Top dinner options on the River of Kings.
No visit to Bangkok is complete without some quality time spent on the Chao Phraya River, also known as the River of Kings. Here are some of our favorite dinner cruises that let you get acquainted with the Temple of Dawn and the many other attractions that line this historic waterway while enjoying a delicious meal.
This stylish little cruise comes from the people behind one of Bangkok's most celebrated Thai restaurant empires (Supanniga has branches in Thonglor, Sathorn and the Old Town). This ship is just big enough for 40 diners and is entirely open-air, making it a cool pick for alfresco dining. Comfortable and compact, there’s the feeling of being in a little floating salon, hovering above the water. The cruise lasts two hours (B3,250/US$105), though there is a one-hour sunset cruise departing earlier, with no food served. It comes with a standard drink (B1,250/US40) or a glass of Taittinger Champagne (B1,550/US$50).
Book ahead at 02-714-7608 or www.supannigacruise.com. Cruise departs from River City Bangkok, 23 Charoenkrung Soi 24.
By the five-star Banyan Tree Bangkok, this cruise is essentially a floating version of the hotel’s F&B outlets. Hop on daily for the sunset cruise (B550), when you can enjoy an inclusive cocktail on the rooftop deck, which is is designed to resemble the hotel’s iconic Moon Bar. When darkness falls, head downstairs to the elegant restaurant, where classic Thai design gets a contemporary touch with glass walls that curve overhead to facilitate gorgeous views of the riverside. The soundtrack of Thai instrumental music and the khon masked dance performance that interrupts dinner may appeal to tourists, but this is a world away from the chaotic buffet set-ups found on most dinner cruises. Across five courses served a la minute (B3,200, inclusive of a welcome cocktail), the traditional Thai menu takes its cues from the Banyan Tree’s signature Saffron restaurant and changes every two months. Expect dishes like river prawn and cowslip creeper tom kha, and panang curry with melt-in-your-mouth slow-cooked beef.
To book, visit the website. Sunset cruise departs from IconSiam Pier 2 at 5:30pm daily, followed by the dinner cruise at 7pm
This intimate cruise on a restored old rice barge offers Thai set dinner packages served the authentic way—to share. Expect to try a six-course menu that charts classic Thai fare like tom yum kung (spicy prawn soup with herbs and lime juice) and massaman nua (beef massaman curry), while enjoying beautiful views of Wat Pho and Wat Arun. Finish your meal with scrumptious Thai desserts like kha nom whan—an assortment of Thai sweets and fresh fruit. Cocktails are available, as is a vegetarian set menu alternative. Dinner prices start from B2,300 (US$75).
Book ahead at 02-476-0022 or www.manohracruises.com. Cruise departs from Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort, 257/1-3 Charoennakorn Rd.
From traditional spicy river prawn soup to a steamed red snapper fillet, this dinner cruise has the Thai cuisine to fill even the hungriest bellies (B2,550 or US$85, drinks included; B1,275 or US$41 for children). Hop aboard this vintage rice barge and enjoy a lovely meal on the picturesque Chao Phraya. The cruise lasts between one and two hours and there is free transportation provided from Banyan Tree hotel for guests who book through the hotel.
Book ahead at 02-679-1200 or www.banyantree.com. Cruise departs from River City Bangkok, 23 Soi Charoen Krung 24.
Wan Fa Restaurant & Cruise
Equipped for a total of 120 passengers, the northern Thai-style boat offers a relaxing space for people to sit back and enjoy a combination of seafood and original Thai cuisine (B1,600 or US$52). Treat yourself in style on the red and gold elegant boat as it departs just after the sun sets on the glistening river that snakes its way through Bangkok.
Book ahead at 02-622-7657-61or www.wanfah.com. Cruise departs from 292 Ratchawong Rd.
River Star Princess Cruise
Departing from Yod Pimarn River Walk Pier, this classy two-hour cruise will not only entertain the taste buds but your mood as well. During a candlelit Thai and international buffet-style dinner (B1,400 or US$45 adults, B1,100 or US$35 children), guests will have the opportunity to appease the ears and listen to live music and enjoy a classical Thai dancing performance.
Book ahead at 02-437-4177 or www.thairivercruise.com. Cruise departs from 328 Soi Taladbansomdej, Somdej Chaophraya Rd.