Car Ferry across the Chao Phraya

In Samut Prakan, if we want to go to the other side of the river we can take the passenger ferry at Paknam Market to Phra Samut Chedi for only 2 baht. There are no bridges across the Chao Phraya river in Samut Prakan Province. So, if we want to go by car, we have to head towards Bangkok and then take the car ferry at the end of Sukaswat Road for 20 baht. To visit Phra Samut Chedi on foot it would only take 10 minutes from the market. But, by car, it would take at least 45 minutes to reach the temple. When I went at the weekend we were stuck in a traffic jam along Sukaswat Road and it took us 90 minutes in total!

One of the reasons for the traffic jam was that there are not so many car ferries running at the moment. The one I usually use to cross the river has been closed because of the construction of the mega bridge. So, there are not so many ferries any more. In the pictures above, you can see the two different kinds of ferries. On the left the passenger ferry and on the right the car ferry. In the background of the left picture you can see about 4 or 5 of the red car ferries.

These are going back and forth at frequent intervals. I am not sure how many accidents occur but it is a little scarey at times. The trip up the ramp to the ferry is bad enough as there is little room for error as you ascend. I always take off my seatbelt at this point just in case! Then, as we make our way across the river, we have to dodge the big container ships heading further up-river to the port at Klong Toey.

On the left is one of the tug boats that help swing the ferries around as they dock. On the right is one of the container ships. This one is carrying wood. You can see the car ferry waiting for it to pass.

I guess once the mega bride is completed, the car ferries will disappear. A shame in a way as it adds character to the area. But, you have to keep up with progress. I will speak of the new mega bridge later and share with you some of the pictures I took of the bridge construction. It is a really amazing project. You should see the artist’s impression of what it will look like. Quite unique.


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