Royal Chao Phraya Princess
One of the best nighttime activities in Bangkok is to take a dinner cruise along the Chao Phraya River. There are several to choose from and they are all pretty good. We recommend the Chao Phraya Princess cruise because the entertainment is great and the food pretty good too. You can board the Chao Phraya Princess at the IconSiam Pier which is diagonally across the river from the BTS Saphan Taksin Station. Other cruises disembark from the Asiatique Pier, which is near the Chatrium Riverside Hotel, and the River City Pier, which is across the river from IconSiam.
The first time I was in Bangkok I wanted to put together a fun night out with some friends that lived here in the city, but I didn’t want to have to eat just Thai food. I wanted a mix of food options. I knew everyone wanted to go dancing on Khaosan Road, but I didn’t want to wait until late into the night to start the festivities. It turned out that a Bangkok dinner cruise was the perfect start to an epic night. It is a really fun way to kick things off.
Whichever cruise you take, you will get some great pictures of some unique sites along the river including Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn. When it is lit up at night it is certainly beautiful. Also look for a couple Chinese shrines along the river and the ferris wheel lit up at Asistique.
Make sure you bring some shoes to dance in as the band on board will get you moving. Don’t be surprised if you see other passengers dressed up in traditional Thai dress. I think it has become a bit of a tradition with Thai tourists from other parts of the country. Also, don’t be afraid to dress up yourself for occasions like this. Thai’s appreciate and respect when people dress up. You will undoubtedly make a lot of new friends.
As you may be able to tell, a dinner cruise on the historic Chao Phraya River, through the center of Bangkok, is certainly not your average night out for dinner. However, there is one thing we would suggest.
We recommend that at least one person in your dinner party knows what you are looking at as the boat passes by some of the most historic landmarks of Thailand. For example, Wat Arun is beautifully lit up at night, but you may not know that it is where King Taksin fled to after he lost Ayutthaya to the Burmese Army.
Of course the Thailand Adventure Network can certainly help our members find someone who can point out the landmarks you are going to see, but if you are single, this experience is great for a first date. It is a great excuse to ask a beautiful Thai woman out on a date, if you need an excuse.
Most dinner cruises have a pretty good band and you usually end up dancing to cover tunes of popular western music. You may not recognize all the lyrics, but you will definitely recognize all the songs.
Although the quality of the food isn’t 5 star, it has always been better than we expected. The good news is it is an all-you-can-eat buffet with many different options to choose from including a sushi bar, shucked oysters and a steak carving station. Only about a third of the options are Thai food. The rest is made up of Western and Chinese food options. You are bound to find something you really like. You will also find a well stocked bar on board.
For less than what we normally spend at a high end Bangkok restaurant the Chao Phraya Dinner Cruises are a great start to an exciting night out on the town.
The main reason we recommend the Chao Phraya Princess is that it leaves from the IconSiam Pier. If for some reason you have to wait to board the ship there are always a lot of fun things to do at IconSiam.
A good place for your friends to meet is at the “his and her” Elephants between the golden gong on the bottom floor of IconSiam. The office where you pick up the cruise tickets are to the right of those elephants. (as you look at them) The office is located on the same wall a short walk away from the elephants.
To get to IconSiam take the BTS Skytrain to the Krung Thon Buri Station and transfer to the Gold Line Shuttle Train to IconSiam. Better yet, if you have a little extra time, try taking the free shuttle boat service to IconSim from the BTS Saphan Taksin Station. To get there, just walk down the stairs toward the river and look for the queue for the free shuttle boat to IconSiam. It will take you right there.
If you would like to book a cruise on the Chao Princess please click on the link below.