While on my way to Photograph buses at Saphan Taksin, Sanam Luang and Nonthaburi. I rode the Chao Phraya Express boats between these locations. After photographing the buses at Nonthaburi. I waited to ride and photograph the new Chao Phraya Express Pak Kret peak hour service.
A little background on the Chao Phraya Express boats and the Pak Kret service.
The Chao Phraya Express boat service is Bangkok’s most important mass transport boat service carrying over 100,000 people per day. With boats departing every 3 minutes during peak periods. There are a number of different stopping patterns for the boats. These are as outlined below:
The Blue flag boats operate from Sathorn to Nonthaburi making only a few stops at peak travel times on weekdays. This is the fastest Chao Phraya Express boat.
The Yellow flag boat operates from Ratburana to Nonthaburi making 10 stops on route. Again this service only operates during peak periods on weekdays.
The Orange flag boat operates from Wat Rajsingkorn to Nonthaburi making 20 stops on route. This boat operates 7 days a week.
The boat with no flag operates from: Wat Rajsingkorn to Nonthaburi stopping at every single pier. This boat only operates during peak periods on weekdays.
The Orange flag express boat costs 13 baht per trip regardless of distance. The Yellow flag express boat costs 18 baht per trip regardless of distance. At some piers you pay before boarding i.e. Sathorn Pier. At all other piers you pay on board the boat.
An all day pass is available at Sathorn Pier for 120 baht per day. However you would need to make at least 8 one way trips in a single day before it is worth buying. Most people rarely make more than 4 trips in a single day even as visitors.
The Chao Phraya Express boat does suffer from rather bad overcrowding throughout the day and even on weekends. This means that standing is likely if you board at some major piers. The maximum allowed to be carried per boat is about 90 people. Often over 100 people will be on a boat as no passenger counting is done by staff.
Chao Phraya Express Boat – Pak Kret Extension.
The new Pak Kret service is marked with a Green and Yellow Flag and operates from Sathorn to Pak Kret Pier. This new boat service operates from 6.15 am until 8.05 am inbound and 4.05 pm to 6.05 pm outbound. This is a weekday only service.
The trip takes about 65 minutes to complete the whole journey from Sathorn Pier to Pak Kret Pier. This traveling time is about 40 to 60 minutes faster than going by bus between the two points. The main reason for this service is to provide a faster traffic free option for people living in Pak Kret.
Pak Kret Express Boat timetable:
To Sathorn Pier depart at: 06.15, 06.35, 06.50, 07.05, 07.20, 07.40 and 08.05 only.
To Pak Kret Pier depart at: 16.05, 16.25, 16.45, 17.05, 17.25, 17.45 and 18.05 only.
The new piers on the Pak Kret express boat route extension are:
Pak Kret N 33: located next to the new Rama 4 road bridge in Pak Kret town.
Wat Klang Kret N 32: located at the end of Phumwet road near Wat Klang Kret.
Wat Khae Nok N 31: located at the end of a Soi on Sanambin Nam road.
The Pak Kret Chao Phraya Express boat operates as a 20 minute long extension of the normal Nonthaburi route. Only 7 boats in each direction travel to Pak Kret each day. The tickets cost 12 baht per trip from Nonthaburi to Pak Kret.
Before 1997 there was a full time Chao Phraya Express boat service to Pak Kret. However the service fell victim to the Asian economic collapse in 1997 and was withdrawn. The peak hour service that operates today was not restored until early 2008 over 10 years later! With the latest economic problems effecting Thailand one does wonder if the Pak Kret service will be affected again.
In the future an additional stop will be added at Rattana Thibet road in Nonthaburi to allow connections to the new Bang Bua Thong MRT line that is planned to open in 2013. After this pier is introduced it is understood that a full time Pak Kret express boat service will commence.
Chao Phraya Express boat section: Sathorn (CEN) – Tha Chang (N9).
1. This is a shot of the Ratchawongse (N5) express boat pier. This boat pier is serviced by all orange, yellow and no flag express boats. This is the pier for the Chinatown area. Taken from the boat on approach to the pier.
2. This is a shot of the Tha Din Daeng cross river ferry. Taken looking north from the boat on departure from Ratchawongse Pier. This cross river ferry provides the fastest way from Wong Wien Yai to Chinatown.
3. This is a shot of a larger capacity Chao Phraya Express boat. This type of boat is used on peak hour yellow flag services. During off peak periods the larger boats are used on tourist shuttle boats to Banglamphu. The boats hold about 150 people.
4. This is a shot of the Memorial Bridge (N6) pier. Taken looking north from the boat as it was approaching. This pier is the place to transfer for khlong boat services into Thonburi and for access to the Phahurat area. Note: all the boat piers are steel floating platforms that move with the river levels.
5. This is a shot of the Wat Arun cross river ferry. Taken as it was loading passengers at Tha Tian Pier. This pier is only serviced by no flag boats during peak periods. This cross river ferry is popular with visitors to Wat Pho and Wat Arun.
6. This is an inside shot of a rather overcrowded Orange flag express boat. Taken during the off peak, looking towards the rear of the boat. This is a typical loading for a Chao Phraya Express Boat.
7. This is an image of the Tha Chang (N9) pier. Taken looking north from the boat as it was approaching the pier. This pier is the best stop for the Grand Palace and Sanam Luang area. This pier is one of the busiest piers on the Chao Phraya River.
8. This is a shot of an Orange flag express boat. Taken as it was powering across the river from the Siriraj Hospital (N10) pier. Boat number 168. Notice the nice urban view behind the boat. Sometimes the waves from the river do spray water into the boat.
9. This is another angle of Chao Phraya Express Boat number 168. Taken from Tha Chang Pier as it was approaching Tha Chang pier on a southbound trip. This boat had a large load on board at this point.
10. This is a short movie of Chao Phraya Express Boat number 168 as it arrived at Tha Chang Pier to take on a huge load of passengers heading south toward Sathorn. Note: the amount of people on the boat there would have been well over 100 on board before this stop. The whistles that can be heard are for the rope man and driver to communicate with each other.
Chao Phraya Express boat section: Tha Chang (N9) – Nonthaburi (N30).
11. This is a shot of an orange flag express boat. Taken looking towards Banglamphu area as it was pushing its way through a patch of green water plants. Boat number 180. All Chao Phraya Express Boats are non aircon.
12. This is another angle on Chao Phraya Express boat 180. Taken as it was turning to approach Pink Lao (N12) pier. This section of the Chao Phraya Express boat service is used as a cross river ferry between Pink Lao and Banglamphu. Thus is often very overcrowded in this section.
13. This is an image of Phra Athit (Banglamphu) (N13) pier. Taken looking north east from the boat as it was approaching the pier. This pier is for access to Banglamphu area and the Khao San Road Backpacker district.
14. This is a shot of a yellow Golden Dragon bus passing over the Krungthon Bridge. Taken from the boat looking north as it approached Krungthon Pier (N16).
15. This is a shot of Chao Phraya Express Boat 191. Taken as it was heading south with a reasonable off peak load. Note: This style of boat has a larger raised section at the rear for standing room than on other boats. All boats have a wooden body and frame.
16. This is a shot of Paya Up (N18) Pier. Taken from the boat as it was approaching the pier. This pier is best for access to the mid section of Samsen road. Beyond Thewet (N15) pier the usage levels drops off and most of the piers are rather minor with no major attractions near by. This pier is serviced by orange flag and no flag boats only.
17. This is an image of Kiak Kai (N21) pier. Taken from the boat as it was approaching the pier. This pier is mainly used by people to access the upper section of Samsen road and for the Thai army complexes. It is only serviced by orange flag and no flag boats.
18. This is an image of Bang Pho (N22) pier. Taken from the boat as it prepared to stop at this pier. This pier provides a faster way into the lower section of Bang Sue district. Almost all boats stop at this pier and it is busy during peak times as it saves a good 30 mins over the bus trip.
19. This is a shot of Chao Phraya Express boat 163. Taken near the Rama 5 Bridge as it made its way south towards Sathorn with a small load of off peak passengers. All of the boats are powered by inboard diesel engines. There has been talk of converting them to CNG in the future.
20. This is a shot of the boat I rode on from Tha Chang pier departing from Nonthaburi Pier (N30) after it had let off all the passengers. Some of the boats are moored on the western side of the river 500 meters north of Nonthaburi pier.
21. This is a shot of the Chao Phraya express boats waiting to depart from Nonthaburi pier. Passengers walk through the other boats to board the outermost boat for the next trip to Sathorn pier an hour away.
22. This is a shot of Chao Phraya Express boat 189 with a large load of peak hour passengers. Taken as it was arriving at Nonthaburi Pier and its journeys end. During peak times standing loads occur from Sathorn to Nonthaburi.
23. This is a short movie of the final approach to Nonthaburi Pier. Filmed from the Chao Phraya Express boat. This pier is the end of the line for almost all Chao Phraya Express boats. Note how the rope man ties up the boat to let off a large number of passengers.
Chao Phraya Express Boat section: Nonthaburi (N30) – Pak Kret (N33).
24. This is an image of the boat I caught to Pak Kret. Taken as it was about to dock at Nonthaburi Pier and let out about half its passengers. Thus leaving some seats free for the trip to Pak Kret.
25. This is an inside shot on the Pak Kret boat. The loadings between Nonthaburi and Pak Kret are rather light when compared to boats south of Nonthaburi. However this was the 5pm trip from Nonthaburi to Pak Kret. This is the 1st outbound trip of the day.
26. This is a movie of a ride on the Pak Kret Chao Phraya express boat. Filmed on approach to the Phra Nang Klao Bridge. Note the river side housing and the loading on the boat. Also towards the end of the video the boat passes under the twin bridges that carry Rattana Thibet road. It will be interesting how the new elevated metro line will fit around these bridges.
27. This is a shot of the new bridge over the Chao Phraya River. This bridge was built to provide extra road capacity on Rattana Thibet road which provides access to the western Nonthaburi area.
28. This is a shot of Wat Khae Nok (N31) pier. This is a new pier for the Pak Kret express boat service. This pier allows access to Sanambin Nam road and the Ministry of Commerce. Although it would be a long walk to the Ministry of Commerce.
29. This is a movie of the final approach to Wat Khae Nok pier. Note how the rope man has to jump on and off the boat to tie it up to the pier. Also passengers tend to jump the gap before the boat has stopped. It saves time though when they do this.
30. This is a general view of the Ministry of Commerce office complex. Taken from the Pak Kret boat as it was passing by. It would be more logical to provide a boat pier directly in front of this building rather than 1 km away. Therefore increasing usage of the boat service.
31. This is a shot of a bulk sand cargo boat convoy heading south down the river. Unlike in many western countries where rivers only carry passengers the Chao Phaya River still carries large volumes of bulk cargo down it every single day. The small boat at the front provides all the towing power.
32. This is a video of the Pak Kret boat entering the Ko Kret bypass route. Note the amount of water plants in the river. This seems to be slowing down the boat greatly. Also good examples of river side housing can be seen from the boat. A Ko Kret Cross river ferry can be seen waiting for the boat to pass.
33. This is an image of a Ko Kret cross river ferry. Taken from the Pak Kret express boat as it passed by. Note: This cross river ferry is not the main Ko Kret ferry but the connecting one for the Pak Kret Boat.
34. This is a short movie of the final approach to Wat Klang Kret pier. Note how the rope man has to do a great jump to tie up the boat at this pier. A few passengers can be seen jumping the gap before the boat fully stops. The people on the pier where not waiting for the Pak Kret boat but another local boat.
35. This is a shot of Wat Klang Kret (N32) pier. Taken from the boat as it was departing for the last stop at Pak Kret. Unlike the piers south of Nonthaburi these Pak Kret section piers do not have large pier name signs.
36. This is a shot of the ancient temple on the north eastern corner of Ko Kret. In the foreground are some of the horrible green water plants. The temple area is popular with tourists on weekends.
37. This is a video of passing by the main cross river ferry terminal and the ancient temple on Ko Kret. Note the river side homes and the high speed school boat that ripped past at full tilt. The temple area on Ko Kret appears to have been recently upgraded.
38. This is a shot looking towards the Pak Kret (N33) pier. In the background is the new Rama 4 Bridge and elevated way. This pier is the final stop of this boat service. A cross river ferry operates from Pak Kret as well as a Khlong boat service to Bang Bua Thong.
39. This is a movie of the final approach to Pak Kret pier. The boat has to do a U - turn before docking at the rather poorly laid out pier. Note the cross river ferry under the new bridge making its way to the western side of the river. As soon as the boat nears the pier the passengers get up and move to the back of the boat.
40. This is a shot of Chao Phraya Express boat 179 reversing into the pier at Pak Kret. Taken looking towards Ko Kret and the hazy sinking sun. By around 7pm there will be 7 boats moored here.
41. This is an image of the passenger information at Pak Kret pier and the sign on the pier. This pier appeared to be still under construction as workers where busy welding away on the exit walkway’s roof and hand railings.
42. This is a shot of the tickets used on the normal Chao Phraya Express boat (red tickets) and the new Pak Kret Express boat (green ticket). These tickets are very similar to the BMTA bus ticket in the lower left side of the image.
An earlier topic related to the Chao Phraya Express Boats is available here:
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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- ▼ 2009 (14)
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
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.