A few months back, I went exploring along Saen Saeb Canal on my bicycle from Kwan Riam Floating Market to Wat Sri Bunruang. There was a path for much of the way but in a number of places I had to make big diversions. The BMA are working on building a path on both sides all the way, but it isn’t finished yet. This time I wanted to see if I could cycle all the way into Bangkok from Wat Sri Bunruang.
I parked my car at Wat Sri Bunruang but before I started the cycle trip, I wanted to take the new canal boat service that goes between Wat Sri Bunruang and Minburi Market. It is free at the moment until 13 August 2013. There are 14 piers along the route and it only runs from 6am-9am and 4pm-7:30pm. Despite it being free at the moment, there weren’t that many people using the boat (A) but I’m told that it is more popular with commuters during the week. The first section the boat travelled quite quickly, but in places where there were no walkways the boat had to slow down or the wake would have swamped the houses. At one point we also had to change boats due to a closed Water Gate (B). The main tourist attraction along the route is Kwan Riam Floating Market (C) which is only open at the weekend. The final stop was the Minburi Market next to the district office. The journey had taken about 45 minutes. As boat services in the morning finished at 9 a.m. I had to return to Wat Sri Bunruang by taxi.
The next part of my journey was by bicycle. Compared to my cycle trip the other month, the walkway here was much wider (E) and mainly on both sides of the canal. However, as I got nearer to central Bangkok, the pathway wasn’t as good and sometimes I didn’t have any choice about which side that I could ride on. A few places I had to cross over, either on a bridge or a raft (F). The main tourist attraction along this canal is probably Wat Phasi (G) which has a distinctive golden pagoda. However, of more interest to me was the shrine to the last person to be publicly beheaded in Thailand. This took place on these grounds in 1919. There was only one minor diversion that I had to take due to some work taking place on a collapsed path. I couldn’t reach the end of the canal boat route. I got as far as the expressway bridge/railway (H) which is between E3 Nana Nua Pier and E2 Wireless Pier. I managed to do a small diversion here to reach E2 Wireless Pier at the bottom of Witthayu Road near Swissotel Nai Lert Hotel, but as there wasn’t any path on either side of the canal I couldn’t go any further. Unfortunately you are not allowed to put your bicycle on the boat and so I had to cycle back. My return trip took only 80 minutes as I didn’t make any stops. If you want to do this yourself starting from near the Swissotel Nai Lert Hotel, start on right then crossover at the watergate.
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This is an embed of my Google map of the Saen Saeb Canal. I am still working on it and you will hopefully see some additions over the coming months. The canal goes all the way from Bangkok to Chachoengsao and hopefully eventually I will do the entire route.