Bangkok Thailand - boat trips, visit gardens, more Wats to see.
Enjoying a Boat Trip on Bangkok's Canals and along the Chao Phraya River.
Taking a boat ride out onto the busy Chao Phraya River and perhaps floating around some of the adjoining smaller rivers and canals that intersect this huge river is certainly worth doing whilst on holiday in Bangkok. You can make your
own mind up about what you want to do - be it using the boat as a means of visiting various sites of interest, or having a thrilling high speed ride through the river's waves, or perhaps just going out for a much more peaceful ride around Bangkok and letting some time pass by.
There are several places along the Chao Phraya River where you can hire your boat - we got ours from within the market area at Tha Chang Pier where there are several kiosks offering boat-hire. You should have a price in mind and then certainly do
need to haggle - for sure the prices initially on offer will be amazingly high (probably enough to buy your own boat..). The trick is to be patient and go along with the game - as a last resort walking away in pretended disgust will
probably generate a reasonable offer which is ok for both parties. The trip we took cost 1400 Baht and was for a 90 minute slow trip on the river and several canals without any stops. If you do want to stop anywhere the boatman will happily do so but of course this affects the price and you will have to pay any entrance fees if applicable.
We went out along the Chao Phraya River, turned left down Khlong Bangkok No1 soon passing the Royal Barge Museum, then via the Khlong Bangkok Yah and passing Wat Arun before finally returning to Tha Chang Pier. Some of the boats
really do whiz along but we told our boatman that we were in no hurry as we wanted to take in the scenery and life on the river, photo some of the stilt houses and just relax- he was fine with that. Some of the side arms (canals) are
very silted up/overgrown and all but (if not) impassable but you can still see how extensive Bangkok's waterways once were. Some of the side arm lock gates can still be seen - in places the wooden stilt houses are being replaced by permanent buildings but many are still fronted by stilt-like landing stages.
Visiting Bangkok Wat Prayun - Turtles Pool.
Open daily 0900-1630 - free entry. Located near the river, Wat Prayun is reached by getting off the ferry at Tha Saphan Phut - walk across Memorial Bridge and this small temple is down on right - the entrance is guarded by two turtles. Formed in the shape of a hill which was built on the instructions of Rama III to replicate
the shapes made by dripping candle wax, the temple is extremely peaceful and excellent to wander around.
The area around the temple is well planted with trees and flowers and there many water features, miniature shrines, chedis, prangs, grottos and tiny temples.
Looking round Wat Rakhang - Temple of the Bells - in Bangkok.
Wat Rakhang is located near the river and can reached by ferry by getting off at express boat pier Tha Wang Lang. From the Pier turn left and walk straight through Piranknok Pier Side Market then continue ahead to the Temple. If you are on the Grand
Palace side of the river use the ferry shuttle from Tha Chang to Wat Rakhang Pier. King Rama I donated 5 large bells to the Temple which is how the temple got it's name. There are also hundreds of smaller bells under the eaves of the main Bot and around the Temple courtyard. Striking the bells is thought to bring you good luck. Whilst visiting the temple look out for the raised library - a wooden ho trai (scripture library) and don't miss the renovated gold-leaf paintwork on the window shutters and pillars.
Visiting Wat Pho - The Temple of the Reclining Buddha - Bangkok.
Firstly the correct name for this Wat is Wat Phra Chetuphon but it's known by tourists everywhere as Wat Pho. Wat Pho is located close to the Grand Palace - the nearest Express Ferry Pier is at Tha Tien. The Wat is open daily from 0900 to
1700 and has a small entrance fee of 50 Baht - Wat Pho is Bangkok's oldest and largest Buddhist Temple and Thailand's foremost centre of public education and traditional medicine including the famous Institute of Massage.
The original Temple was built in the 16th century was subsequently re-built and enlarged by Rama I in the 1780s. The Chapel of the Reclining Buddha was built in 1832 by Rama III and contains a huge 46 metre long gilded Buddha - the Buddha's feet are carved in mother of pearl. The compound has 16 huge gates each of which
are guarded by Farang Guards (stone giants) some of which have huge noses, beards and wear top-hats. There are 99 Chedi located around the grounds - the four great Chedi are notable for their garish decorated tiles than for their actual size.
Lazing about at Lumphini Park and Gardens in Bangkok. Lumphini Park may have been named after Lumbini in Nepal which was the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of the Buddhist philosophy - or maybe not!. Anyway the Gardens are open from 06 to 21 hours daily and located not too far from Salar Daeng BTS station in between
the very busy Rama IV, Ratchadamri and Witthayu roads. The entrance gate nearest to the above stations/roads has a large paved area in front of it in the centre of which is a fairly large statue of Rama VI.
Our other Topics related to visiting, sightseeing and looking around in Bangkok.
- Bangkok Holiday, Touring and Travel Guide
- Bangkok holiday, travel guide, attractions - ferries, tuk-tuks, taxis, restaurants, hotels, getting around.
- Bangkok Tours and Photos Guide in Thailand
- Bangkok Sightseeing guide - looking at Bangkok's beautiful Wat Arun, Wat Phra Kaeo and Bangkok Grand Royal Palace.
- Thailand Touring, Travel and Sightseeing Guide and Photos
- Our Thailand Home Page which contains links to our topics about touring in Chiang Mai, Sukhothai, Ayutthaya and Kanchanaburi.
More destinations for which we have travel and holiday guides are for Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, India, Cyprus, lots of Greek Islands, The Algarve and several Canary Islands.
Also many Topics about England - Wild Flowers, National Trail Walks, Churches plus quite a few canals including The Kennet and Avon Canal, The Oxford Canal, The Grand Union Canal, The Regents Canal - also two rivers and about walking The Thames Path.
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