After our 24-hour layover turned into two days in Bangkok, we needed to look more seriously at how we were going to get around this city. The best piece of advice we received was to use the public transport- it’s fast, clean, and cheaper than taxis. Buying single journey tickets was simple at the kiosks at the BTS sky train station, and the trains were clean and on time. We stayed east of the city center, so we had quite a commute to visit the iconic temples along the river! We debated whether to take a taxi from our hotel or try a water taxi. An experienced traveler we met told us to definitely take the water taxi from the BTS station closest to the river because it was the fastest way to get to all the sights downtown. We found the water taxi routes to be a little confusing. As white tourists, the ticket counter automatically sold us tourist boat tickets for way more money than the other water taxis. A plus of taking the tourist taxi was that it stopped at Wat Arun, across the river from the Grand Palace. We hopped off at Wat Arun, then took a short ferry ride across the river to Wat Pho. On the way back, we took the orange water taxi to Saphan Taxsin stop, which is where we caught BTS back to our hotel.
Along with not having to sit in traffic, taking the water taxi gave us a completely different perspective on Bangkok. We saw temples, old and new buildings, and all different kinds of boats on the river. Large clumps of water plants floated down the river past our boat. The water taxis actually went pretty fast! The boys loved watching the other boats and city from the water. In retrospect, we would have saved money and time by taking the faster orange water taxi instead of the tourist boat, but that’s OK. We found transportation around Bangkok to be easy and a breath of fresh air after the winding roads of Phuket and the crazy traffic and lack of easy public transportation in Vietnam.