The River Life

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Chao Phraya River is considered as the blood vessel of central Thailand. It is the river of life, the settlement for many races, the origin of the river life cultures, and most importantly, it was also the main channel for trade and transportation in the past.

Unsurprisingly, Bangkok has been recognized as the Venice of South-East Asia. Since people’s life relied on the water, the fronts of all ancient houses faced the river. Before 1942, Thailand mainly used water transports, for both trade and passenger purposes. There would be the green and red passenger boats and the tugboats which were inclusively called as the taxi-boat, available at each pier and port along the Chao Phraya route.

The port in Talad Noi area was also the center of river trade as well. There were trades between Thai merchants and also international trades with big cargo ships. In the past, this port was one of the most crowded ports, as many said that there would be more than 4-5 boats stacked from the bank to the middle of the Chao Phraya River.​

Water transit has declined after the coming of other new transportation. However, the historical milestones of Thailand are still situated along both sides of the Chao Phraya River’s bank and telling the stories of prosperity in the old days as always.



Chao Phraya longtail boat is one of the highlights of Bangkokian‘s water transportations from past till present. This illustration is adapted from a real longtail boat which is simplified to show its interesting details.