River Boat Commute

Bangkok Travel Blog

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Longtail Boat heading down river
Today we had our orientation at Thammasat University which is located near the river in the Rattanakosin part of Bangkok.  This area is a much older part of Bangkok and is not serviced by the subway or skytrain directly, which meant to get there I either had to take a long and expensive (relatively so for Bangkok) taxi ride or get more creative.  John and I decided for the more creative route and took the subway and sky train all the way down south to Sathorn pier and boarded an express river boat to take us back north to Thammasat. 

 
It’s a rather out of the way path to take since we live north of the University and are catching a boat south it, but due to Bangkok’s infamous rush hour traffic, it actually took us about the same amount of time as we were told a cab ride would take.

Holy Rosary Catholic Church.
  Plus, it was far more interesting.  The trip on the river was very cool.  Bangkok is a city of contradictions and no where is that more apparent than along the river.  During our 30 minute boat ride we saw everything from fishing shanty’s, to high-rise condominiums, to Buddhist temples.  There was even a Catholic Church along the way.  It was a relatively peaceful ride along the river which was bustling with activity as longtail boats, river ferries, large barges, and tour boats all moved up and down the river stopping at various docks along the way. 

 
The river express boats, like the one we took, are color coded according to the number of stops they make along the river.  We took a yellow flagged boat which only stopped twice prior to our stop across the river from Thammasat.

Pagoda along the River
  Then we took a cross-river ferry for 3 baht (about 9 cents) and found our way to the Law Faculty building for the orientation. 

The orientation included talks by several lawyers from the various firms the 4 of us will be working at.  Two of the speakers were Americans who have lived and worked in Bangkok for a long time.  I am sure some of the information I learned will come in handy starting on Thursday when I start my first day at the office.  I also met Dr. Sutharm who is one of the partners at ILCT where I will be working.  He seems very friendly and it should be a great experience working at the firm. 

 
For lunch, the school provided a traditional Thai lunch with dishes such as Thai green curry, bamboo soup, assorted fish dishes, several types of fruit, and a coconut milk soup with these little green gelatinous things in it that apparently come from a flower.

Wat Arun Temple from the River Boat
  The Bamboo soup was my favorite, it was kind of chicken broth with these long tubes of the inside material of bamboo which were kind of spongy looking.  They tasted somewhat like potatoes and made for a delicious soup ingredient.  The curry was pretty good too, spicy but not to the extreme.  I didn’t care for the coconut milk soupy thing, but the fruit was delicious, especially the pineapple. 


After the orientation, the University gave John and I a ride home, and now I am just relaxing until I go find some dinner somewhere.    

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Longtail Boat heading down river
Longtail Boat heading down river
Holy Rosary Catholic Church.
Holy Rosary Catholic Church.
Pagoda along the River
Pagoda along the River
Wat Arun Temple from the River Boat
Wat Arun Temple from the River Boat
Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew Com…
Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew Co…
Bangkok
photo by: Deats