Chao Phraya River begins in central Thailand and snakes through Bangkok before emptying into the Gulf of Thailand.
Covering more than 230 miles, the river has been an important waterway for Thailand’s capitals. Both Ayutthaya, the country’s former capital, and its current capital, Bangkok, are situated on its banks. Throughout history, the Chao Phraya River and its vast network of canals have provided a key route for trade and transportation. Additionally, the river is responsible for irrigating the rice fields; rice being an agricultural staple and backbone of the Thai economy.
Even though touring the river’s canals has become a popular tourist activity, the Chao Phraya is remains a vital component of Thailand’s transportation system; nearly 50,000 people rely on the river ferry system to get around every single day.