Known as ‘The River of Kings’, the Chao Phraya meanders magnificently through the heart of Bangkok.
The wide waterway winds its way past some of Bangkok’s best sights, so a refreshingly breezy boat ride is the perfect way to see them.
There are plenty of opportunities to take a cruise along the Chao Phraya river.
Here are some of the best Bangkok river cruises…
- 1 Best Chao Phraya River Cruises
- 1.1 Apsara Dinner Cruise by Banyan Tree
- 1.2 Bangkok Dinner Cruise With 6-Course Thai Meal
- 1.3 Anantara Cruises
- 1.4 Oriental Escape Bangkok Dinner Cruise
- 1.5 Chao Phraya Princess Cruise
- 1.6 Loy Nava Dinner Cruises Bangkok
- 1.7 Bangkok Dinner Cruise on the Chao Phraya River
- 1.8 Bangkok Rice Barge Afternoon Cruise
- 1.9 Private Tour: 2-Hour Bangkok Sunset Cruise with Champagne
Best Chao Phraya River Cruises
Apsara Dinner Cruise by Banyan Tree
This dinner river cruise in Bangkok offers the chance to dine in style along with enjoying wonderful river views.
The ‘Apsara’ is a beautiful traditional Thai riverboat with open sides to benefit from unobstructed views of sights such as Wat Arun and the Grand Palace.
A truly romantic and glamorous experience, the two hour cruise has a relaxed and intimate feel making it the perfect setting for the delicious four course, 5 star Thai culinary experience that awaits you. You can also expect a welcome drink on arrival, soothing background music, and a souvenir photo to remember the occasion.
This Chao Phraya river cruise departs at 8pm daily from River City Gate 2, River City Pier right next to the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel. Prices start at USD $85.09, but may vary depending on the season.
Bangkok Dinner Cruise With 6-Course Thai Meal
The splendid Chao Phraya River provides a glorious backdrop to this gourmet Bangkok river cruise on the brand new Supanniga vessel.
Look forward to six courses of authentic Thai cuisine of exquisite quality, accompanied by crisp and delicious Taittinger champagne whilst looking out at the glittering Bangkok skyline as the sun sinks below the horizon. All the dishes on the tasting menu have been carefully selected to add an extra dimension to the cruise experience, and only the highest quality ingredients are used to create the dishes.
The boat itself is elegant and modern, yet retains elements of traditional Thai charm.
The dress code for a romantic evening aboard the Supanniga is smart casual. The boat departs from River City Pier at 6:15pm daily, and the cruise lasts for just over two hours. Prices start at USD $97.04
For three days of bliss on the majestic Chao Phraya waterways, set off on this spectacular luxury cruise aboard a splendid 100 year old teak rice barge.
This dreamy Bangkok river cruise offers a one of a kind voyage along the River of Kings, where Bangkok’s iconic landmarks such as the Temple of Dawn and the Royal Barges Boat House can be seen, alongside touring the golden temples and architectural ruins of Ayutthaya, a celebrated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Guests also have the opportunity to tour monasteries and step back in time and experience old world river life first hand.
You’ll feel like you’re in your own floating palace aboard The Anantara Dream rice barge. It offers sumptuous air conditioned accommodations with ensuite bathrooms, furnished with fine antiques and feather pillows.
There is also a spacious upper deck perfect for viewing the sights, a full bar, and breakfasts, lunches, afternoon teas and delectable dinners are included in the price.
The Boat departs on Mondays and Thursdays from the Anantara Cruises pier on the river frontage of the Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort. Prices for private cruises start at 24,639 THB.
Oriental Escape Bangkok Dinner Cruise
Oriental Escape offer a variety of Bangkok dinner cruises to enjoy the wonders of Bangkok by night along the spectacular Chao Phraya River.
Guests dine in luxurious surroundings aboard one of nine difference cruise ships, all with their own unique allure. Dine on delicious Thai food by candlelight whilst watching the dazzling skyscrapers, ornate temples, and evening river traffic pass by.
Some cruises offer live performances of Thai Khon classical dance and Thai classical music, or live pop and jazz music.
Dining options range from Thai and international buffets to gourmet set menus with an emphasis seafood.
Prices for cruises vary according to the length of the cruise and the type of food and entertainments on offer. Prices start at 1,000 THB up to 2,200 THB per person. Boats depart from River City Pier 1. Departure times vary.
Chao Phraya Princess Cruise
With six different superb ships to choose from, this is one of the best Bangkok dinner cruises and certainly one of the most popular.
Experience the marvellous Chao Phraya by night, passing by famous landmarks like the Grand Palace and Wat Pho.
An extravagant buffet banquet of Thai and international cuisines is accompanied by performances from live jazz and pop bands.
There are plenty of photo opportunities during this two hours cruise, and you can even finish your evening with a little after dinner dancing on deck.
Boats depart from River City Pier 1 at 7pm daily, and you will receive a welcome drink of refreshing fruit punch on arrival. Prices per person are reasonable, starting from 1,500 THB for adults and 1,100 THB for children.
Loy Nava have been cruising the waters of Chao Phraya River in their fully original antique teakwood rice barge since 1970. Their dinner river cruise presents a voyage into Thai culture and heart in tranquil surroundings.
Traditional musicians and classical dancers entertain you as the beautiful, broad bellied, deep mahogany boat meanders through the waterways past ancient monuments, historic sites, and glittering modern architecture.
There’s a choice of three first class, mouth-watering degustation menus on offer, including Thai Traditional, Thai Seafood, and Thai Vegetarian. Each menu features an extensive selection of appetizing hors d’oeuvres, main dishes and desserts.
The prices for this Bangkok river cruise start at 1,550 THB per person for a standard package. Complimentary hotel pickup is included, and each guest will receive a souvenir history booklet of the river to boot.
Bangkok Dinner Cruise on the Chao Phraya River
Fabulous entertainment from a live band with a multi-lingual singer plus other entertainers keeps guests on this Bangkok river cruise amused whilst they glide past the impressive attractions on the riverside.
Wat Arun — otherwise known as the Temple of Dawn is one such attraction, illuminated in softly pulsing colours.
Dining is buffet style, with copious quantities of delicious Thai dishes to tempt your tastebuds. This atmospheric and fun Chao Phraya river cruise lasts a minimum of two and a half hours — plenty of time to relax, soak up the stunning scenery, and tuck in.
Hotel pick up and drop off is included in the price, which starts at USD $39.41 per person. Cruises start at 8pm, with hotel pickups approximately 30 – 60 minutes before this time.
Bangkok Rice Barge Afternoon Cruise
Get away from Bangkok’s hustle and bustle and spend the afternoon cruising the cool Chao Phraya river waters on this two and a half hour Bangkok cruise.
This cruise uses two different boats — a traditional long tail boat along the canals, followed by a charming restored rice barge to carry you on your journey along the river. It’s the ideal opportunity for chilling out and observing the sights and sounds of local life on the banks of the river.
Because city residents still rely heavily on the river to transport goods and each other, there will be plenty of locals burbling along in boats beside you, as well as quaint architecture and stunning scenery to admire — so there are plenty of photo opportunities. On board refreshments include fresh exotic fruits and soft drinks.
Prices for the Bangkok Rice Barge Afternoon Cruise start at USD $33.37. You’ll be picked up from your hotel by your guide and taken to the departure point in an air conditioned coach, and dropped back at your hotel at the end of the cruise.
Private Tour: 2-Hour Bangkok Sunset Cruise with Champagne
For the ultimate in romance and style, you can always hire this luxury cruiser for a private two hour river tour in Bangkok.
This glossy boat with leather seats, air conditioning, panoramic tinted windows, sliding roof, and outer terrace is the epitome of chic, and possibly one of the most wonderful way to see the city lights at sunset.
It’s an impressive sight as the sun sinks below Bangkok’s sparkling skyscrapers, stunning bridges, and mystical temples, and it’s sure to impress that special someone if you’re thinking of popping the question.
Naturally champagne is the beverage of choice on board, and each guest receives a complimentary glass. Pick up and drop off is available for guests staying in riverfront hotels and is included in the price.
Alternatively make your way to the riverside departure pier near Saphan Taksin BTS station where the boat will be waiting for you.
Prices are high and start at USD $525.49 per boat. Each boat has a maximum capacity of 14 passengers, so you could spread the cost among a group of friends if you wanted to.
Are you tempted to try a Chao Phraya river cruise?
Featured image is by Nik Cyclist (CC BY 2.0 licence)