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Klong river taxis - how do I tell which one to take?

Klong river taxis - how do I tell which one to take?

Feb 8th, 2006, 10:06 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Klong river taxis - how do I tell which one to take?

I'm going to Thailand this month - also with Smartours - and want to take the klong river taxis in Bangkok instead of hiring a long tail boat for x hours. I like the idea of getting out and walking around whenever I fancy but I'm confused about how to tell which one I want. I have a Lonely Planet guide to Bangkok that plots out what seems like a nice route, but I don't know how to tell which taxi to take. I've read they have different color flags. True? Not? Can someone advise?
jahlie is offline  
Feb 8th, 2006, 10:45 AM
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The two links below are about taking "Khlong" (canal) tours through Bangkok. Looks like there are a couple of different ways you can do it. I've never done it, but hope to get a chance on this next trip.


Kristina is offline  
Feb 8th, 2006, 11:08 AM
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We used the river taxis in Bangkok when we were there last month to go up and down the main river. Although I used the map in Lonely Planet, I found it very useful to study the map I found at each of the piers. If I remember correctly, the pier numbers in the book differ from those used at the actual piers (which were Very handy).

Yes, they use flags. Look for boats with a fairly large yellow or orange flag flying from the back of the boat. Ignore the small flag (12 inches maybe) that flys at the front of ALL the boats.

The map at the pier shows which boat (yellow or orange) stops at which piers. Choose your boat accordingly. Remember that the local citizens use these just like a bus, so during rush hour the boats get very full.

The fare is paid after you get on the boat. A person walks thru the boat shaking a small change box. You pay the fare and she gives you change and a ticket.

We didn't travel any of the side Klongs, so I don't have any furhter information for those.
Love2Travel64 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2006, 04:05 PM
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The water taxis really just go on the river, not the klongs. I use them all the time when I'm in Bangkok.
Kathie is offline  
Feb 8th, 2006, 04:44 PM
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Thanks all for the info. It's odd but both Lonely Planet and the bangkok.sawadee website Kristina sent state that river taxis and boats go down various klongs for between 10 and 30 Baht per person. So Kathy, am I mistaken that a klong is a side canal? If you're in Bangkok a lot, you must know what you're talking about. Can you explain the conflicting information?

Getting the map at the pier will be useful and trying the whole thing out will be an adventure. I'll look for the flags but I bet anything I'm making this much more confusing now than it will actually turn out to be.

Thanks again - I truly appreciate the advice.

jahlie is offline  
Feb 8th, 2006, 05:23 PM
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There are water taxis that go up and down the river. These are the ones with the flags that an earlier poster described. Most of them are regular water taxis used by the locals, but there are also special boats for tourists that give running commentaries as you travel along the river. I used both because I couldn't figure out ahead of time which was which. Of course, the tourist boat is a little more expensive.

Then there are also the boats that take guests to the large hotels across the river. And smaller boats that shuttle between piers from one side of the river to another.

In other words, there are a variety of boats coming and going -- just cross your fingers and hope you get on the right on. If you get on the wrong one, think of it as an adventure!

Next, in regard to the klongs, yes, these are side canals. There are long thin boats (I think they are called cigarette boats) that travel up and down the klongs more or less on schedule. They stop at the piers only momentarily, and my daughter and I were afraid we'd be too slow to get in before they pulled away. They seemed to be used mainly by the locals who really knew what they're doing.

Then there are the long tailed boats that you can rent by the hour. You can find these at any of the piers on the river. They will take you wherever you want to go.

A little confusing? Yes. But lots of fun! Enjoy your trip.

OJudy is online now  
Feb 8th, 2006, 05:31 PM
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The water taxis are just on the river, and have flags as per LovetoTravel's info. There are small boats (not at all like the water taxis that go up and down some klongs, as per OJudy's description. They do not go up and down the river, and you'll need specific instructions on how to find them. They are used mostly by locals, as she says. You can also rent a longtail boat for yourself to tour the klongs.

When people on this board talk about taking a boat to the Grand Palace, for instance, we are talking about the water taxis.
Kathie is offline  
Feb 8th, 2006, 05:55 PM
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Well, I guess there are an awful lot of boats going just about everywhere and OJudy makes it sound like so much fun. The up and down the river taxis will be easy but exploring the klongs might take a bit more plotting. I'll just have to give it all a try and report back when I return. With a map, gestures (good ones, of course) and luck I think I'll get up a klong or two. Thanks
jahlie is offline  
Feb 8th, 2006, 06:37 PM
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Great! Do report back to us.
Kathie is offline  
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