Friday, November 22, 2013

BTS Skytrain to Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Chao Phraya River in Bangkok

No visit to Bangkok can be considered complete without seeing attractions like the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, etc. that are scattered along the banks of the Chao Phraya River. Fortunately for tourists, the Sathorn Bridge Pier (Central Pier) on the mighty river is connected to Bangkok BTS Sky Train's Saphan Taksin Station. Saphan Taksin station is on Sky Train's Silom line that stretches from National Stadium station at one end to Wongwian Yai station at the other end. Silom line connects with the Sukhumvit line on the Siam Sky Train station that is common to both the lines. There is a well decorated Tourist Information Center on the Saphan Taksin Station where one can get all the info on the various attractions along the river. The stairs going out of Saphan Taksin Station go straight to the Sathorn Bridge Pier (Central Pier) on Chao Phraya River. A One-Day Tourist Boat Pass is all one needs to buy there to see major riverside attractions. (See detailed info on tourist boat pass below)

Sathorn Bridge Pier on Chao Phraya River, Bangkok

Truncated map of BTS Sky Train Bangkok

Tourist Information Center on Saphan Taksin Sky Train Station, Bangkok

Way to the Sathorn Bridge Pier from Saphan Taksin Sky Train Station Bangkok

Chao Phraya Tourist Boat - One Day Pass

Chao Phraya Tourist Boat Ticket Office Sathorn Pier Bangkok

An easy way to visit all the major attractions including the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, etc. is to buy an unlimited ride pass on the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat. The one day pass costs 150 Thai Baht per person and is valid for unlimited rides from 09.30 AM to 4.00 PM. The tourist boat operated by the Chao Phraya Express Boat Company leaves Sathorn Pier every 30 minutes and connects a total of 8 piers on the river:

1. Sathorn Pier - Starting point

2. Oriental Pier (N1) - Various hotels

3. Si Phraya Pier (N3) - River City

4. Rajchawong Pier (N5) - China Town

5. Tha Tien Pier (N8) - Wat Pho, Wat Arun (other side of the river via another boat)

6. Maharaj Pier (Special River Pier) - Grand Palace

7. Wang Lang Pier (N 10) - Siriraj Hospital and Museum

8. Phra Arthit Pier (N 13) - Khao San

One can get on and off at any pier to visit the nearby attractions.Passengers are allowed to take any other Chao Phraya Express Boat within the same route from 9.30 AM to 7.30 PM using the tourist boat one day pass.  It is possible to take a taxi from Grand Palace or Wat Pho (eastern side of the river) to shopping areas of Bangkok (MBK etc.) without going back by boat to Sathorn Pier.

Posted by Narinder Singh

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  1. Hi how far are these attaractions from Central Mall. We would be staying in Sukhimvit Road - Amari & would want to be in Central mall for New year countdown, can we do the above attaractions in th day time same day.

    1. Very easily. Central World Mall is at a walking distance from Siam station. Take skytrain from Siam station to Saphan Taksin. Buy the tourist boat day pass. How much time you take in each attraction is up to you. Return to Sathorn Bridge pier and take stytrain back to Siam.

  2. Tks for the prompt response. Also I am really troubled on how to get to Kanchanaburi from Bkg International airport - any clues. I have read lot of contradictory statements online. I want to use public transport as taxi 2400THB is exorbitant. I land at around 5a.m and have to obtain VOA before I get going to Kanchanaburi.

    1. I would suggest you to be guided by this page:

  3. Hello The Restless Indian,
    I've been through your blog and it's very informative; bravo! I've been able to change/make better few of my plans by reading some of your posts. I had already decided to book a day trip thru' net to visit Wat Pho/Arun & Grand Palace which would cost me 1450/head (we are 3 - myself, wife and 6 yrs old son) = 4350 B!. By reading your above post, I've decided to depend on the Skytrain instead of paying 4350 B. I'll be staying in Evergreen Place during the HOT April 2014 - the hotel is close to the BTS Skytrain Ratchathewi Station. Now my question is 1) Can I board from Ratchathewi and interchange at Siam Station? 2) If yes, shall I get down at Chong Nonsi (S3) or Saphan Taksin station(S6). 3) Is the Ratchathewi area suitable for family? I mean is the area similar to NANA with nighlife madness, I initially thought of staying somewhere at Soi4/Soi2 due to the accessibility of Skytrain but was warned by few of my friends about the night life & Nana Plaza. I don’t want my conservative family to see such things while we are out of the hotel for a walk in the evening/night or while coming back from the day trips in the evening. Please help! Thanks in advance.

    1. 1. You can buy skytrain ticket from Ratchathewi to Saphan Taksin, interchange at Siam.

      2. I suggest Saphan Taksin because I know of this Tourist Boat Pass Counter there.

      3. Ratchathewi is not Nana and for that matter even Nana area is not so bad. If you visit Nana, you will find a large number of family tourists shopping around or eating in restaurants near Nana / Asoke. Nightlife madness is inside Nana Entertainment Plaza and not so much on Sukhumwit Road outside. Avoid Soi 4, but Soi 11 is a good place to get an Indian meal or a decent massage.

    2. Buddy, appreciate that! I shall get down at Saphan Taksin. Thanks for confirmation about Ratchathewi area as well.

Blog by: Narinder Singh