Last weekend I went on a trip out to Phra Pradaeng to photograph and document the local mass transport of the area. The mass transport of Phra Pradaeng consists of a number of different modes of transport. These modes are Bus, Truck – Bus, Boat, Motorbike Taxi and the increasingly rare Samlor (Pedal Taxi).
Phra Pradaeng is a rather odd part of suburban Bangkok in that it has its own and rather ancient culture and customs. This differing culture is not directly visible from the outside as the streetscapes of the area are typically suburban Bangkok. However this difference creates some interesting situations such as celebrating major public holidays at a different time to the rest of Bangkok.
The town of Phra Pradaeng is administered under the city of Paknam and lies at the foot of the new Phra Pradaeng three way bridge. The town also guards the only land access to the “Phra Pradaeng Peninsula” or Bang Krachao a large bend in the Chao Phraya River that almost creates a large island if it were not for a narrow 500 meter wide spit of land. The Bang Krachao area which in places is only 5 km from inner Bangkok is set aside as an example of rural life before Bangkok was built over 200 years ago. Today this area is considered the “Green Lung of Bangkok”. However it is not a park or museum in any way it’s a real and functioning semi rural location.
1. This is a shot of Phra Pradaeng Bus terminal. It is located next to the Chao Phraya River and is the mass transport hub for the surrounding area. Buses depart from here every 1 min all day.
2. This is an image of a Route 82: Phra Pradaeng – Bang Lamphu bus. Taken at Phra Pradaeng bus terminal. Bus number 82 – 7. Bus type Merc Green Mini bus.
3. This is an image of a Route 6: Phra Pradaeng – Bang Lamphu bus. Taken as it departed the Phra Pradaeng bus terminal. Bus number 6 – 36. Bus type unknown.
4. This is a shot of a Route 1146: Phra Pradaeng – Samut Chedi Truck – bus. Taken as it exited the terminal. Note this Truck Bus service operates every 2 to 5 mins 7 days a week.
5. This is a shot of the main road in Central Phra Pradaeng town. In the foreground is a Route 6 Bus just beginning its journey to Bang Lamphu. Bus number 6 – 39.
6. This is an image of a route 82 mini bus. Taken as it exited the bus terminal. Bus number 82 - 82. Bus type Hino.
7. This is a picture of a Route 6 white non aircon bus. Bus Number 6 – 1. Taken just after it departed from Phra Pradaeng. These larger buses are much more comfortable to ride than the smaller green buses.
8. This is a shot of a Truck – bus operating on a factory charter in Phra Pradaeng town. This Truck – bus comes from Ayutthaya city 100 km to the north.
9. This is a shot of a BMTA non aircon route 82 bus. Bus number BMTA 5 – 40170. Bus type Hino. This type of bus operates every 10 mins and form part of the 24 hour service on this route.
10. This is another shot of a Route 82 green mini bus. Bus number 82 – 18. Taken at Phra Pradaeng Pier.
11. This is a general view of the Streetscape of Phra Pradaeng town. Taken looking towards the west.
12. This is an image of a Route 138 Phra Pradaeng – Mochit 2 expressway bus. Taken as it approached its final stop at Phra Pradaeng. Bus number BMTA 5 – 66160. Bus type Merc O 405.
13. This is a short movie showing the high frequency of the bus services in Phra Pradaeng town. Note this was filmed on a Sunday afternoon the quietest part of the week. The frequency along this road is every 30 seconds.
14. This is an image of a Route 1011 Phra Pradaeng – Bang Koh Bua. Bus Number 1011 – 9. Bus unknown. Note this bus operates on the main road up the middle of the “Phra Pradaeng Peninsula”. This bus is typical rural style.
15. This is another angle on the earlier BMTA bus number 5 – 66160. Taken as it starts its return trip to Mochit 2. This service operates every 5 to 10 mins 7 days a week.
16. This is an inside shot of a merc green mini bus. Taken while it was laying over at Phra Pradaeng. These small non aircon buses can hold up to 42 passengers. Also the doors at front and back on these buses do not work and are always open even when stored.
17. This is a shot of the driver’s seat on the Green mini bus. All of these green mini buses are double declutch manuals. The round container on top of the engine is the driver’s drinking water supply. At times this may contain alcohol.
18. This is an inside view of a red Hino normal non aircon bus operated by BMTA. The biggest difference between these BMTA non aircon buses and the older private white non aircon bus is the lack of fans for the passengers.
19. This is a shot of the driver’s seat on the Hino BMTA bus. The BMTA buses are generally kept in better order as the drivers don’t drive the same bus every day. Note the engine is at the front next to the driver on this type of bus.
20. This is a shot of a Route 6 bus waiting in the route 6 bus holding area at the back of Phra Pradaeng bus terminal. Bus number 6 – 16. Bus type older non aircon Merc.
21. This is an inside shot of the same route 6 bus. Note how the fans are located down the middle of the bus rather than above the seated passengers. This layout is not common in Bangkok.
22. This is a shot of the Cross river ferry at Phra pradaeng. Taken as it was underway. In the background is the only cross river car and truck ferry in Thailand.
23. This is another shot of the Cross river ferry taking a good load of passengers toward Phra Pradaeng. The eastern side of the river is known as Samrong Tai and it is very industrial.
24. This is an image of the Cross river Vehicle ferry. Taken as it brings a load of cars and motorbikes across to Phra Pradaeng. This ferry until 2006 was the only way to cross the Chao Phraya River between Paknam and the Rama 9 Bridge.
25. This is a great shot of the new Phra Pradaeng road bridge that opened in 2006 to create a faster vehicle link from the east to the west. This bridge has reduced the heavy vehicle pressure on the cross river ferry which still runs 2 years after the bridge opened. Note: this bridge was recently shown on a Discovery Channel documentary.
26. This is a shot of the even more recent “Paknam Bridge” This bridge was built to complete the southern outer ring road or “Kanchanaphisek Road”. It opened in 2007. In the foreground is another Cross river vehicle ferry.
27. This is an image of a Pedal taxi or Samlor. Taken at Phra Pradaeng Pier. These are quite rare in the suburbs of Bangkok. As fuel prices rise they may make a comeback in a big way.
28. This is an inside view of the passenger cross river ferry at Phra Pradaeng. These ferries can hold up to 150 people.
29. This is a shot of the captain’s seat on the cross river ferry. On a lot of these boats the captain’s seat is not in a separate area to the passengers. The equipment for it was taken from an old bus or truck.
30. This is a movie of a ride on the Phra Pradaeng cross river ferry. Filmed as it travels from Phra Pradaeng to Samrong Tai. The ride takes 2 to 3 mins depending on how fast the driver goes. It costs 3 baht per person to cross. This film also gives a good view of the riverside and the new bridge.
31. This is a shot of Phra Pradaeng Pier taken looking from the Samrong Tai side of the river. Note the gathering storm clouds in the background.
32. This is a picture of the ticket barriers at Samrong Tai. You pay your 3 baht fare at these barriers for both directions. There is no ticketing facility at Phra Pradaeng.
33. Like most parts of Bangkok motorbike taxis play a major role in mass transport due to there speed and low cost and it fills in the last mile problem of mass transport. Thus allowing the Thai mass transport system to be door to door in a way that is similar to that of a private car.
34. This is a group of 3 buses waiting to depart Samrong Tai on their trips around the city of Paknam. Note the middle bus is air conditioned.
35. This is a shot of a Route 1291 Samrong Tai – Bang Hua Suea – Bang Ya Pak Truck - Bus. Taken just after it arrived and let down its passengers. Truck- Bus number 1291 – 20.
36. This is a general view of the route 1144 Truck – Bus holding area at Samrong Tai. There are hundreds of these Truck – buses allocated to route 1144. During peak hour this service operates on a continuous shuttle basis. Approx freq every 20 seconds.
37. This is a shot of a Route 1144 Samrong Tai – Samrong Truck Bus. Taken as it was loading up with passengers for its quiet Sunday afternoon trip.
38. Also on Route 1144 full size non aircon buses operate. This is bus number 1144 – 7 waiting to depart Samrong Tai terminal. Bus type unknown.
39. This is an image of a Route 1140: Samrong Tai - Paknam Van. Taken as it waited for passengers at Samrong Tai. This service appears to be an alternative route to the normal Route 1140: Paknam – Klong Dan that operates from Paknam city.
40. This is an inside view of a route 1144 bus. Note the general condition of the bus and the “Fan of death” at the front next to the driver with no guards around it. Also the doors have been cut off on this bus leaving an opening.
41. This is a shot of a Route 1286: Samrong Tai – Paknam City air conditioned bus. Taken as it waited to depart Samrong Tai. This bus is brand new but is odd in that its engine is at the front. Type unknown appears to be a local build. Bus number 1286 – 111. Almost all new buses have an engine at the rear. This bus could be a re body from a much older non aircon.
42. This is an inside image of the Route 1286 bus. Note the engine taking up floor space and the TV set above the driver. The air conditioning on this bus is powered by a second small engine at the back.
43. This is a shot of the driver’s seat on the Route 1286 bus. The driver’s family travels with him on each trip. His very young daughter helps him to change gears as he drives along.
44. This is an image of Bus number 1144 – 31 with a load of passengers on board taking off from Samrong Tai leaving a smoke trail behind.
45. This is a shot of a typical Sunday afternoon load on Route 1286. A lot more people than is common on off peak buses in Australia. The route is only 15 km long but filled up quickly and stayed full for most of its 40 minute journey to Paknam City.
I hope you find the pictures and vehicles shown to be of interest if you view this please post some comments and feelings about the pictures.
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- After living and working in Thailand for over 5 years in October 2010 I relocated from Mahachai Thailand to Melbourne Australia. I have a wide interest in railways, ferries, metros, trams, buses and mass transit system planning throughout Thailand and the Asian region.
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Thai Mass Transport Topics List
- Welcome to the Thai Mass Transport Systems Blog
- The Buses of Rama 2 road
- The Buses of Wong Wian Yai
- SRT Mahachai Train runs with the doors wide open.
- A Trip from Wong Wian Yai to Bang Bon on the SRT Mahachai line.
- A Ride on Route 147 (Kanchana Phisek rd)
- A Ride on Route 146 (Kanchana Phisek rd)
- The New Southern Bus Terminal + Intercity buses.
- The Mass Transport Vehicles of Mahachai City.
- SRT: The Maeklong line and Maeklong railway market
- The Maeklong Bus Terminal
- The Modern Rail Based Mass Transit of Thailand
- The Modern Bus Based Mass Transport of Bangkok.
- The Mass Transport Boats of Bangkok (Chao Phraya Express)
- The Mass Transport Boats of Bangkok (Dao Khanong Klong Boat)
- The Mass Transport Boats of Bangkok (Klong Saen Saep Boat service)
- The Mass Transport Boats of Bangkok (Phra Khanong Klong Boat Service)
- SRT: The Mahachai line a trip from Bang Bon to Mahachai.
- SRT: The Mahachai Rail Yard.
- SRT: The Eastern Line and the construction of the Airport Rail Link.
- SRT: The Main System (Hualamphong Station and rail yard).
- SRT: A trip on the Ayutthaya Commuter Line (Main North line).
- The Buses of Suvarnabhumi Airport and Suvarnabhumi Bus Terminal.
- SRT: Prachuap Khiri Khan railway station and night shots.
- The Mass Transport of Prachuap Khiri Khan.
- A Summary Bus Guide to Bangkok’s Mass transport bus system.
- SRT: Thonburi Rail Yard + Thai Steam Engine Fleet.
- The Buses of Nakhon Pathom and Bus Route 402.
- SRT: The Thonburi to Nakhon Pathom Commuter Line.
- The Mega Mochit 2 Bus Terminal.
- Mochit 2: The Metro Bus Terminal.
- SRT: Bang Sue Junction and Station.
- The Main South line: Bang Sue to Taling Chan link.
- The Mass Transport of Samut Chedi and The Temple in the Sea.
- The Mass Transport of Kheha Thonburi + Vans of Rama 2.
- The Buses and Trucks of Paknam City
- The Mass Transport of Phra Pradaeng.
- Free BMTA Bus and SRT rail travel.
- SRT: The Queensland railways SX commuter carriages.
- A little extra BTS and SRT.
- The Bangkok BRT (Bus Rapid Transit System) and Buses of Thaphra.
- SRT Cargo Trains and Chachoengsao Junction (Eastern Line).
- SRT: Kaeng Khoi Junction night shots and movies.
- SRT: Hin Lap Station and Curve + Dong Phraya Yen Pass.
- Alternative Travel arrangements for Bangkok Airport Passengers.
- The Mega Victory Monument Metro Bus Terminal.
- The Eastern Bus Terminal.
- SRT: Cab Ride Mahachai Line: Bang Bon – Wong Wian Yai.
- The Buses of Rangsit.
- The Rangsit Metro Bus Terminal and Bus Depot.
- The Buses of Pathum Thani.
- SRT Northern Line: Paknam Pho Station and Yard.
- SRT: Kaeng Khoi Junction in the Daylight.
- SRT: Bua Yai Line and Chong Samran.
- The Buses of Saphan Taksin.
- The Buses of Sanam Luang and Tha Chang.
- The Buses of Nonthaburi.
- Chao Phraya Express Boats – The New Pak Kret Service.
- The Southern Line: Hat Yai Junction Station and Yard.
- The new BTS Extension to Wong Wian Yai.
- The Tha Din Daeng cross river ferry + Route 20 terminus.
- The Buses of Chinatown.
- The Eastern Line: Kabinburi and Prachantakam.
- SRT: Khok Salung and Pasak Chonlasit Dam.
- SRT: Southern line the second attempt.
- The state of the Mahachai Line and Bang Bon "Track Lake".
- The Mass Transit of Vientiane Laos.
- Udon Thani's Mass Transit System.
- Thai VIP Intercity Buses + Thai - Lao International Buses.
- The Mass Transit of Mukdahan.
- SRT: Hualamphong Station by Night + Overnight Trains.
- SRT Northern Line: Thailand's Highest and Longest – Khun Tan.
- The Bangkok Airport Rail Link: The fastest train in Thailand.
- SRT: Maeklong Line – Ban Bo Station.
- Bangkok BRT System: Chong Nonsi BTS (Sathorn) to Ratchapruek.
- SRT: Mahachai Line + Buses of Wong Wian Yai during morning peak.
- The new BTS extension from On Nut to Bearing.
- SRT Northern line: Steam Locomotives at Bang Pa In.