Cruise Down The River of Kings: The Best Chao Phraya River Cruise Tours
A city, in my opinion, always has two faces, which are distinctly different from one another. One of these faces, we can see, study and observe during the daytime. The second one is reserved for those who wander along the streets once the sun is down and the stars are up. In the latter case, the best way to gaze at Bangkok’s skyline in a peaceful atmosphere is a Chao Phraya river cruise.
We will present you with three options, starting with an affordable and touristy trip and finishing with a cruise that offers dishes with French names. As we all know, when something is in French, it’s high class and twice as expensive.
Chao Phraya Princess
The company has six different ships, varying in size, capacity (from 250 to 480 people) and interior decoration. Similar to the other ones, the cruise goes for a little longer than two hours and passes by historical landmarks such as Summer Palace at Bang Pa-In and the Yai Chaimongkol Temple.
Once you are riverbound, the staff will welcome you with a fruit punch and some snacks to whet your appetite. Afterwards, you are then invited to indulge in their buffet, which offers a mixture of Thai classics and International dishes. It’s nothing out of the ordinary, but what can you expect for 1,500 Baht?
In terms of style, this princess is a flamboyant one. While you are dining, the band plays soft jazz, but later they switch to “upbeat groovy songs for dancing” as they described it. So, she is less of a Grace Kelly and more of a Lady Gaga. #popopopokerface
The Manohra Cruise is conducted by the five-star Anantara Riverside Resort and you can expect the same class and style. Instead of modern cruise ships, the Resort uses converted and updated wooden barges from Thailand’s olden days.
With this cruise, you can easily tick off some of the biggest Must-Visit-Sites in Bangkok like Wat Arun, the Grand Palace, and Taksin Bridge. Even if you have seen them already in the daytime, they look almost more astonishing with lights shining on them. Don’t forget to take a few pictures for your Instagram profile. The price of 2,000 Baht includes a complimentary tea, but for everything else you need to dig a little deeper into your pockets. The menu focuses solely on Thai dishes. You have your massaman curry, tom yum soup, fresh spring rolls and, most importantly, everyone’s favorite mango sticky rice.
The Riverside Resort also offers a similar Breakfast Cruise, but we, personally, prefer the one after dusk.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is now time to splurge. We are here to feel like the Great Gatsby without the dubious past and emotional baggage. The Supanniga Cruise (or Dinner Champagne Taittinger Cruise) feels a lot more intimate since the capacity is limited to 40 persons. The route is similar to the one from the Manohra Cruise.
The dinner, which comes in six courses, is excellent and by far the best. It starts with a simple amuse-bouche (French – told you so) and a fish coconut milk soup. It reaches its high point with a set of shared Thai dishes called Sam-Rub. This set includes a pork curry, fried and boiled eggs with tamarind sauce, amongst other delicacies. Last, but not least, there is a mango sticky rice to look forward to.
The Supanniga Cruise costs 3,250, which sounds like a lot at first. However, it does include a welcoming glass of champagne and the 6-course dinner. The only thing you would have to pay for are the drinks, which are mixed by true professionals from the cocktail bar Vesper.
Raise the anchor, set the sail (if it has one) and come aboard! A cruise offers a unique look at Thailand’s capital and one we would certainly recommend. If you have been on such a cruise before, then let us know how it was in the comments and share some breathtaking pictures. We have no problem with getting a little jealous.