Beating the Bangkok traffic with canal Taxi

Back in the old days, Bangkok was crisscrossed by canals and considered the Venice of the East. Today, most of the canals are filled in, except for the area west of the Chao Phraya River, were several of the canals are still in use for water Taxi’s. It’s practical, it’s fast and it’s cheap.

The canals (or khlong’s in Thai) were historically used for transportation and as floating markets, but also for sewage disposal. Today, what’s left of the canals is used as a route for a boat service that remains a vital public transportation function in the traffic-congested Bangkok. The water Taxi is called the Khlong Saen Saeb system. Most tourist aren’t aware of it, but next time you find yourself in a Taxi in the Siam area or it’s surroundings during rush hours, you will certainly regret you didn’t considered the canals.


Illustration from web page of Khlong Saen Saep Express Boat

The essence of the Express Boat system is to travel across Bangkok traffic with speed. From Khao San to MBK to the BTS over to the MRT; Khlong Saen Saep is your express lane. The Boat service have even made a web resource on how to navigate the Bangkok canal’s like a pro.

Visiting attractive areas, such as the Sao Ching Cha (The Giant Swing) or the famous backpacker area around Khao San Road, where there is no Sky train (BTS) or Metro (MRT), the boats will drop you off at a 10 minute walking distance. The canal system is especially useful to get to and from Siam Square and it’s surroundings during rush hours.

There is two connected lines that take you west-east along the Saen Saep Canal. Pratunam Pier near Central World is the interchange station. The Golden Mount line goes west and the NIDA line goes east. You will find Bangkok bus connections at khlong boat piers listed in the section “Bangkok Buses”.

Operating Hour: 5.30 a.m. – 8.30 p.m. (7.00 p.m. on weekends)

Price: You buy your tickets on board and the far is between 8 and 20 Bath depending on the distance.

Change to BTS: At Hua Chang it is possible to change to BTS by walking to Ratchathewi or National Stadium stations.

Change to MRT: At Asok it is possible to change to the MRT (Phetchaburi station).

Website Khlong boats: Khlong Boats – Saen Saep Boat Service

1 Comment on Beating the Bangkok traffic with canal Taxi

  1. Amos Togbeson Jr // September 18, 2022 at 9:51 pm // Reply

    I want to buy a boat taxi to be used in West Africa precisely Liberia. I am an American living in the U.S.

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