Bangkok’s Chao Phraya river curves along the city, bisecting the old western part Thonburi from the more populated and bustling eastern part. The Chao Phraya is more than a pretty sight as it is a marine motorway that allows travelers to get to several places like the Grand Palace and Wat Arun easily. Boat ferries run along the river regularly, plying five routes from the morning to the late evening. Several of the piers are just a short walk from subway stations. For me, it was the easiest way to get to the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Khao San Road so I took the ferry every day I was there, which was a pleasant experience. You get to see fantastic views of Bangkok including modern skyscrapers and hotels and old temples and forts. Along the way, there are smaller canals that link to the river and ferries run on those as well. The river fort above is near the Phra Arthit ferry pier, which is close to Khao San Road.
The most stately sight is Wat Arun, a large domed temple prominently situated right by the riverside on the opposite side of Wat Pho (a few minutes from Tha Tien pier). I passed it by several times but unfortunately I didn’t actually visit it since I was short of time.
Elegant historic buildings line the river, from river forts to European-styled churches to Chinese temples and pagodas.
Modern skyscrapers line part of the river’s banks, reminding you that Bangkok is a modern metropolis. For some reason, the sight of tall towers lining a river reminds me of Miami.
Besides tourism, the river is also a transportation route, as these mighty cargo barges, above and below, attest.
Riverside exercising in the evening by Phra Arthit pier
Hostel by Khao San Road- I’m not sure if that is just a temple facade or a real temple at the side of that building.