UNTAPPED POTENTIAL IN BANGKOK
Bangkok was once called the Venice of the Orient because of its extensive network of canals, or “khlongs”. Khlongs were, and still are, used for transportation, for floating markets, but also for sewage disposal. Though many khlongs still remain in the Thai capital, most have been filled in to make way for the city’s urban expansion and its millions of cars, tuk-tuks and motorbikes. In a bid to combat traffic congestion and offer commuters additional transportation choices, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has launched boat services along three major khlongs – Saen Saeb, Phra Khanong and Phasi Charoen.
On Khlong Phasi Charoen, the location used for filming the boat chase in the 1974 James Bond film, The Man with the Golden Gun, BMA offers a boat service along an eleven-kilometre route with 15 ferry landings. The piers are made up of 8-metre-long, 3-metre-wide concrete pontoons, anchored to steel piles to accommodate water fluctuations. With their weight and low centre of gravity, the pontoons are not only extremely stable, making them easily accessible for travellers, they are also designed to be both durable and unsinkable.
The ferry landings were designed and built by SF Marina in Thailand and were opened in 2020.