The Khlong Saen Saep canal boat service is a commuter ferry that runs along one of the major canals in Bangkok city centre carrying an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 passengers a day.
The service operates every day from 05:30 and 20:30 with fares ranging from 8 to 20 THB one way depending upon how far you travel.
Khlong Saen Saep canal boats
The Khlong Saen Saep canal boat service runs for 18 km on an east-west axis through the busiest shopping area in Bangkok before terminating near to the eastern end of the Ratchadamnoen Klang Road. There are 29 ferry piers on the route and two lines, the Nida Line and the Golden Mount Line, with an interchange between the two lines at Pratunam Pier.
At the eastern end of the Khlong Saen Saep canal boat service route is Wat Sriboonreung Pier in the the Bang Kapi district of Bangkok, which is a long way from any of the areas popular with visitors to the city. Most foreign visitors who use the canal boat service will embark at one of the piers closer to the city centre. A good option is to join the service at Nana Nua Pier on the lower section of the Sukhumvit Road. Nana Nua Pier is a manageable 1 km walk from Nana BTS station. To get there from Nana BTS walk west along the Sukhumvit Road and then turn north along Sukhumvit Soi 3. The pier is close to the north side of road bridge over the canal.
Using the Khlong Saen Saep canal boat service is very simple. You simply turn up at the pier and wait for the next boat. They all run on the same route. To help passengers most of the piers have an electronic display giving approximate waiting times for the next service.
When a ferry in the right direction for where you want to go turns up then be ready to get on as soon as any passengers alight. Canal boats stop only a short time, although in recent years safety on the service has improved and more effort in made to make sure that the boat doesn’t leave with people still attempting to board.
Once you enter the boat you will see that there is a seating area at the front and a standing area at the back. During busy hours, generally from 06:00 to 09:00 and 16:00 to 19:00, the boats get very full and you struggle to find a seat. At other times free seats are normally available. The conductor will come to you wherever you are stood or seated to collect the fare. You do not need to buy a ticket in advance.
The Saen Saep canal runs through the busy centre of Bangkok westward through the Pratunam district, which is where many of Bangkok’s major department stores are located and just to the north of Siam Square. Alight at Pratuman Pier to get to Bangkok’s most popular shopping areas.
To fully appreciate the experience of travelling on the Khlong Saen Saep canal boat service, however, we recommend carrying on from Pratunam Pier westward on the Gold Mount Line to Phanfa Bridge Pier, which is at the far western end of the route. From Phanfa Bridge Pier you can easily walk to Wat Saket, which is the famous temple on a large man made hill. You can also easily walk along the Ratchadamnoen Klang Road, past Deomocracy Moument, to the Khao San Road. For an exciting end to the day you can then walk from the Khao San Road to the Phra Arthit Express Boat Pier and from there take an inexpensive river boat south to Sathorn Pier to re-join the sky train network at Saphan Taksin BTS station.
Location of the Nana Nuea Pier
The closest canal boat pier to the lower Sukhumvit Road is the Nana Nuea Ferry Pier on Sukhumvit Soi 3 .
Location of the Phanfa Bridge Pier
The final stop for canal boat heading west is Phanfa Bridge Pier which is near to Democracy Monument and Wat Saket, also known as the The Golden Mount.