Christopher G. Moore
Chao Phraya River
I had the chance a couple of weeks ago to go on a Chao Phraya River cruise. My Swiss friend Marcel Emmenegger (making the victory sign) was the organizer, assembling people to visit Punntara Resort. Our group was composed of friends of Marcel and Khun Peerapong.
We set out from Bangkrachao in a speedboat and continued along the Chao Phraya and ultimately to the mouth of the river and the sea. We passed freighters, barges, tugboats, ferries, private pleasure boats. The loading cranes along the port were motionless on this Sunday trip. Along the river we passed traditional communities and houses; many have small wharfs, and residence can be seen fishing.
The life part of Bangkok is mostly hidden. Most people elect to stay on the ground in the city proper. At most tourists will take a one-hour long-tail boat along the Chao Phraya River.
The vastness of the Chao Phraya and its importance as an entry port, the relation of Bangkok to the sea, the locked in time life along the rive mostly remain out of sight. You have to go out and seek this experience.
Early on Sunday morning, we crossed by ferry from the Port Authority of Klong Toey to Bangkrachao. This was a three-minute ferry ride. What made this trip special was our host Khun Peerapong and his wife, after the long cruise down the Chao Phraya served us lunch, showed us around Punntara, which also houses a fighting fish museum. I learned the history of these incredible fish.
By the way, Punntara means wisdom/spirit of water. A day on the river does increase wisdom about life in Bangkok.