Chao Phraya Express Boat
The Chao Phraya Express Boat is a transportation service in Thailand that operates on the Chao Phraya River. It provides riverine express transportation between stops in the capital city of Bangkok and to Nonthaburi, the province immediately to the north. Established in 1971, the Chao Phraya Express Boat Company serves both local commuters and tourists. It also offers special tourist boats and a weekend river boat tours, as well as offering boats available for charter. Along with BTS Skytrain and Bangkok Metro using the boats allows commuters to avoid traffic jams during the peak hours on weekdays.
The 21 kilometres (13 mi) route is served by 65 boats and operates from 6:00 am to 7:30 pm (last departure from CEN-Sathorn pier of a yellow flagged boat) in weekdays and from 6:00 am to 6:40 pm in weekends and holidays. Current prices are from 9 Thai Baht (Local line for distance within one zone) to 30 Thai Baht (for green-yellow flag trip on its entire route from Pakkret to Sathon), depending on the type of boat and the distance travelled. The river boats carry an average of about 40,000 passengers per day.
Chao Phraya Express boats operates mainly two types of boats; all of them are built mainly out of wood.
- Single-screw boat: They are able to hold around 90-120 passengers at a time and are around 26-32m long, depending on the amount of wood used, and about 2.7m wide. The area on the back of the boat (floor painted yellow) is normally restricted to embarking and disembarking passengers, but some people like to stand there when the boat is highly crowded. There are two 2-step stairs on each side of the boat connecting the yellow pad on the back to the passenger area inside the boat, while in between those stairs is a non-functioning on-board toilet. The engine room, in the appearance of a large wooden box, is located inboard in the center line of the boat in front of the seating area. There are two rows of seats on the left and another two on the right and an aisle passing in the middle. On the later-built boats, the roof from over the engine room until the middle section of the boat is raised for extra headroom because most standing passengers on crowded boats are standing there. This design has been applied to all other boats that are being built in the company's shipyards in Bangkok and Ayutthaya. These type of boats operate on all non flagged, orange flagged and green-yellow flagged boats, but also off-peak direction trips of yellow flagged boats. The fleet has about 43 boats of this type.
- Twin-screw boat: This type of boat holds around 120 to 180 passengers. Unlike the single-screw boat, the boat driver sits in a small pod above the passenger deck, similar to a cockpit on board a Boeing 747 airliner, giving view for passenger in the front-most row and public access to the boat's front deck for passengers who desire to watch the view from the boat's front without any obstruction (except for the Thai national flag). It is about 30-40 meters long and about 5-7 meters wide. Unlike a single-screw boat, its seating area stretches over the entire boat, while most seating is in front of engines. The engine rooms are placed lower than those in single-screw boats, and some passengers prefer to sit on them when it is crowded. There are 8 seats behind each engine. There are two aisles in the seating area in front of the engines and 3 aisles behind the engines. There are two toilets, one on the port and another one on the starboard, located in front of the engines. This type of boat serves as yellow flagged express boat in peak hours, and serves as tourist boats in off-peak hours. The fleet has about 14 boats of this type.
- Local Line: runs between Nonthaburi and Wat Rat Singkhon districts in Bangkok (Rush hours only).
- Blue Flag Line: This service runs between Nonthaburi and Sathon districts in Bangkok. At Sathorn pier is an interchange, where passengers may change boats or change their transportation to ferry, longtail boat, BTS Skytrain and bus.
- Orange Flag Line: runs between Nonthaburi Province at the north end, and Rat Burana district in Bangkok at the south end (Daily all-day service). The fare is now 15 Thai Baht.
- Yellow Flag Line: runs between Nonthaburi and Ratburana districts in Bangkok (Rush hours only). (3 trips in the morning of holiday period from Nonthaburi to Sathorn, and 3 trips in the evening from Sathorn to Nonthaburi, served by large boats that also serves as tourist boat)
- Green-Yellow Flag Line (Rush hours only; only line that goes further north from Nonthaburi Pier)
- Tourist boat (Serves Sathorn (CEN), Oriental (N1), Si Phraya (N3), Rachawongse (N5), Memorial Bridge (N6), Tha Tien (N8), Maharaj Pier (Special pier; adjacent to Wat Phra Kaeo and Grand Palace), Wang Lang (N10), and Phra Athit (N13). After that it circles back down along the same path to Sathorn pier) It services from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM daily
- N33 Pak Kret (Served only by green-yellow flagged boats on peak time)
- N32 Wat Klang Kret (Served only by green-yellow flagged boats on peak time)
- N31 Ministry of Commerce (Served only by green-yellow flagged boats on peak time)
- N30 Nonthaburi (Phibun Songkhram 3) - a large market of the city (Terminal pier for all lines, except a green-yellow flag)
- N29 Phibun Songkhram 2 - Rama V Bridge and Wat Nakhon In
- (N29) Rama V bridge (Thonburi bank): Newly built pier; served only by orange flagged boats
- N28 Wat Khian (Served only by local boat (No flag); Orange flag serves on off-peak hours)
- N27 Wat Tuek (Served only by local boat (No flag))
- N26 Wat Khema (Served only by local boat (No flag))
- N25 Phibun Songkhram 1 (Served only by local boat (No flag))
- N24 Rama VII Bridge (Thon Buri Bank)
- N23 Wat Soi Thong (Served only by local boat (No flag))
- N22 Bang Pho
- N21 Kiakkai - Military venue at the northernmost of Samsen Road
- N20 Khiao Khai Ka (Served only by local boat (No flag))
- N19 Department of Irrigation (Served only by local boat (No flag))
- N18 Phayap - Access to northern section of Sam Sen Road
- N17 Wat Thep Nari (Served only by local boat (No flag))
- N16 Krung Thon Bridge
- N15 Thewet - Flower market and Vietnamese community
- N14 Rama VIII Bridge - Bank of Thailand (Served only by local boat (No flag))
- N13 Phra Athit - Khao San Road and Bang Lamphu clothing market
- N12 Phra Pin Klao Bridge - Close to the Southern Bus Terminal
- N11 Thon Buri Railway - Terminal of SRT Western line (Served only by local boat (No flag))
- N10 Wang Lang (Siriraj) - Siriraj Hospital and ladies market
- N9 Tha Chang - Grand Palace, museums and universities quarter
- N8 Tha Tian - dried seafood market and notable temples
- N7 Rachini - 24 hour flower market (Served only by local boat (No flag))
- N6 Memorial Bridge - Little India and night market, ferry to Portuguese community
- N5 Ratchawong - Chinatown
- N4 Marine Department
- N3 Si Phraya - Close to Portuguese and French embassies
- N2 Wat Muang Khae (Served only by local boat (No flag))
- N1 Oriental - Old Westerner quarter
- CEN Sathon (Taksin Bridge) - Interchange and terminal of BTS Silom line; (terminal pier of peak-direction yellow flag boats and green-yellow flag boats, and also tourist boat)
- S1 Wat Sawettrachat (Served only by local boat (No flag))
- S2 Wat Worachanyawat
- S3 Wat Rat Singkhon (Terminal pier for local boat (No flag) and orange-flagged boats)
- S4 Rat Burana (Big C) - Terminal pier for counter-peak direction yellow-flagged boats (generally smaller boats than peak direction)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chao Phraya Express Boat.|
- Chao Phraya Express Boat site
- Chao Phraya Express at TransitBangkok.com
- The Mass Transport Boats of Bangkok (Chao Phraya Express) (Photos)
- MarineLink.com review