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Wat Arun and Grand Palace by Chao Phraya Express boat

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Dubai
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Wat Arun and Grand Palace by Chao Phraya Express boat

Which is the easiest way to get from Sathorn Taksin pier to Wat Arun? Is there a direct one from Taksin to Wat Arun or do I need to change boats? How easy it is to get across to the other side?

What station is closer to the main entrance fo the Grand Palace, Tha Tien or Tha Chang?

From what age do kids pay ticket on the Chao Phraya Express boat?

Thanks!

Bangkok, Thailand
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1. Re: Wat Arun and Grand Palace by Chao Phraya Express boat

Take the orange flag express boat to the Tha Chang, N-9. From there, walk directly inland, IGNORING ALL THE HELPFUL PEOPLE,.... I repeat, IGNORING ALL THE HELPFUL PEOPLE,... until you come upon the entrance to the Grand Palace.

After you clear the the pier "concourse", you'll come to the street. Cross the street and continue inland, with the white wall to your right. The entrance to the grounds will just be a short distance. Again, IGNORE ALL THE HELPFUL PEOPLE OUTSIDE.

To get to Wat Arun, hop off at Tha Tien, N-8. From there, I believe there is a cross river ferry to Wat Arun.

Don't know the age for fares.

This area probably has the biggest infestation of tour scammers in the city. Ignore friendly strangers.

Dubai
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2. Re: Wat Arun and Grand Palace by Chao Phraya Express boat

Thanks Curt for the prompt reply.

And thanks a lot for the warning against scammers...believe me, I have read so much about it! I will avoid any eye contact!!!

I have another question. I am reading that the no-flag boats (that is the one I have to take to get to Tha Tien 8)only run from 6-8.30pm and then from 3-6pm. Is that so? That's quite bad, as I am only arriving to BKK in the morning and I won't be able to be there before 8.30am....and I don't want to wait until 3pm either.

Is this right? Is there any other way of getting to Wat Arun? Will it take too long to take a Taxi from Taksin to Wat Arun? I was trying to avoid taxis as much as I could within BKK, as I am not looking forward to spend hours stuck in traffic.

Bangkok, Thailand
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3. Re: Wat Arun and Grand Palace by Chao Phraya Express boat

I haven't used that ferry, but I would imagine that the hours you quote would be for "commuter" runs. I would hope that the Wat Arun run might have different hours.

Melbourne Australia
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4. Re: Wat Arun and Grand Palace by Chao Phraya Express boat

Curt is basically correct. Take the Chao Phraya Express from Saphin Taksin Pier and get off at the Grand Palace stop.

The cross river ferry to the Wat Arun runs every 10 minutes or thereabouts, and the fare is 5 baht. When you finish at the Wat Arun, take the cross river ferry back to the Grand Palace Pier and wait for the next express boat to take you back to Saphan Taksin Pier.

The fare to the Grand Palace is around 15 baht one way.

As Curt has mentioned, both around the Grand Palace and to a lesser extent the Wat Arun you will undoubtedly be approached by scammers and con artists who will inform you that the Grand Palace is closed for the King's holiday or something similar. Feign complete ignorance and march onwards.

Foster City
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5. Re: Wat Arun and Grand Palace by Chao Phraya Express boat

Curt basically got it right but his explanation was a bit complicated. To get to Grand Palace get off at stop #9 Tha Chang, head towards the exit and follow the crowd straight onto the street. The Grand Palace will be right in front of you (you'll see the white walls on the right). Just follow the people (or wall) to the entrance and don't forget to bring long pants (or money for a deposit for a sarong).

To get to Wat Arun start at #8 Tha Thien and take the ferry that goes across the river. You can ask the lady at the gate which one goes to Wat Arun, she'll direct you. Once you get across make sure you get there well before 5pm because I got there at 4:55pm and the guard would not let me in, even for a few minutes. Wasted my time, but at least I got some nice pictures.

I should warn you about late ferries from Tha Thien back to Saphan Taksin, there aren't many. I believe I got back across the river in about 25 minutes and I waited close to an hour before a ferry came to take us back.

As far as the fastest way to get there, it might be fairly quick to take taxi from Saphan Taksin to Wat Arun because I don't know if there's much traffic on that side of the river. Also, it depends on when you take the taxi. During non-rush hours and weekends the traffic is manageable.

The fare from Saphan Taksin to Tha Thien or Tha Chang is 14 baht each way. You can pay on the boat or at the ticket counter. At Saphan Taksin there are two different piers. The first one takes you across the river. The second pier is far more popular and has two different windows. One is a professional looking window that says "Chao Phraya Cruises", and the other window is right next to the Chao Phraya Cruises with either one or two ladies sitting down at a table looking like they are scalping tickets. If you want to save money, you go to the women sitting at the table.

Don't worry about the touts. That was easily the most overblown thing I read about. I didn't see any touts when I got off at Tha Chang except for a taxi driver. And I never saw anyone telling me the Grand Palace was closed, not that they don't exist, but people exaggerate.

I did sort of get taken. It was the subtle most thing I'd ever seen. I was near Bamrung Muang Road near the Giant Swing. There was a dark skinned man with a big voice who seemed very helpful. He explained to me he was waiting for his wife who was working inside the government building just across the street. He showed me his official looking jacket and told me he worked in some official capacity. He convinced me to take a Tuk Tuk to see a popular Wat, then the TAT (Tourist Authority Thailand), then a jewelry store, then back to the BTS station. When he mentioned the jewelry store, that's when my suspicions were aroused, but considering they were including the trip to the Wat, and the TAT (where I wanted to kind of visit anyways) and the Tuk Tuk driver was willing to wait for me, I figured it wasn't such a bad deal. So the Tuk Tuk driver took me to see all the sights, I was happy and I paid him.

The next day, I took a taxi in that same part of the city and saw the exact same man standing in the exact same spot helping a couple of tourists. It was a subtle little scheme, that wasn't really much of a scam because there was some pretty equitable return on investment, but even I, who felt was well read on the scams, was surprised I got taken in. They have some real elaborate schemes going on over here, but not all of it is evil or bad.

Dubai
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6. Re: Wat Arun and Grand Palace by Chao Phraya Express boat

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply, it's very much appreciated.

Curt, regarding the times, what do you mean that are only ''commuter'' times? I read this information on a Bangkok's map (so no idea how reliable this is!) According to this,the Orange Flag is operating from 6am-7pm...so how far is Tha Chang from Tha Tien? Is it easy to walk back towards Tha Tien to take the cross ferry? Does anyone know if there No-flag ferries operate between 8.30 amd and 3 pm?

Mahadragon, thanks for your long reply. I am a little confused about this:

''The second pier is far more popular and has two different windows. One is a professional looking window that says "Chao Phraya Cruises", and the other window is right next to the Chao Phraya Cruises with either one or two ladies sitting down at a table looking like they are scalping tickets. If you want to save money, you go to the women sitting at the table''.

What is the difference between these two services? Are there several ferry companies? How much cheaper are the ladies sitting at the table? I thought I read somewhere that you bought the tickets on board, is that right?

Another question is how easy/difficult it would be to board the ferries with a pram, as I will have one. The hubby will be dealing with it, but still, juts to be aware if he will need to be quick and strong at the time of disembarking. And no, unfortunately I can't really go out with a small child and no pram.

Thanks!

Bangkok, Thailand
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7. Re: Wat Arun and Grand Palace by Chao Phraya Express boat

cheapeatsbangkok.com/html/other/other11.html

That photo is looking back towards the Tha Chang pier. Everyone seen in the photo, with the possible exception of the young lady in the distance, is trying to think of a means to extract baht.

I am rarely approached. I really don't look like someone who wants to talk.

The only time I am approached is when I am simply "hangin' out", waiting for the Mrs. while she does "woman stuff".

In over a decade of extended visits to Bangkok, and over a year living here, no Thai has ever approached me without an angle.

If you are approached, it's best to politely move on. If you are taken to a shop, odds are there are better deals on better quality to be had.

Thais are quite friendly and helpful when called upon. But, they are also quite modest. It is not normal for a Thai to simply strike up a conversion with a stranger, let alone a foreigner.

Hopefully you carry yourself with confidence. But, with a small child in tow, you may look like a mark. Children can often create confusion that is easily played.

Moscow, Russia
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8. Re: Wat Arun and Grand Palace by Chao Phraya Express boat

> I didn't see any touts when I got off at Tha Chang except for a taxi driver. And I never saw anyone telling me the Grand Palace was closed, not that they don't exist, but people exaggerate.

Please don't dismiss other people's evidence just because it's never happened to you.

In a single day we had one person telling us that the Grand Palace was closed as we were walking there, and then we had another one telling us that Wat Pho was closed as we were walking to Wat Pho.

Bangkok, Thailand
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9. Re: Wat Arun and Grand Palace by Chao Phraya Express boat

Sorry, I was composing while you were posting!

After reading Mahadragon's post, I'm confuse! ;-)

The difference between the "Cruises" and the simple table is their purpose. The table ladies are simply selling one trip fares. The "cruises" are more likely to sell only "Tour Boat" passes and such.

Is Hubby athletic? Boarding the ferry with a pram shouldn't be too difficult. Boarding with a mass of people might be what is the pain (but doable). At least the river ferries tie off. Forget trying to take a klong taxi !!!!!

The distance between the two piers is probably a half kilometer.

Dubai
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10. Re: Wat Arun and Grand Palace by Chao Phraya Express boat

Thanks Curt.

So one is a cruise and the other is just the normal commuter ferry? I only have time to do Wat Arun on that day (we will be quite tired and I don't want to over do it). So probably would stick to the ladies in the table. Can you buy tickets on board or not?

The hubby is quite athletic...but he is rather reluctant about taking the buggy (it is a double buggy, the Phil&Ted one, if you know it) and it has taken me a lot to convience him that we really, really have to take it. My son is 4, but he will get very tired and he will want to sit after a while (especially with the heat). So I am just bracing myself for his moaning when he'll have to carry that pram with a million commuters...it won't be pretty, but I would rather put of with his moodiness for 10 minutes than having to put up nwith my son's for hours!