Bangkok Tourism, Canal Ride in Bangkok, Boat tour

 

 

Bangkok and the Boat Ride

For the uninitiated, I must suggest take a long tail-boat and see around Bangkok. Life is beautiful and one gets to see the quaint side of Bangkok along with interesting things along the waterway. In my first visit to Bangkok last year, I was a happy person to spend a couple of hours doing it myself. There were no jams and no congestion and the timeless charm of the city along the canal (klong) kept me intrigued.  As we swayed on the water, the photo-enthusiast in me did not miss the chance to click random pictures. It added many perspectives to my trip. Here, take a virtual ride with me.

 

 

Bangkok Canal Ride, Statue in golden
I clicked it just at the entrance of the point where we had to start the canal adventure

 

I was surprised to learn that Bangkok and its canals have thrived since 18th century and for a long time there was no road transport there. The city has an extensive network of boats and ferries and a number of people use it for their daily commutation. The Bangkok Ferry Guide helped me with the below information on how the city’s water portion was divided into three parts.

 

 

  1. The main Chao Phraya river
  2. Klong Saen Saeb makes its way across Bangkok city from east to west.
  3. Klongs of Thonburi is the network of canals (klongs) that thrives on the opposite side of the river.

 

 

Exploring the Canals in Bangkok
And we hopped on our long tailed boat.

 

 

We hoped on our long tailed, colorful boat. We were four of us and we had the boat to ourselves. These are wooden boat that run on motor. Bangkok bustles with activity but if you wish to spend the day far from the maddening crowd, this is the best place to be. If the weather is hot, its gonna be a relief with the breeze playing with your hair. The skyline, the attractions and the local life will cross your way.

 

 

Bangkok, Venice of the East, Canal Adventure
Bangkok used to be called “the Venice of the East”

 

 

The highlight of the trip was observing the elements of life that flourish around these canals.  The greenery, the wall art, temples, shrines, restaurants, schools and the floating markets kept me curious and interested all along. Everything around was peaceful, picturesque and informative. At some places, there was trash in the water but thankfully we did not find any stinky point since there was no stagnation of water. 

 

 

Bangkok Best places, big c bangkok locations
Boat ride through the khlong (canal) is a popular tourist activity

 

 

Its not just one canal but a network of canals that one sails through one after the other. You must keep the camera going. The other travel writers along with me made lovely videos too.  I come from a city which had no river and thus for me these glimpses of a different kind of life were absolutely worth it. 

 

 

Must do, Bangkok, Travel, Tourism
So much to discover alongside the canals in Bangkok

 

 

River has played an integral role in Thai life and culture for centuries and thus many temples in Bangkok are located along waterways. We motored across many colorful houses and temples on the way. I wouldn’t say this is the best way to explore Bangkok but I would definitely say it is one of the ways to discover it at a calm and relaxed pace. And if you have a friendly guide, you will love the interesting stories and facts about the Thai culture.

 

 

A bangkok love story, Colorful boat
Engine Powered Banana Boat

 

 

A long tail boat is beautiful in itself. Painted in pretty and vibrant colors, its gorgeously colorful. 

 

 

Wall Art, Graffiti, Bangkok
There is Art-Work on the Walls too

 

 

Wow, there was some lovely art on the walls. I had definitely not expected to find this. Each of the paintings were beautiful and meaningful. Art always gets my eye and I must appreciate the artists who did this. I mean as a tourist, this was a such a lovely surprise to discover. 

 

 

A day exploring life around canals
A day exploring life around canals- Bangkok

 

 

The brightly painted homes and outbuildings caught my interest every now and then. Each house was different from the other. The wooden planks, the support, the shape of the window, the hanging plants, the pots, the balcony, the clothes hung for drying, the house as a whole had many noticeable aspects. It really helped me to reflect on life in a better way.  

 

 

Bangkok house, Life, Travel blogger
A peep into the Bangkok life close to the waterways

 

 

Here we saw the houses how they stand on the water and how life is for many people who have been living here and their generations for hundreds of years! We also talked about how the Bangkok floods of 2011 and how people living in these areas had been worst affected. Most of them had to rebuild. In fact we also saw some houses which were dilapidated and in poor condition.  

 

 

Green Bangkok, Waterways
Abundance of green along the water

 

 

Every turn brought a new sight and there was no rest to our curious minds. Our guide really had to cope up because we had too many questions for her. She got her breaks when we were distracted with people waving at us. It was lovely to see the children smile and chuckle and also sprinkle water on us. Why did they sprinkle water?  Because we were there in Bangkok at the Songkran time.

 

 

Bread loaf, Fishes, Canal tour, Day tour in Bangkok
Offering bread to the fishes in Bangkok

 

 

This was an interesting stop. Our guide suggested that we buy some bread loafs from the lady in the picture and offer to the fishes. It was considered to be auspicious. We did as suggested and the fishes jumped in to eat. It was a joyful sight. No doubt, nature always wins over man-made. 

 

 

Fishes in Chao Phraya River, Thonburi.
When the fishes jumped out to eat the bread loaf

 

 

While the fishes jumped out to eat the bread loaf, we clicked pictures. These fishes are known as cat fish. This memory has definitely stayed with me all along. Another boat also stopped to see the excitement. Later, I read that feeding the fishes is a loved activity in Thailand and there are fish feeding stations near temples. 

 

 

Day tour in Bangkok, Canal ride
For the photo enthusiast, there is so much to see

 

 

There were big houses, small houses, some were crippled. It looked as if some people dint have the funds to maintain it. Yes, so we did do the poorer section of the city this day.  Discovering the glamorous section of the city was fun but I was happy to find these areas as well. They were more real. They were fascinating in their own way. One gets to peep into a different side of Bangkok.

 

 

A trip on the water transport
A trip on the water transport is a fun thing to do in Bangkok

 

 

That is me, all happy and chirpy in the boat. I was loving this canal adventure. There were hardly any moment when I felt scared. The boat was well balanced by our weights on either side. Honestly, whenever I am around water, I definitely feel uncomfortable because I do not know swimming but this wasn’t scary at all.

 

 

Bangkok dream world, Chao Phraya River
Chao Phraya River

 

 

And after spending around two hours on this boat, I can definitely say you must do the tour of Thonburi’s narrow waterways in Bangkok.

 

 

Bangkok Water fun, Travel, Tourism
Bangkok and its waterways are the true symbols of the city.

 

 

Chinese New Year 2016  falls on Thursday 8th February and it is a great time to be in Bangkok.

Happy Traveling!

 

 

Written by

Manjulika Pramod

An engineer who loves to be called a blogger more!
Traveler, short-story writer, voracious reader, foodie is the better me!
Reading, eating, traveling, exploring, observing and blogging are the beautiful highs of my life.