Sunday, June 8, 2014

Bangkok - ferry ride on the Chao Praya

My overnight train to Butterworth in Malaysia was due to leave at 14:45 so I decided to go out early and take a ride on one of the ferries that go up and down the local river.

One of the closer points to the river which I could reach by subway was the station I would leave from that afternoon. It was not too far from the river so I decided to walk from the station and immediately crossed a bridge over this canal.

There were a few streets of industrial shops. This one sold brooms.

Believe it or not, a chocolate shop!

The Golden Buddha Temple. I decided before I set out that there would be no visiting temples this day because visiting requires long pants. Shorts would be my dress code when walking about.

Another temple.

Mysterious covered lane leading to the river.

I reached the river and could see a jetty a few hundred yards away so I headed upstream. On land of course.

The jetty. Or at least, one of them. Different jetties serve different ferry lines. This served the ultra slow version that stopped everywhere.

The slow boat to upstream. The water near the jetties was teaming with fish, some of them over a foot long.

My ferry approaching another jetty.

The fare was approximately 50 cents which would take you to the end of the line.

I have already thrown away my tourist map so I can't tell you what all the attractions are but I think this is Wat Arun

One of the fast boats that ply the river. Those of you who like James Bond films might remember seeing them in The Man with the Golden Gun.

Could be Wat Rakhangkhositraram Woramahaviha.

Another speed boat.

Those of you have been to Bangkok can possibly name these temples. I can't.

Passengers waiting at the next jetty. The boat goes past the jetty and then backs in so that passengers can get on at the rear end.  

On the boat. The seats on the left hand side in the shade were all taken. The boat had a distinct tilt to the left side.

Obviously the designer of this jetty had been inspired by a famous building in Sydney.

I think the thing that surprised me most in Bangkok is the large number of new tall apartment buildings.

Bridge over the river.

Back end of a huge barge that was being towed down stream by a tug. That would have been a fair sized house.

The houses on the river banks are a mix of old and new.

The train bridge I would cross later that afternoon.

Where the cranes meet.

Eventually we reached the terminus. All the passengers got off and I boarded another boat that was headed back down stream. Again, 50 cents, so $1 round trip. By the way, a ticket inspector boarded the ferry later and inspected everybody's ticket.

Old Bangkok.

The Thai Navy had dozens of these landing craft moored. What they were to be used for is beyond me. Our ferry was kicking up a lot of spray as it headed into the wind. I felt a few spots but they felt cool and refreshing.

A curiously modern looking building that appeared to be ready to be demolished.

Look at the size of that engine powering the speed boat.

A Christian church looks out of place among all the temples.

I finished my ferry ride near a BRT station and took the train and the subway back to the bnb. By the time I got back to the bnb, changed my clothes and packed, it was time to go to the station.

I obviously did not spend enough time in Bangkok to begin to see what is there. However, I did enjoy the ferry ride, particularly as it was relatively cool on the water.

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