Chao Phraya Express Boat

The Chao Phraya Express Boat is a transportation service in Thailand that operates on the Chao Phraya River. It provides riverine express transportation between stops in the capital city of Bangkok and to Nonthaburi, the province immediately to the north. Established in 1971, the Chao Phraya Express Boat Company serves both local commuters and tourists. It also offers special tourists boats and a weekend river tour boat, as well as making boats available for charter.[1] Among the world’s great commuter boats, it holds a particular place. Not only for its success in moving large numbers of passengers in a city whose roads are generally criticized for their traffic jams (These boats, along with BTS Skytrain and Bangkok Metro are only methods that can absolutely avoid traffic jam in peak hours on weekdays when people go in and out of city for their workings.), but also for the beauty of the fleet of graceful wooden boats, which is rarely found in today's world of water transportation. Thai culture recognizes four great principles; Suay (beautiful), saad (clean), sanook (fun), suparp (appropriate). These boats meet all four criteria. Their beautifully clean lines speak for themselves[weasel words] but they are also entirely appropriate to their function and, as any Bangkok tourist will confirm, they are great fun to ride.[peacock term]

The 21 kilometres (13 mi) route is served by 65 boats and operates from 6:00 am to 7:30 pm (Last departure from CEN-Sathorn pier by a yellow-flag boat) in weekdays and from 6:00 am to 6:40 pm in weekends and holidays. Current prices are from 9 baht (Local line for distance within one zone) to 30 baht (for green-yellow flag trip on its entire route from Pakkret to Sathorn), depending on the type of boat and the distance travelled.[2] The river boats carry an average of about 40,000 passengers per day.



The river boat service runs between Pak Kret district of Nonthaburi and Rat Burana district of Bangkok. Sathon pier in Sathon district provides a connection to the BTMS Skytrain.


Chao Phraya Express boats operates mainly two types of boats; all of them are built mainly by wood.

  • Single-screw boat: They are able to hold around 90-120 people at the same time. It is around 26-32m long, depending on the amount of wood in the time it is built, and about 2.7m wide. Area on the back of the boat (painted yellow on the floor) is normally restricted only for embarking/disembarking passengers, but some people like to stand there when the boat is highly crowded. There are two 2-step stairs on each side of boat connecting the yellow pad on the back to the passenger area inside the boat, while the middle area between those stairs is non-functioning on-board toilet. The engine room with the appearance of large wood box, is located inboard in the center line of the boat before the seating area, which is two on the left and another two on the right and an aisle passing in the middle. On the later-built boats, the roof over the engine room till the middle section of the boat is raised higher for extra headroom because most standing passengers on crowded boats are standing there, and this design will apply with all another boats that will be built later in company's shipyards in Bangkok and Ayutthaya. This type of boats operate all no-flag, orange-flag, and green-yellow flag trips. This also serves off-peak direction trips of yellow-flag routing. The fleet has about 43 boats of this type in service.
  • Twin-screw boat: Holds around 120 to 180 people. These wooden boats are as dramatic in appearance as the most rakish modern catamarans. Unlike the single-screw boat, the boat driver is in its small pod above passenger deck, similar to a cockpit on board a Boeing 747 airliner, giving views for passenger in the frontmost row and a public access to the boat's front deck for person who desired to watch a view from the boat's front without any obstruction (except Thai national flag). It is about 30-40m long and about 5-7m wide. Unlike a single-screw boat, it has seating area entire the boat, while most seating is in front of engines. Engine rooms are placed lower than those single-screw, and some passengers prefer to sit on it when it is crowded. There are 8 seats behind each engines. There are two aisle in the seating area in front of engines and 3 aisles behind the engines. There are two toilets, one on the port and another on the starboard, located in front of each engine. It serves as yellow-flag express boats in peak hours, and serves as tourist boats in off-peak hours. The fleet has about 14 boats of this type in service.

All seats on board all boats have individual life jackets and there are some floating loops around the boat that can be used in case of emergency.

Most boats are powered by Cummins NT 855 engines rated at 268 kW (360 HP) while some boats are also powered by Volvo Penta engines with the similar power rating. Engines are connected to ZF 1RM gears with 2:1 reduction before the power is delivered to the propeller. Most of them are powered by Diesel Fuel while some of them are upgraded to Natural Gas fuel systems. Chao Phraya Express Boat company prefers to choose Cummins engines because Cummins has a combination of availability and reliability. Thailand’s Cummins distributor, Diethelm & Company Ltd. handles the rebuilds and the engines just keep on.

"Wood is the best" is Chao Phraya Express Boat's motto on building boats, while this is the time for fiber glass and iron boats.


  • Local Line: runs between Nonthaburi and Wat Rat Singkhon districts in Bangkok (Rush hours only).
  • Blue Flag Line: This service runs between Nonthaburi and Sathon districts in Bangkok. At Sathorn pier is an interchange, where passengers may change boats or change their transportation to ferry, longtail boat, BTS Skytrain and bus.
  • Orange Flag Line: runs between Nonthaburi Province at the north end, and Rat Burana district in Bangkok at the south end (Daily all-day service). The fare is 13 Thai Baht.[3]
  • Yellow Flag Line: runs between Nonthaburi and Ratburana districts in Bangkok (Rush hours only). (3 trips in the morning of holiday period from Nonthaburi to Sathorn, and 3 trips in the evening from Sathorn to Nonthaburi, served by large boats that also serves as tourist boat)
  • Green-Yellow Flag Line (Rush hours only; only line that goes further north from Nonthaburi Pier)
  • Tourist boat (Serves Sathorn (CEN), Oriental (N1), Si Phraya (N3), Rachawongse (N5), Memorial Bridge (N6), Tha Tien (N8), Maharaj Pier (Special pier; adjacent to Wat Phra Kaeo and Grand Palace), Wang Lang (N10), and Phra Athit (N13). After that it circles back down along the same path to Sathorn pier) It services from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM daily


Railway Pier
  1. N33 Pak Kret (Served only by green-yellow flagged boats on peak time)
  2. N32 Wat Klang Kret (Served only by green-yellow flagged boats on peak time)
  3. N31 Ministry of Commerce (Served only by green-yellow flagged boats on peak time)
  4. N30 Nonthaburi (Phibun Songkhram 3) - a large market of the city (Terminal pier for all lines, except a green-yellow flag)
  5. N29 Phibun Songkhram 2 - Rama V Bridge and Wat Nakhon In
  6. (N29) Rama V bridge (Thonburi bank): Newly built pier; served only by orange flagged boats
  7. N28 Wat Khian (Served only by local boat (No flag); Orange flag serves on off-peak hours)
  8. N27 Wat Tuek (Served only by local boat (No flag))
  9. N26 Wat Khema (Served only by local boat (No flag))
  10. N25 Phibun Songkhram 1 (Served only by local boat (No flag))
  11. N24 Rama VII Bridge (Thon Buri Bank)
  12. N23 Wat Soi Thong (Served only by local boat (No flag))
  13. N22 Bang Pho
  14. N21 Kiakkai - Military venue at the northernmost of Samsen Road
  15. N20 Khiao Khai Ka (Served only by local boat (No flag))
  16. N19 Department of Irrigation (Served only by local boat (No flag))
  17. N18 Phayap - Access to northern section of Sam Sen Road
  18. N17 Wat Thep Nari (Served only by local boat (No flag))
  19. N16 Krung Thon Bridge
  20. N15 Thewet - Flower market and Vietnamese community
  21. N14 Rama VIII Bridge - Bank of Thailand (Served only by local boat (No flag))
  22. N13 Phra Athit - Khao San Road and Bang Lamphu clothing market
  23. N12 Phra Pin Klao Bridge - Close to the Southern Bus Terminal
  24. N11 Thon Buri Railway - Terminal of SRT Western line (Served only by local boat (No flag))
  25. N10 Wang Lang (Siriraj) - Siriraj Hospital and ladies market
  26. N9 Tha Chang - Grand Palace, museums and universities quarter
  27. N8 Tha Tian - dried seafood market and notable temples
  28. N7 Rachini - 24 hour flower market (Served only by local boat (No flag))
  29. N6 Memorial Bridge - Little India and night market, ferry to Portuguese community
  30. N5 Ratchawong - Chinatown
  31. N4 Marine Department
  32. N3 Si Phraya - Close to Portuguese and French embassies
  33. N2 Wat Muang Khae (Served only by local boat (No flag))
  34. N1 Oriental - Old Westerner quarter
  35. CEN Sathon (Taksin Bridge) - Interchange and terminal of BTS Silom line; (terminal pier of peak-direction yellow flag boats and green-yellow flag boats, and also tourist boat)
  36. S1 Wat Sawettrachat (Served only by local boat (No flag))
  37. S2 Wat Worachanyawat
  38. S3 Wat Rat Singkhon (Terminal pier for local boat (No flag) and orange-flagged boats)
  39. S4 Rat Burana (Big C) - Terminal pier for counter-peak direction yellow-flagged boats (generally smaller boats than peak direction)


  1. ^ http:
  2. ^ Chao Phraya Express Boat Co.,Ltd
  3. ^ [1]

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