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City cycles

The Bangkok Tourist Bureau has organised a guided tour every Saturday evening to landmarks around Bangkok including Sanam Luang, Wat Pho, Wat Suthat, the Giant Swing and the Democracy Monument. The cost is 290 Bahtper person including bicycle hire, a guide, snack, beverage and insurance. Alternatively, if you have more time, the bureau recommends a one-day cycling tour to explore Thon Buri, located on the other side of the Chao Phraya River. Stops include Sala Dhammasop Train Station, Maha Sawat Canal and Taling Chan Floating Market. The tour runs every first Sunday of the month. At 650 Bahtper person, the fee includes bicycle hire, a guide, two meals with snacks and beverages and insurance.

For more details, call 02-255-7612-4, fax: 02-225-7616,

e-mail: bangkoktour@hotmail.com

Fun on water

For less strenuous people, Bangkok administration has organised a boat tour running on the first and third Saturday of every month to explore Bangkok Noi's historical spots. The one-day jaunt features the Royal Barge National Museum, Wat Sanguinaria, Ban Bu Handicraft Village, Wat Si Sacrum, Taling Chan Floating Market, Wat Cawing Lane and Wang Lang (Rear Palace). The trip costs 390 Bahtincluding a guide, snacks and beverages. Proceeds go to Bangkok Noi Community's Cultural Promotion Section. There is another boat tour route if you have already taken the one above. The one-day boat ride runs along Khlong Phra Khanong and stops at Wat Tai, Wat Maha But. Visitors will take a fish-feeding break at the temple of Kachon Siri built in the reign of King Rama III. The tour costs 350 Bahtper person including lunch.

For more details on the two programmes, call 02-255-7612-4, fax: 02-225-7616,

e-mail: bangkoktour@hotmail.com

River tours

The Chao Phraya River, the River of Kings, divides the present day capital of Bangkok from the older city of Thonburi, but is also provides a pleasant way to travel. There are several ferry services crossing the river, but there are also ferries that go up and down the river.

The first of these is the Express Service, that starts at the Sathorn Pier, near the Saphan Taksin station on the Sky Train. The boats carry passengers right up to Nonthaburi on the northern outskirts of the city. The entire journey takes around one hour and can give an interesting view of a variety of scenery along the way. The journey starts in the metropolis of Bangkok, takes you past Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn; the Royal Palace, the Naval College and on passed unspoilt scenery to the town of Nonthaburi, where life moves at a slower pace. Please remember that this is a normal transport service and will be very busy during the rush hours as Thai's go to and from work.

The second is a tourist service run by the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat Service. This also starts from Sathorn Pier, but has a much shorter route, with 13 stops up to the Bang Lumpoo Pier, just past the Phra Pin Klao Bridge. The boat moves at a leisurely speed to allow passengers to admire the passing scenery. They offer a one day ticket for 75 Baht which allows as many trips as you wish in one day. This allows you to get on and off to explore at each pier if you wish.

  • Sri Phraya Pier. Visit River City with its art and antique shops.
  • Ratchawongse Pier. Visit China Town with its miriad gold shops.
  • Princess Mother pier is opposite the Chinese Shrine and garden.
  • Memorial Bridge Pier gives easy access to the early morning flower market at Talad Pak Klong
    Tha Tien Pier. Visit Wat Pho, the oldest and largest temple in Bangkok, famous for the Reclining Buddha. Across the river is Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn.
  • Tha Chang Pier. Visit the Grand Palace. Please remember that respectful dress is required with no bare shoulders, and long trousers for men.
  • Maharaj Pier. Visit the National Museum
  • Wang Luang. From here you can visit the Siriraj Hospital which houses six museums including: Parasitology Museum, Ellis Pathological Museum, Forensic Medicine Musem, Prehistoric Museum, Congdon Anatomical Museum and History of Thai Medicine Museum.
  • Banglampoo Pier. Take a walking tour around Phra Sumane Fort.

The first boat leaves Sathorn Pier at 9:00am and every 30 minutes there after. The last boat leaves back at 3:00pm from Sathorn Peir, and from returns Bang Lumpoo at 4:30pm.

BTS Tourist Information Service Tel 02 617 7340
Chao Phraya Express Boat Tel 02 623 6001-3 Ext 101, 102

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