Bridges old and new cross the Chao Phraya river – and yet it was less than 100 years that the first permanent structure linked the two river banks. Add fun to your river cruise by spotting some of these bridges:
The Kanchanaphisek Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge crossing the Chao Phraya river in Samut Prakan province and forms part of the outer ring road encircling Bangkok. Opened in 2007, the bridge has a span of 500 metres.
- Bhumibol 1 & 2
The Bhumibol Bridge is part of the 13 km long industrial ring road connecting southern Bangkok with Samut Prakan province. The bridge crosses the Chao Phraya river twice using two striking cable-stayed spans stretching 702 metres and 582 metres, supported by two diamond-shaped pylons.
According to tradition, all the bridges over the Chao Phraya in Bangkok are named after a member of the Royal Family and in October 2009 it was announced that both bridges would be named after King Bhumibol Adulyadej with the northern bridge officially named Bhumibol 1 and the southern bridge Bhumibol 2.
- Rama IX
Rama IX bridge connects the Yannawa and Rat Burana districts and was named in honour of the 60th birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. It was the first cable-stayed bridge in Thailand and, when opened in 1987, it had the second longest cable-stayed span in the world. The bridge was originally painted in black and white and was repainted in an all-yellow colour scheme in 2006 in further honour of His Majesty the King.
- Krunthep & Rama 111 bridges
This is a Bascule type structure (sometimes known as a drawbridge; bascule is French for seesaw and balance) and was the second bridge erected across the river. Heavy traffic congestion prompted the construction of the adjacent Rama 111 in 1999.
This a much less spectacular crossing but it still performs a vital function in channelling road traffic across the river and now also accommodates the extended track of the city’s BTS SkyTrain rail service (Silom Line).
- Phra Pok
This bridge was designed specifically to alleviate traffic congestion on the adjacent Memorial bridge.
This is a bridge of some significance for the city. It connects Phra Nahkon and Thonburi districts and was opened in 1932 by King Rama V11 in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Chakri dynasty and the foundation of Bangkok. Many Thais know this bridge as Phra Phutta Yodfa, in honour of and named after King Rama 1.
- Phra Pin Klao
Located near the Grand Palace, the bridge is named after Pinklao, vice-King of Siam (1851-66) and was opened in 1973.
- MRT Blue Line (under construction)
- Rama VIII.
Officially opened in September 2002 this cable-stayed bridge consists of a single pylon located approximately one-third of the distance from the northwest end of the bridge. Golden suspension cables extend from this pylon to the road surface. The bridge is 2.45 km long, including approach spans, and is named after the eighth monarch of the Chakri dynasty. It has become a notable tourist attraction and is depicted on the back of the Series 15 bank note (20 baht) behind a portrait of King Ananda Mahidol.
- Krung Thon
This bridge comprises a steel superstructure resting on concrete piers and was opened in 1958. It connects the districts of Dusit and Bang Phlat.
The bridge has four lanes for road vehicles (two in each direction) and pedestrian paths.
- Rama VI
This is Bangkok’s first permanent structure across the Chao Phraya river and remains Thailand’s longest railway bridge (some 110 metres longer than the River Kwai bridge at Kanchanaburi. Construction began in 1922 and was officially opened five years later. It suffered severe damage during the Second World War and only reopened after repair in December 1953.
- Light railway red line (under construction)
- Rama VII
This bridge, opened in 1992, carried six lanes of road traffic and connects the districts of Bang Sue and Bang Phlat.