boat. Experience famous sights and hidden gems through the eyes of a local. Prepare to be wowed by Bangkok’s Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho. Marvel at the dazzling Grand Palace and revered Emerald Buddha at Wat Phra Kaew. Discover secret Thai communities that live amongst the ‘khlongs’ or canals.

Price THB 2,900

Min age 6

Rating 4.59 / 5 [132 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo
Website >

Explore Bangkok by Bike & Boat with Lunch

  • Bangkok

Explore local markets, interesting temples and untouched parts of Bangkok by bike. Savor an authentic Thai lunch by the canal with your guide. Take a canal boat ride on one of Bangkok's famous long-tail boats and see how the locals live along the river.

Price THB 1,350

Min age 0

Rating 4.90 / 5 [103 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo
Website >

Bangkok Canals Cruise including Grand Palace and Wat Arun

  • Bangkok

On this sightseeing tour of Bangkok's canals (or khlongs, as they are known locally) you will travel by a motorized boat on the Chao Phraya River to see the serene family homes and temples dotted along the waterways which inspired Bangkok's reference as the "Venice of the East". The canals around Bangkok serve as a natural highway for many local Thai people going about their everyday business, such as transporting their merchandise, in particular rice, to and from the rice fields.

Price THB 3,590

Min age 0

Rating 4.10 / 5 [74 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo
Website >

Bangkok Tour by Boat and Bike

  • Bangkok

Bangkok Paradise tour offers a full-day bicycle adventure that takes you to an undiscovered and unseen part of Bangkok. We start at Rama 3 Road, where you'll select the bicycle & receive instructions. After 2 km of cycling, you'll arrive at the local fresh market, where you'll see an array of goods, ranging from pig heads to beautiful flowers. Continuing on, you'll cycle through small communities until you reach a "Golden Temple," where you'll make a stop and have the opportunity to explore its remarkable interior and learn more about its significance. The journey continues along canals, offering serene views of the lush green surroundings, until you reach the boat-shop. Here, you'll select a canoe/kayak, for the next level of your adventure. Kayaking the canals of Bangkok adds a unique element to the trip. The area is home to a diverse range of animals, including at least 60 species of birds. If you're lucky and observant, you may spot kingfisher birds and even a Brahminy Kite.

Price THB 2,690

Min age 0

Rating 4.95 / 5 [20 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo
Website >

PRIVATE Canal Tour Bangkok & Thonburi

  • Bangkok

PRIVATE Canal Tour in Bangkok & Thonburi with English Speaking Tour Guide to explore the hidden gems along the small & quiet canals and Chao Phraya River + Foods Tasting. You will LOVE Thailand as much as we do because We LOVE our job

Price $145

Min age 2

Rating 4.21 / 5 [19 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo
Website >