Stretching from west to east across Bangkok, Khlong Saen Saeb is a canal that begins in the Old City near the Mahakan Fortress, and runs all the way to Chachoengsao Province. Boat services travel through places like Phayathai, Pratunam, Chidlom, and Thonglor, providing a fast and inexpensive way to visit these central areas while avoiding Bangkok’s notorious traffic.
While bordering on dangerously busy during rush hour, taking a Khlong Saen Saep boat outside of these busy times is convenient for shopping and sightseeing, and is especially useful for getting to and from Siam Square and other key places in the city. There are various temples, markets, traditional wooden houses, and ornate bridges along the route, and it is possible to walk or cycle along the banks in many places.
The Khlong Saen Saep boats are known for their haphazard service, and are often even dangerous in terms of boarding and alighting in busy periods. In this sense, they are perhaps not suitable for families with small children. If you’re looking to explore the daily life and key sights that teem around Bangkok’s canals in a more relaxed manner, there are plenty of canal tours to choose from; set out on bikes along the banks of the waterways, hop onto a rice barge or small teak boat, or get out of the city altogether on a countryside canal adventure.
Tickets for the Khlong Saen Saep boats are purchased onboard, and range from 10 to 20 bahts, depending on the distance. (Try to have small change to make life easier for everyone.) There are two lines serving the route: the western line, terminating at Wat Saket near the Khao San Road, and the eastern line, which finishes at Wat Si Bunrueang.
Did You Know? The 18-kilometer Khlong Saen Saep route is served by 100 boats with 40-50 seats each. The service carries around 60,000 passengers per day.