I'll be arriving in Bangkok by train at the Hua Lamphong station. I'm thinking of staying in the Banglamphu/Samsen area and thought taking the river express from the N4 Marine Dept. Pier to the Tha Pha Athit pier might be a good way to go. Any thoughts on taking that route as opposed to a taxi and how are they with allowing baggage on the ferries? I'll just have to bags (a rucksack on me and a medium size duffle bag).
Thanks for any advice.
#1 daydreamfarmer has been a member since 22/3/2013. Posts: 26
It's a bit of a walk from Hua Lamphong to the river. Maybe half hour without luggage on crowded streets in Chinatown. Taking a taxi to the pier won't be fun as you are in one of the most traffic congested areas of Bangkok.Then, just remember, you are on a boat when it pulls in; as well as a lot of people getting on and off,you have the boats motion to contend with. It's not rough but it's nice to have your hands free to steady yourself.
I think it all depends how strong you are and how big your bags are.
Why don't you find a hotel and dump the luggage THEN enjoy a trip on the river. Taxi will be around 60 baht to Banglamphu.
Agree with what Sayadian said. The pier is not all that close to Hualamphong and walking there is a pain as you have to get across some roads with major construction going on due to subway expansion. Taking a taxi or tuk tuk to the pier would cost only 30 baht or so less than it would to take you all the way to Bamlamphu. Also keep in mind that the express boats can be packed during the morning and late afternoon/early evening rush hours. Personally I'd just take a taxi at any time if I was loaded down with luggage.
Boarding the Chao Phraya River Express can be a little tricky - you'd better be fast! I'm 69 and waited for a hand from one of the crew, because I had a pack on and another shoulder bag, as well. You really have to jump from pier to boat - any heavy luggage would only make it more dangerous.
I really love the Chao Phraya River Express - great fun, and cheap too!
Thanks for all of your tips. Seems like it might be a hassle. I'll just opt for the taxi and enjoy the express without the luggage.
#5 daydreamfarmer has been a member since 22/3/2013. Posts: 26
It's one of the best ways to see Bangkok for the first time, but with baggage might be a bit awkward. You have just seconds to get on and it can be crowded. Better to taxi it, park the bags at the hotel then go to Phra Attit pier and enjoy the ride more. Look for the cheap orange flag boats that most people jump on/off. 15 baht end-to-end.
If coming In BKK by train its DAFT easy- do NOT stay on that train till the far end. Get off before-at Samsen station-go over the footbridge and there is a long row of nr 9 buses-its their end- that stop smack mid in the banglamphoo area. Forget boat/bus and tourist-rip off HLPong.Even easier: taxis are waiting right beside train, do not want 20 bt extra and expect only Thai on meters-its FAR easier to go KSR from there-as from HLP you pass Chinatown with its endless metro-works now going on.
WHY has no soul ever discovered this non-guidebook very easy to do way?
(the german books have it- dumb angrkit readers are made to do complicated trips-they cannot think, I guess)
#7 captainbkk has been a member since 16/2/2012. Posts: 472
I appreciate the good info Captains Bob and BKK...just what I'm looking for.
#8 daydreamfarmer has been a member since 22/3/2013. Posts: 26
Be sure to go up to Thewet Pier on the CP Express - to see the catfish! You can buy scraps of bread there to feed them - amazing, I've never seen so many fighting for a chance to get a scrap of stale bread (there are hundreds swarming at the pier).
I stayed up at Baan Tepa and the closest pier was Thewet - from the hostel I could walk down Samsen to KSR and Tha Pha Athit pier. Banglamphu has great street food:
Bangkok Glutton says - "Where should a traveller to Bangkok who really loves food base themselves in town? That is, where is Bangkok street foodie heaven?
I'm not sure about other people -- I'm sure many would say Chinatown -- but in terms of beauty and sheer variety, I would definitely say Banglamphu, particularly the loop from Tanao Road onto Mahachai Road. Some of the best food in Bangkok is in that area and it's cool and leafy, Bangkok at its most relaxed."