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Top 5 River Cruises to take in Bangkok

Felicia

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Some restaurants are nestled away down alleyways while others are on rooftops. However, the restaurants in this article float! Boarding a river cruise down the Chao Phraya is one of the best ways to experience Bangkok. Stretching 372 miles from source to sea, the Chao Phraya meanders past picturesque temples, historic buildings and modern high-rises. As a result, customers can take in some of the most beautiful dining views of the city whilst indulging in delicious cuisine. In Bangkok, we are spoilt for choice, but here are our top 5 cruises in the city that we feel give the best overall dining experience.

5 Best River Cruises in Bangkok

1. Apsara Cruise

Run by The Banyan Tree (one of Bangkok’s most prestigious 5-star hotels) is The Apsara river cruise. This cruise is number 1 on our list due to its delicious gourmet food and 1st class service.

Transformed from a 120-year-old vintage rice barge, Apsara is a luxury restaurant. It seats up to 64 people and features intimate tables, dark wood furnishings and hues of orange decor. Whilst the interior inside is relatively simple – the ease and tranquillity of the Chao Phraya at night sets a romantic tone.

Apsara provides a fixed menu with a 4-course meal of Thai cuisine. From appetizer to dessert, traditionally-dressed staff serve you a range of dishes including seafood, curries and soup. All meals are freshly prepared on board, thus ensuring only the best and freshest quality. Finally, to complement your dinner, the cruise homes a well-stocked bar that comes complete with an assortment of beverages.

As you go along, the Apsara takes you past landmarks such as the Temple of Dawn and the Grand Palace. These sites, illuminated at night, allow for breathtaking views; this, coupled with the impeccable service and delicious food solidifies the Apsara as the ultimate culinary experience.

Opening hours: 20:00 – 22:15.

Pricing: Walk-in prices start from 2,550 baht/adult and 1,275 baht/child.

Address: River City Pier: 23 Soi Charoen Krung 24, Talat Noi, Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100.

Top 5 River Cruises to take in Bangkok | News by Thaiger

Photo via Oriental Escape

2. Manohra Luxurious Dinner Cruise

The Manohra Cruise operated by the Anantara hotel is one of the most lavish river cruises in Bangkok. Set on an antique rice barge, the vessel has an authentic Thai style. Inside, the dining room is intimate as the boat is smaller in comparison to the other barges we’ve mentioned. The interior consists mostly of rattan seating and wooden decor and there is only one deck for guests.

Massaman Chicken Curry, Fish in Red Curry and Tom Kha Kai are among the menu’s signature dishes. These meals are designed to be enjoyed family-style, which is a common method of dining in Thailand. The 2-hour trip commences at 19:30 – throughout the journey, passengers can enjoy landmarks such as the Taksin bridge, Rama VIII bridge and more. Further, as you cruise along, well informed local hosts provide commentary on each site, thus giving you a bit more insight into their history.

In summary, The Manohra invites passengers to “savour Thailand’s finest regional specialities”, whilst taking in iconic views. As a result, the cruise overall will not only be memorable but a “voyage of authentic discovery”.

Opening hours: 19:30 – 21:30.

Pricing: Walk-in price is 2,300 baht/person.

Address: Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort, 257/1-3, Charoennakorn Road, Thonburi, Bangkok 10600.

Top 5 River Cruises to take in Bangkok | News by Thaiger

Photo via Manohra Cruises

3. Chao Phraya Princess River Cruise

Managed by the Tristar Floating Company, is our 3rd choice: the Chao Phraya Princess Cruise. Founded in 1990, they offer 5 distinct cruises. Their smallest barge seats up to 250 whilst their largest has a capacity of 480. The various selection of cruises is unique in itself as most others only run on 1 barge. Thus, they have a cruise for any occasion and is available for private charters as well. In fact, it has hosted many weddings, birthday parties and corporate events.

Regardless of what cruise you choose, each voyage is all-inclusive. As passengers pass by popular sites (like Wat Pho and the Grand Palace), easy-listening jazz plays in the background. Their buffet-style dinner includes a mix of international and Thai cuisine. However, passengers can also opt for an Indian buffet if they wish. This broad range of cuisines ensures that there is something for all preferences.

The boat has both indoor and outdoor seating – to stay cool, go inside, or sit on the outdoor deck for better views. Finally, the interior is elegant with dark rattan furnishings and sleek marble floors. Overall, a dinner here will make for an unforgettable night.

Opening hours: Thursday to Sunday from 19:00 – 21:00.

Pricing: 1,900 baht/adult and 1,500/child.

Address: 94/1 Charoennakorn Soi 21, Charoennakorn Rd., Banglampoolang, Klongsarn, Bangkok 10600.

Top 5 River Cruises to take in Bangkok | News by Thaiger

Photo via Klook

4. Loy Nava Dinner River Cruise

For those looking for dinner with a show, the Loy Nava Dinner Cruise is the cruise for you. Onboard, diners can enjoy a traditional Thai dance performance as they eat. This pairs well with their authentic Thai cuisine, serving local favourites such as Tom Yum Goong. Each dish is made with fresh ingredients sourced locally. As a result, you can expect only the best, high-quality food. Appetizers, soups and desserts are also available, along with vegetarian options as well.

Like other vessels, the Loy Nava cruise is set on a transformed rice barge. The dining area is not overly packed and each table has clear riverside views. As the cruise follows its path, customers can take in Bangkok’s skyline while listening to relaxing Thai music. With all this in mind, this cruise is perfect for those who want an immersive Thai dining experience.

Opening hours: Option 1: 18:00 – 20:00, Option 2: 20:10 – 22:10.

Pricing: Walk-in price is 2,295 baht/person.

Address: Si Phaya Expressboat Pier, (Captain Bush Lane), Charoen Krung Rd Soi 30, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500.

Top 5 River Cruises to take in Bangkok | News by Thaiger

Photo via Oriental Escape

5. Arena River Cruise

In contrast to most other Bangkok cruises, Arena River Cruise mainly serves Indian cuisine along with some Thai classics. Presented buffet-style, the vast menu includes dishes such as Samosas, Tandoori Chicken and Chicken Malai Tikka. Alternatively, Thai favourites such as Stir-fried Chicken with Basil are available as well. Each guest gets a complimentary welcome drink but a selection of Indian Masala teas are available to order throughout the night as well.

The 2.5-hour cruise features a live performer, Bollywood DJ and contemporary Indian music to keep you entertained. There’s even space to dance for those who want to. It accommodates up to 50 people and welcomes both children and adults.

Opening hours: 20:00-22:30.

Pricing: 1,100 baht/person.

Address: Wat Phraya Krai, Bang Kho Laem, Bangkok 10120.

Top 5 River Cruises to take in Bangkok | News by Thaiger

Photo via Arena River Dinner Cruise

If you want to explore Bangkok even further, check out our article on the Top 10 Must-Do Activities in Bangkok.


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Felicia is a journalist and content writer who covers a range of topics from life style to leisure and tourism. Her career began as a copywriter working for many news and media companies, where she worked with several brands in England and Myanmar to help them increase their online presence. She is a graduate from University of Brighton, England.

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