River Riding: How to Take the Khlong Canal Taxi in Bangkok
Exploring Bangkok can be an overwhelming experience. It’s huge, it’s noisy and it’s a bit like the wild west. As a small fry tourist, you’ll need some help getting around the Thai capital. Thankfully, there’s a whole bunch of great transport infrastructure here. Knowing how to take the Khlong Canal taxi is a great way to cover ground effectively and quickly. You know it’s a legit method as it’s how hoards of locals travel each and every day.
What is the Khlong Canal Taxi?
Think about the river taxis of Venice. Not those romantic gondolas, more like large rectangular shaped barges. They are essentially buses on the water. The river itself, the Khlong Saen Saeb, begins deep within the Old City close to the Mahakhan Fortress. If you head towards the end of Ratchadamnoen Road you’ll be near the beginning. From there it flows all the way to the Chachoengsao Province before it ends up joining the Bang Pa Kong River.
How do I take the Khlong Canal Taxi?
Think in advance which line you’ll want to take. Obviously, this’ll depend on your end destination. There are two lines. One of them ends at the Golden Mount (an excellent tourist attraction in itself), the other finishes near Wat Si Bunrueang, near the National Institute of Development Administration.
There’s also a handy crossing point so that you can change lines which is at Pratunam pier. The pier serves as an excellent central hub. The tickets that you purchase can be used on both lines.
To catch the canal taxi all you need to do is wave it down like you would a bus. Two helmet clad deckhands will leap off and help you aboard. Be sure to accept their assistance, you don’t want to go for an unexpected swim!
What can I see on the Khlong Canal Taxi?
For a start, local life. This is a genuine commuting vessel and gets extremely busy during rush hours. That said, this does make it very convenient for shopping and sightseeing. There are plenty of temples, markets and traditional Thai cultural sites along the way.
There are some major sites to keep an eye out for:
- Siam – This is stop for shopping heaven. With the likes of MBK and Pantip Plaza you’ll be shopping ‘til you drop.
- Thong Lor – a fashion focused area, expect a young crowd and people donning the latest in fashion and wear. Great for people watching.
- Bo Bae Market – excellent clothing market in traditional Thai style.
- Chidlom Pier – perfect for the Chidlom BTS station and transfers around the city
We ride the canal to get around on our Bangkok Walking Tour!
The good news is you don’t have to do this alone! Bodega offers some exploration on the Khlong Canal Taxi as part of our Bangkok Walking Tour. So, if you’re not looking for some solo exploration and would rather join a group of other hostel dwellers then you’re in luck.
Sign up for one of our tours and you’ll get the full experience whilst travelling to the Bangkok’s essential temples. For just 200 THB (which includes lunch and your canal tickets), you’ll get to experience the best of the best temples in Bangkok with a squad of backpackers you’ll end up drinking with by night. We also lead the charge with one of our staff giving you the history behind the places you visit!