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Chao Phraya River Express
Using boats in Bangkok is an efficient way to escape traffic jams.
Express boats navigate on the Chao Phraya river, which
crosses Bangkok from north to south. Passengers have to pay attention
when they go on board or leave the boat as it can be slippy and
sometimes dangerous. Sometimes the boat makes a touch-and-go only.
A man whistles to indicate that passengers can board or leave.
The journey fee depends on the destination
and shall be paid when boarding.
Small ferry boats
These small ferry boats cross rivers on width way. The fare is very cheap,
i.e. only one or two Baht. They transport motorcycles and drivers, people and goods.
Inside Bangkok, there are still some canals
("KHLONG" - คลอง),
which sometimes really stink due to sewage.
Long-tail taxis navigate on the largest canals.
All have curtains in order to avoid to be soaked with the dirty water.
Boarding in or out is really fun sport.
Bangkok administrations is taking steps against
the pollution and the noise caused by the long-tail taxis.
Last century Bangkok was called "Venice of the East". This
name is not valid anymore. Most of them have been filled up to build roads.
Speed boats are found on Thai large rivers (Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Mekong river...).
Due their ominous noise, people hear speed boats before seeing them.
Wearing an helmet is mandatory when travelling on a
speed boat. At more than 80 km/h, water is like ice so if the boat
turns upside down, it protects the head and nape. Often speed boat
drivers don't wear an helmet. At high speed, the boat sometimes jumps on the
water. It's worth trying once as it runs very fast.
The long tail boats (เรือหางยาว) navigate
on Bangkok canals or near beaches. They use a car motor engine to
be propelled. They run quite fast and are a nice way to discover the
canals around Bangkok, Thonburi or Thai coasts.
Such Long-tail boats can also be found on Kanchanaburi river in order to
access to remote hotels or villages.