There is a saying, “you shouldn't miss the Seine when in Paris, the Thames when in London, and the Chao Phraya when visiting Bangkok.” There are several options for a sightseeing trip along the Chao Phraya River – some might prefer a morning trip on a speedy long-tail boat over an afternoon tour on a slowing-moving rice barge, and vice versa. But surely, no one would refuse an evening dining and sightseeing on a luxurious cruise boat when in Bangkok.
The Grand Chaophraya is our cruiser today. She is a two-deck dinner cruise boat with a 500-passenger capacity. Step on board and prepare to be awe-struck by the grand lobby and its opulent modern Thai décor. The lower cabin is fitted out with plush Asian-style furnishings and hardwood decks. The 220-seat dining room is conveniently air-conditioned but the open upper deck is livelier and features a spectacular view of Bangkok by night.
- Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Tour
- Banyan Tree's Apsara Dinner Cruise
- Vertigo & Moon Bar Rooftop Dining
- Ayutthaya Ancient Capital Tour with River Cruise
- Shangri-La Hotel's Buffet Dinner Cruise
- Bridge on the River Kwai & Historic Railway Tour
- Siam Niramit Dinner Show
- Calypso Bangkok Cabaret Show
- Chao Phraya River Dinner Cruise
- Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha Half-Day Tour
Historical Sites and Scenic Temples
Shimmering temples, historical sites and some exquisite architecture line the banks. Don’t worry if you don’t know what is what, because each table has a handy map with pictures explaining each of the attractions. In chronological order we pass Wat Pratum Khong Ka, Wat Kanlayanamrit, the Royal Thai Navy Headquarter Buildings, Wat Arun, Wat Pho, the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Keaw (the Emerald Buddha temple), Phra Sumen Fort and the Rama VIII Bridge.
The staff members are friendly and service is swift, with refreshing towels and delicious complimentary cocktails to begin with. An extensive drinks menu offers choices of soft drinks, alcoholic beverages and house wine (exclusive to the program.) To start our meal, we help ourselves to a plate of prawn crackers, while enjoying some performances of classical Thai dance.
The expansive buffet offers a wide selection of Thai and international cuisine. The highlights include: tom yum kung (spicy prawn soup), massaman chicken curry, moo satay (pork grilled in curry powder) with peanut sauce, seafood barbeque (king prawns, mussels, squid and fish), spaghetti, sushi, and much more. The Thai dishes are mild to a little spicy, but all are delicious. A variety of cakes and classic Thai desserts are also served.
Grooving with Tempo
The mood on board is relaxed and jovial, while the live band plays easy-listening music from the ’80s to the ’90s, with some modern numbers thrown in for good measure. An hour into the meal the atmosphere lighten ups when the band starts to play retro and disco music by ABBA, the Supremes, Village People, Donna Summer, and Gloria Gaynor. The dance floor is on fire and filled with people of all ages, with groups of friends, lovebirds, and even parents with kids. Everyone seems to enjoy this lovely evening – including me and my friends.
For the past two hours, the experience on the Grand Chaophaya has been beyond expectation. We've dined, danced, and cruised as the city slipped by. The boat brings us back to the pier at the River City Shopping Complex where everyone disembarks with laughter and a smile on their face – a fitting testimony to the pleasure derived from taking part in the Chaophraya Dinner Cruise.