From The Atlanta to Old Bangkok
A quick, pleasant and economical way to travel with a little bit of adventure from The Atlanta Hotel to Old Bangkok in order to visit the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Po), the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), the National Museum, the Giant Swing, etc., etc., ....
Travel by BTS (Sky Train) via the upmarket commercial heart of Bangkok (around Siam Station), then passing Lumpinee Park (the main park in downtown Bangkok), passing the financial district of Bangkok (around Silom Station) to the Chao Phraya River, then by the Chao Phraya River Express (river bus) to Old Bangkok. The travel time is less than one hour, with 37 minutes actually on transportation and the rest walking or waiting on a platform or jetty. Total cost? Bahts 59.- Less than US$ 2.- one way.
If you are starting from The Atlanta Hotel, walk to the corner of the lane (Soi 2 Sukhumvit), a distance of 600 meters/yards, then turn left. Keep walking. Within 30 seconds, you will cross railroad tracks, then pass under the Expressway, and you will see a staircase going up from the footpath / pavement to Ploen Chit BTS (Sky Train) Station. Go up the stairs, change banknotes for coins at the ticket window, then use the coins to buy a ticket at the ticket machine for Sapan Taksin (Taksin Bridge) [สะพานตากสิน]. The ticket costs Bahts 44. The ticket machine gives change.
Take the train, direction Mo Chit, to Siam Station (2 stops) [สถานีสยาม]. Siam Station is in the heart of Bangkok's upmarket shopping district.
Change platform, take train, direction Bang Wa, to Sapan Taksin (Taksin Bridge) (6 stops) [สะพานตากสิน]. BTS (Sky Train) travel time 12 minutes.
Follow passengers down from the station to the jetties on the Chao Phraya River.
There are three jetties: one for the ferry, one for tour boats, and one for the Chao Phraya Express.
We recommend you take the Chao Phraya Express Orange Line, flying an orange flag. The Orange Line river bus you take travels northward (ie. facing the river, the river bus comes from your left going to your right). Hop on board and disembark at Ta Chang (= Elephant Pier, where the royal elephants from the Grand Palace used to bathe) [ท่าช้าง] for the Grand Palace, etc. Orange Flag river bus travel time is 25 minutes. The ticket costs Bahts 15. The Chao Phraya Express Orange Line service is several times per hour from 6:00 hrs till 19:00 hrs. Two further points to note. First, the last river bus leaves it northernmost terminus at 19:00 hrs so it should reach piers near the Grand Palace at about 20:00 hrs. Secondly, if you disembark on the way, you will have to buy a new ticket.
There are other lines, viz., Yellow Line (yellow flag), Green Line (green flag) and Local Line (no flag), one cheaper than the other, and all cheaper than the Orange Line, but the Yellow, Green and Local Lines run during weekday rush hour only.
You can also take the Blue Line, which is the tourist boat, service every 30 minutes, 9:30 hrs till 17:30 hrs, ticket is Bahts 40 one way, or Bahts 150 for an unlimited number of rides, meaning you may disembark anywhere along the way and then embark again later the same day. The tourist boat is much slower and provides excessive commentary.
All fares can be paid on the river bus or at the kiosk on the pier.
Beware! After disembarking, you will meet tuk-tuk drivers and touts who tell you temples are closed and suggest shopping instead. Ignore them!
As Thailand has become quite a prosperous country, the old temples and palaces are all being magnificently restored. They are well worth a leisurely visit. For a 360 degree preview of the principal building housing the main Buddha statue in each of the most famous temples in Bangkok which you can easily visit, <click here>.
Lost? Missed last river bus back from any pier near the Grand Palace (some time between 19:00 hrs and 20:00 hrs)?
For taxi: Please take me to The Atlanta Hotel. Use the meter.
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