Guests can lap up first-class hospitality and delicious Thai and Western food onboard converted rice barges or modern luxury cruisers.
A cruise down the Chao Phraya provides a sharp contrast to the capital’s gridlocked roads and a breath of fresh air that is distinctly cooler than in the centre of the huge metropolis.
The Waterfront District is alongside the arrival area and home to sophisticated restaurants, bistros, wine bars and event venues positioned alongside a 300-metre long boardwalk. Concerts, festivals and the New Year’s Eve fireworks countdown and other celebrations take place at this site.
The modern dinner cruise boats are capable of accommodating up to 500 passengers on two decks and as guests take in the riverside scenery dinner is served in a buffet style, accompanied by live bands and professional singers. Passengers can enjoy an array of choices from Thai to international cuisine and even fresh sashimi and hand-rolled sushi.
A dinner cruise provides timeless memories and is ideal for couples, private parties, wedding receptions, or meeting and incentive groups. Guests can opt to sit inside in air-conditioned comfort or head to the al fresco upper deck.
The two-hour cruises normally take a course down the river that takes in Wat Pratum Khong Ka, Wat Kanlayamit, Royal Thai Navy headquarters, Wat Arun, Wat Pho, the Grand Palace, Phra Sumen Fort and the Rama VIII Bridge. Do not worry about having difficulties identifying the different sites as many of the cruise boats have maps on the table that identify the historical sites and temples.
For a trip back in time, a journey on a 50-year-old beautifully restored rice barge is the perfect choice. Once used to convey rice and other agricultural produce from the central regions to Bangkok, these wooden boats have been completely re-built and restored for dining and cocktail cruising. Seating is usually set for 40 guests to ensure a more intimate experience and these boats move at a slower, more relaxed pace.
Whereas the larger cruise boats offer entertainment ranging from live bands, singers and discos, the converted rice boats offer a more sedate affair, with the sound of classical Thai music, and dancers performing graceful movements that depict stories from the great Ramayana epic and rural Thai folk tales.
Most of the cruises depart and end at the River City Pier.