Today we hopped on the tourist express boat, and headed north along the Chao Phraya river. Our destination, the Grand Palace, and the temple of the Emerald Buddha at Wat Phra Kaeo.
Our hotel is only a few minutes walk away from the Sathorn Central ferry pier, from where we can take the Chao Phraya Express Boat. The river is a major transport artery through the city, with many of the most popular tourist attractions along its banks or within easy walking distance. There are a variety of ferry services available, each identified by flags. They range from the basic orange flagged ferry with a flat fee of 15 Baht which stops at every pier, through to the Tourist Express which stops only at the more popular piers. A one day tourist river pass costs 180 baht per person (less than £5), and allows unlimited hop-on hop-off travel on a frequent service with running commentary on the sights. Private Hire is also available on one of the many long-tail speedboats, but at a price!
There’s a strict dress code to be observed at the Grand Palace, and so we dressed accordingly. Admission is quite pricey for non-Thai visitors, at 500 Baht (approx £15), although the site is quite large and takes a good few hours to explore fully.
Still feeling a little jet-lagged from our journey, and with the 34°C heat and 90% humidity rapidly taking its toll, we decided to retire early to the hotel and enjoy the rest of the day lazing around the pool.
Tomorrow, another trip along the river, this time to visit the National Museum and the Khao San Road area.