Searched the forum for a mention of Saen Saep, but didn't find any. I'm arriving in Bangkok on June 15th and putting up in the Sukhumvit area (Been to Thailand before, but first time in BKK) . Was wondering if using the Saen Saep Express boat to explore Rattanakosin (and Khao San) is worth it? Various sites have mentioned the boad ride as 'adventurous', 'rough', 'nauseating' (with regards to the smell).
So for the guys who've ventured on the Saen Saep Express boat - is it worth taking the boat ride, or is the Skytrain-Taxi combination a better bet?
#1 vivekkrishna has been a member since 14/9/2009. Posts: 8
taking express boat trip would be very advanturous for travelllers. You will be able to explore new things rather than by skytrain and taxi. That two option you will have to use it anyway to other shopping area...... Using boat trip would be fund
#2 yippie65 has been a member since 12/5/2011. Posts: 27
i use it to travel between Asoke/Pratunam/Siam area & the Wat Ratchanadda area of Rattanakosin. cheap & fast, didn't really find the smell bad (despite having a sensitive nose). but runs only during daytime, can be crowded during rush hour (have to wait for the next or next next boat in other to squeeze on), & need to be able to climb on/off the boats quickly as they do not stop for long. might be tricky in rainy weather. really tall people who can't find a seat will also need to stay alert for times when they have to duck as the roof is lowered for the boat to pass under low bridges - adds to the fun :) don't expect a view unless you sit right at the front - for most of the journey canvas sheets are raised up (by passengers pulling on string attached to a pulley system) to prevent dirty canal water from splashing in. think the tricky part for tourists is figuring out where the piers are & how to access them, & where to stop (esp when you can't see much with the canvas sheets raised) - the piers can be well-hidden from the main roads (often under or near bridges), & i think some have signs with only Thai script. but if you have the name of the pier you wish to alight at written down in Thai you can just point & ask the boat crew/fellow passengers. also note that you'll have to switch boats at Pratunam. might be useful:
Phan Fah pier is the terminus where you'll alight for Rattanakosin & Khao San. many tourists explore only the other part of Rattanakosin (Grand Palace, Wat Pho) that is further away from the pier, but the part closer to Phan Fah is worth exploring too. digressing from your question but here goes...within Rattanakosin i like walking along the narrow 'trok' (lane? alley?) between homes & temples in the area around Wat Ratchanadda (has small amulet market) & Wat Mahannop & also the Fort Mahakan community, taking in the views from the top of Loha Prasat ('metal castle'), & all the food around the City Hall & Sam Phraeng area. & the sarim (a kind of Thai dessert) factory & bookstore & October 14th memorial (if you are interested in modern Thai history) near the Democracy Monument.
back to your question...you could get to Rattanakosin by skytrain to Saphan Taksin + Chao Phraya river boat to Tha Chang (for the Grand Palace - best to get there at opening time before crowds flood into Wat Phra Kaew), & then return to Sukhumvit are by the Saen Saeb boat, or the other way round.
wanderingcat, thats tons of useful info! Can't thank you enough. Looks like finding the spot to get in and alight will be quite tricky, but I'll give it a shot. I loved your description of wandering around the narrow lanes between the temples, makes me want to be there already :)
yippie65, thanks - i agree that if nothing else, the ride will be adventurous :)
#4 vivekkrishna has been a member since 14/9/2009. Posts: 8