bangkok solar powered boat

Explore Bangkok on a solar powered boat. Image: Pixabay

Cleaner and Greener: Tour Bangkok on a solar-powered boat!

Exploring the canals of Thailand’s capital city Bangkok is about to get a lot cleaner, with renewable energy provided by solar panels.

bangkok solar powered boat

Explore Bangkok on a solar powered boat. Image: Pixabay

Bangkok’s waterways teem with long-tail boats and other diesel-powered vessels whose operations have a huge environmental impact.

Emissions both in the air and water leave much to be desired.

But all this could be a thing of the past if more boats switched to renewable energy supplies.

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Bangkok is sometimes referred to as “the Venice of the East” owing to its many canals.

The sprawling city is laid out alongside the Chao Phraya River. When moving through this city, passengers might have to cross the immense river or numerous canals (khlongs).

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Bangkok has a skytrain and a subway, but these mass transport systems do not cover the entire city, making moving by water a necessity when heading to various parts of the city.

Motorised canal boats are a feature of life in Bangkok, much like the city’s tuk-tuks and its famous traffic jams. 

South China Morning Post says at its peak in the 19th century, Bangkok had around 12 000 canals.

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bangkok solar powered boat
Ride through Bangkok on a solar-powered boat. Image: Pixabay


As well as a fleet of newly launched electric-powered passenger boats, there are also a handful of solar-powered ones being used by operators providing city tours of Bangkok from the water.

The vessels are typical wooden taxi boats that have been used on Bangkok’s canals for many years.


However, a 10-seater boat, owned and operated by a former yachtsman, is 100 per cent solar-powered. 

Mr Tai’s boat, the Sol Solar, requires minimal maintenance and running costs because it is fully electric. It adds no carbon emissions into the air.

It also has the advantage of being much quieter than the standard diesel-powered canal or long-tail boat.

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There is a rising demand for eco-friendly boat tours in Bangkok since they also offer more authentic experiences.

They also provide an intimate glimpse into the city that is not possible to see without being on the water.

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