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Updated by Joanna James on Feb 11, 2018
Headline for Bridges on the Chao Phraya – The Many Places to Cross Thailand's Iconic River
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Bridges on the Chao Phraya – The Many Places to Cross Thailand's Iconic River

One of Thailand's renowned attractions is the Chao Phraya River, which for many Thais, is the source of their livelihood. It runs for more than three hundred kilometres, with various places to cross.

1

Kanchanaphisek Bridge

This is one of the most significant crossings, and consists of a five hundred metre cable-stayed bridge. It was designed by the renowned engineering firm Parsons Brinckerhoff which was founded in New York in the year 1885. The bridge is part of the outer-ring of the Thai highway and therefore it is a pretty significant point of the city's infrastructure. The bridge was built in 2007 and opened to traffic of Samut Prakan Province in November 15th of the same year.

2

Bhumibol Bridge

There are many reasons why the Bhumibol Bridge is one of the most significant bridges involving the Chao Phraya River. Also known as the Industrial Ring Road Bridge, this crossing is part of the industrial ring road that connects southern Bangkok with the Samut Prakan Province. Interestingly, the bridge crosses the river not once, but twice, with two cable-stayed spans which are held by two diamond shaped pylons. At the meeting point of these two spans is another free-flowing interchange which is suspended fifty metres above the ground. The bridge is named after the late king of Thailand due to its construction being under the behest of the king himself in order to solve traffic problems. If you ever find yourself on a cruise in Bangkok organised by entities such as Anantara Cruises, be sure to keep an eye out for this landmark.

3

Rama IX Bridge

This bridge connects the Yan Nawa and the Rat Burana districts, respectively, as a section of the Dao Khanong – Port Section on the Chalerm Maha Nakhon Expressway. This bridge was also named in honour of the king on his 60th birthday. The king's birthday was also coincidentally the opening date of the bridge. This was the first cable-stayed bridge to be built in the country and upon construction; it was the second longest bridge of its kind in the world. Initially the bridge had a black and white colour scheme, which was changed to a royal yellow to represent the king in 2006.

4

Taksin Bridge

Situated in Bangkok city, this bridge was designed with a gap between opposing lanes in order to cater to a mass transit system. Unfortunately this train system was never built, and this makes Taksin Bridge one of the most recognisable bridges to be seen along the Chao Phraya River. The foundations that were set in place however were eventually re-used to build the famous BTS Skytrain system with services commencing on the 15th of May 2009. One can access the skytrain from the Saphan Taksin Skytrain station at the entry ramp that is situated on the east side of the river. If you're looking for a more scenic experience, there's a pier for the Chao Phraya Express Boat service situated on the same side of the bridge as well.