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  1. #1
    loob lor geezer
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    Slowboat to Chinatown

    It was a Wednesday morning and I was hungover from finishing off half a bottle of Lao Khao the previous evening. Still, with nothing else on except a headache , I decided to make the long trip into Chinatown to get some merchandise for my new , doomed to ignominious failure , business enterprise.

    I never take the car into the city if I can help it but I didn't fancy catching the 177 bus from Bangyai either. Too much traffic .
    Remembering that Ratchawong Pier is right in Chinatown, I thought a trip down the Chao Phrya might be pleasant and would help blow some of the cobwebs from my aching barnet.

    Leaving home at a late 11 o'clock , I drove the 20 minutes to Nonthaburi and left the car in the Major Cineplex car park. Five minutes walking from there and I was at the Nonthaburi Pier clock tower which was having a facelift.





    Behind that is the entrance to the pier itself








    There is a bit of an esplanade along the bank of the river here but not much to see. Probably pretty at night though for a romantic rendevous.







    Looking at the route map , I observed my destination was just a blue smudge where there be dragons etc.




    There are several lines that operate on the river from here. The cheapest , at 10 baht , stops at every pier and takes about an hour and a half. The blue line is the fastest ,making very few stops . When I arrived there was a boat of the orange line waiting which is between the others mentioned , only making frequent stops when it is near Rattanakosin.
    You get your ticket on the boat from the conductor so I was straight on to grab a seat, easy at the begining of the trip, impossible later. The flat fare for all destinations is 15 baht.






    At many points on the river you can catch a 1 or 2 baht ferry to the other bank on one of these.



    However, one day I would really like to hire one of these little beasts for a quick blast around some of the canals on the western bank. In fact, in theory I could take one of these almost to my front door in Bangyai, water gates not withstanding.





    After a 10 minute wait the conductress and driver turned up which was good as there was no breeze and it was getting very sticky. Then we were off





    More to follow.
    Last edited by Bangyai; 24-02-2012 at 06:36 PM.

  2. #2
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    nice post and pictures khun Bangyai

  3. #3
    loob lor geezer
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    Lots of these tugs working the river, towing long trails of laden barges going down to Klong Toei. Thats another thing I'd like to do. Get on board one and check out the living quarters. One day maybe.




    About 10 minutes into the trip we passed under the double bridge at Rama 7. Road and rail. The rail line heads to the south of Thailand.










    And just passed the bridge, on the left , is Wat Sai Thong with its own clock tower. At least, I think it is Wat Sai Thong. If not , its probably Wat Wajamacalit.





    And then , a very important place of pillgrimage to many of the nations inebriated.
    The Boon Rawd Brewery.




    Then we were making one of the few stops on the early part of the trip to let on some monks and other pilgrims. Note unfineshed apartment block behind pier. Been like that quite a while now.





    And a place I wouldn't mind living in myself when my boat comes in ( being towed by a salvage dredger probably )




    As we passed another barge procession , Thonburi bridge loomed up


  4. #4
    Thailand Expat
    aging one's Avatar
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    Nice as always Bangyai, keep it going ....

  5. #5
    loob lor geezer
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    Shortly after the bridge is what I think is St Francis Cistavir church peeping over the rooftops.






    Then the boat stops at Thewet pier , from where I used to get all my plants when I lived in the city. Interesting looking eatery next door with nice views over the river.







    This was probably a nice place once but looks a bit forlorn now






    Very near Khao Sahn Road now with Santi Chai Prakan park on the river bank. The boat was getting pretty full up now with back packers heading down river.




    Managed to get a shot in of the Rama 8th bridge though. Very pretty.





  6. #6
    loob lor geezer
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    If you need to be near Khao Sahn road but want a view you could do worse than this place.






    Next up is Phra Pinklao bridge. Cross this often , either in the car or on the 516 bus from Bangyai.





    The Royal Seminary where I guess they store all the ...... whatever.
    Nice looking building





    Wat Phra Kaew ( or Wat Phra Gaew if you prefer )






    A landmark condominion as we get near Ratchawong. You can see the distinctive dome on this from a long way off. Its name is ........... ( fill in the blank for bonus green )




    Finaly arrive at Ratchawong pier for my bit of shopping in Sahm Peng




    More to come yet if handbags are your thing.

  7. #7
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    Takeovers's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting. A very nice report with great pictures.

  8. #8
    loob lor geezer
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    As you leave the pier this resteraunt with riverside views is on the left. A bit pricey but had a nice meal there once in the days when I was flush with inflated pounds stirling.






    Walking up Ratchawong you'll see this lovely old building with a lot of filigrie. Very nice indeed.









    Now, although I wasn't looking for one myself , Ms Bangyai asked me to checkout the the price of handbags at ' raka song ' wholesale price. Typically, stuff like this would cost 250 each or 150 each for orders 50 and up.

    While I was looking there were a couple of Pakistanis haggling for a hundred. That was quite a performance which I should have taped for posterity.











    So, getting bored with that I went to persue my own interest down Sahm Peng market area




    Unfortunately, my hangover had left me feeling a bit pasty and by the time I got to Klong Thom across Yaowarat road , I was flagging. I decided to call it a day outside Wat Chai Chanat






    Pity that, as now I'll have to go again.

    Anyways, buses out of here are slower than treacle up a slippery hill so I headed back to the river for an upriver boat.

    This picture of a boat going downstream gives you an idea of how crowded they are going that way.





    Luckily, I was going upstream and managed to park my bun next to a monk.

    Nice looking Chinese temple on the West bank Thonburi side.





    And heading north there is another well known Church , Santa Cruz convent.
    Amen




    And finaly, just to show that tugs don't only pull things. They also do a bit of rimming.




    And that was that. Got back home after 5 hours with only a few of the items I wanted. Won't go hungover again.

  9. #9
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    6 pics up 1848
    'the chief commander who had great faith in Buddhism after he
    came back with victory after the war with the Vietnamese and the Khmer's'.

    nice pics Bangyai.

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    Brilliant pics mate. I've done that trip a 1000 times and love every trip.

    The tourist boat from Pra artit to Central is the way to go as its rarely full and much more cruisey but cant beat the river taxi for eye candy.

    Cheers

  11. #11
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    I never knew that the 203 went to Nontaburi (from Sanam LuangO; must take a bloody long time!

  12. #12
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    Lovely images ,what camera do you use look to good for phonecam?

  13. #13
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    Fabulous mix, Bangyai.
    Thanks.

  14. #14
    loob lor geezer
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    Quote Originally Posted by david44 View Post

    Lovely images ,what camera do you use look to good for phonecam?

    Glad you asked. Its a Sony H20 which I got new for 170 quid a couple of years back. Very pleased with it despite Marmite saying ' you will regret it ' . Contrary to what he said I have not been ' locked in ' to using Sony products at all ?? Probably because the camera came with a free 2 gig memory card which has been more than enough for all my needs. The only other thing I have purchased ( in Poundland ) was a little tripod which uses standard thread.

    Takes a pretty fair HD vido too.




  15. #15
    loob lor geezer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post

    I never knew that the 203 went to Nontaburi (from Sanam LuangO; must take a bloody long time!
    Yes it does and yes it does. I took it once from here to Sanam Luang about 7 years ago on a Sunday. At first it blasted along but ran into traffic nearer the Phra Pinklao Bridge.
    Buses are o.k. as long as you don't have to strap hang in the rush hour, then its torture.....unless you're squashed up against some pretty office fluff, then it has a couple of good points.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the excellent report, I nearly felt I was with you.

  17. #17
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    Incidentally, the slow boat you have depicted is called Ruea Deuan in thai language. Meaning Express Boat
    The slow boat must be the Ruea Kham Fark, boat cross bring.

  18. #18
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    Good post. Excellent thread and the narrative excellent. Looking forward to your next one.

  19. #19
    Being chased by sloths DJ Pat's Avatar
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    Nice familiar route I used to de-hangover myself on.....splash of water on the face and some better air....

  20. #20
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    Best value for money

    Hangover or no, the river taxi is the best value for money in Bangkok. Anytime I have visitors I put them on the river taki at Saphan Thaksin and send them upriver to the end of the line and back. They love it. Next time I'll refer them to this post. Nice job.

  21. #21
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    Spent a life timer at sea - thought I had got over it! Now i want to go back! Nice thread, ever thought of journalism?

  22. #22
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    I have also spend i life time at sea 40 years and i like this photos i lot

  23. #23
    loob lor geezer
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    ^ Thanks for the above comments.

    One more for you old tars then. Some landing craft that seem to be permanently moored on the east bank. Wonder if they got a chance to use them during the floods ?


  24. #24
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    The pilgrims with the buddha monks look more like an NGO patrol -
    (+one hidden) 2 male falungs and 2 ladies, one thai one falung.
    Do they really need to carry their laptops on a riverboat cruise.
    That intense look - "what you photographing me"
    Thank you for the lovely photos but with NGOs and backpackers
    I think that I will just enjoy your photos.

  25. #25
    Member Phrakhanong's Avatar
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    Great post. I've done that trip a few times, but you managed to snap a few buildings I never noticed before!

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