Bangkok Waterways

Exploring Bangkok Klongs and Canals

Bangkok's history has evolved along the banks of the Chao Phraya River and its adjoining canals. It may no longer be the "Venice of the East" described by early visitors, but the waterways still breathe life into the city and continue to play an important part in daily life. Every day you see commuters, saffron robed monks and school children speeding by on fast river taxis, overtaking the heavily laden rice barges making their sedate journey upriver.

For visitors the river provides contrasts of old and new, with many of Bangkok's most revered temples standing alongside warehouses, old wooden houses, new residential blocks and prestigious five star hotels. On the Thonburi side of the river (the original site of Thailand's capital), a network of canals (khlongs), largely unaffected by modern development, still connect the city to the suburbs. And on the Rattanakosin side it is possible to catch river taxis along Khlong Saen Saep, a dirty but important transport artery that cuts through the heart of the modern city.

Bangkok's waterways are well worth taking a few hours to explore. And there are many ways to do it, ranging from river cruises and khlong tours to public river taxis and dinner cruises.

Chao Phraya River

The invigorating air, the cooling breeze, the scenery at once sleek, scruffy and spiritual...  the Chao Phraya River is up there with the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew. Not only that, it's super efficient ferry network – not to mention river cruisers, dinner cruises and long-tail boats – means it is also a picturesque gateway to many, many others. Read More...

Chao Phraya Pier Guide

This guide highlights the most interesting piers found along the 21km Chao Phraya River Express Boat route. Temples, a wet market or an unexpected enclave... if it's something worth seeing then it's here. Read More...

Bangkok Canals Overview

Bangkok's criss-crossing network of canals opens doors to another world not commonly seen by tourists. What remains of 'Venice of the East' awaits your exploration. Read More...

Royal Barges Museum Royal Barges Museum

This open warehouse contains eight fabulously gilded barges restored or built by His Majesty the King. Have a look up close at their iridescent details and craftsmanship. Read More...

Klongs of Bangkok Khlongs of Thonburi

Fancy exploring a ramshackle world of criss-crossing canal networks that sub-divide into even narrower canals, and are all lined with old wooden houses and pots of colourful flowers? Read More...


Most Popular Waterway Tours in Bangkok

Book a River Cruise Tours

River cruises provide the perfect opportunity to see a more traditional side of Bangkok; from quaint villages to minority communities on small islands upstream, and the ancient ruins of Ayuthaya. Read More...

Book a Dinner Cruises & Shows

Bangkok at night, especially along the city's spectacular Chao Praya River, is a wonder to behold. For proof of this, look no further than one of many available dinner cruises. While you wine and dine in luxurious surroundings, you'll get a true taste of just how much this city dazzles at night. Read More...

Join a Thonburi Klong Tour

Bangkok's charming riverside is brimming with stories to tell. On this morning tour, a long-tailed speedboat whisks you down the Chao Phraya River and canals of Thonburi. Read More...

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